Limpopo has consistently been one of South Africa’s leading provinces when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, outshining some larger and less rural provinces such as Gauteng. Mogale Mojela visited some vaccination sites and spoke to the Limpopo health department and other stakeholders about their approach to getting people jabbed.
Plans to issue a digital vaccination certificate to people who have been jabbed were announced last week, but so far details have been sparse. Spotlight spoke to several experts to get their views on what we know about the certificates so far.
While it is still unclear what caused the fire at the Christiana Hospital in the North West last week, residents are concerned about what this means for their health needs. Millions of rands’ worth of infrastructure upgrades were destroyed by a fire that left a big part of the hospital in ruins. Nthusang Lefafa reports.
Findings of two large phase III clinical trials first presented in 2020 showed a new HIV prevention injection to be highly effective. Yet, experts expect that the injection will only reach clinics in late 2022 or early 2023. If the rhetoric about bringing the urgency of COVID-19 to HIV is to mean anything, these timelines should be made shorter.
The first long COVID study conducted in South Africa found that 82% of patients still had persistent or new symptoms a month after their discharge from hospital. However, much is still unknown about what exactly causes this and how to alleviate the suffering, which is becoming an increasing health burden across the globe. Elsabé Brits surveyed the latest evidence and asked local experts to place it in context.
Globally it is estimated that around one in five to one in ten children and adolescents are affected by mental health disorders. In South Africa, the numbers are highly uncertain, particularly at provincial level, where hardly any data is being gathered. Research suggests that a lack of intersectoral collaboration has resulted in children falling through the cracks – so much so that one expert now says South Africa is completely unable to meet the mental health needs of its children. Tiyese Jeranji investigates.
The Western Cape Department of Health has identified Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain as the areas with the lowest vaccinations and vaccine registrations in the Cape Town metro. By Monday 30 August, only 22.37% of Mitchell’s Plain’s vaccine-eligible population older than 18 years have registered. In Khayelitsha, this number stood at 12.05%. Siyabonga Kamnqa visited the two areas to find out more.
The Northern Cape provincial government is still deciding whether or not to act against two of the province’s top health officials who this week appeared in court on charges of fraud and corruption. Opposition parties and trade unions are calling for the officials to be suspended.
A few weeks ago, South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout seemed well set. We were consistently administering over 200,000 doses on weekdays and well over a million a week. Government got a few things right, but there’s so much more it can still do.
It’s been over a year since COVID-19 first hit South Africa. Since then, many people have been living in constant fear and many have lost loved ones. Frontline healthcare workers had no choice but to face their fears if they were to keep doing the life-saving work they were trained for. Amy Green and colleagues explore the emotional toll that South Africa’s third wave of COVID-19 is taking on healthcare workers.
When renowned geneticist Professor Michèle Ramsay is not building knowledge of African genomic diversity and working on decoding clues for genetic susceptibility to disease, she is knitting a “COVID blanket”. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to her about her passion for genetics, the complexities of genome editing, and how she copes with COVID-19.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic many medical interns in South Africa had a tough time, often working long hours and with little oversight or support. Chris Bateman spoke to interns and junior doctors in public hospitals and tag-on COVID-19 facilities, who are performing tasks of porters, auxiliary nurses, and liaising with anxious relatives, instead of getting the required hands-on, supervised learning.