Concerns mount as MSF pulls out of North West

Concerns mount as MSF pulls out of North West

The exit of Doctors without Borders’ (MSF) rape crisis support in the North West province during the COVID-19 pandemic arguably could not come at a worse time. Is the North West’s Department of Health ready to take over these services? Ufrieda Ho reports.

Read More

Childhood immunisation catch-up drive kicking off on 1 November

Childhood immunisation catch-up drive kicking off on 1 November

South Africa’s childhood immunisation rates declined in 2020 compared to previous years, largely due to COVID-19 and the related lockdown. Elri Voigt asked government about the country’s catch-up plans.

Read More

TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

In 2019 around 360 000 people in South Africa fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) and about 58 000 people died due to the disease, according to a World Health Organization Report released last week. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these already alarming numbers, with some TB patients stopping treatment during lockdown. Siyabonga Kamnqa looks at the plans the Western Cape Health Department has in place to get its TB programme back on track and finds old challenges still remain.

Read More

What is behind SA’s higher TB numbers?

What is behind SA’s higher TB numbers?

A World Health Organization report published last week showed more people are falling ill with tuberculosis in South Africa than previously thought – but also that the country’s treatment success rate for dangerous drug-resistant forms of the disease have improved. Amy Green asks what’s behind these numbers.

Read More

Herd (Immunity) Today, Gone Tomorrow

Herd (Immunity) Today, Gone Tomorrow

There is much talk in South Africa about a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19. In Europe, it is much more than talk, with COVID-19 diagnoses, hospital admissions, and deaths, not to mention ‘restrictions’, all on the rise. Alex Welte places in perspective what we do and do not know about herd immunity and potential second waves.

Read More

IN-DEPTH: The slow motion race for a TB vaccine

IN-DEPTH: The slow motion race for a TB vaccine

In recent months, the world has seen unprecedented investment in new vaccines. Yet, while a COVID-19 vaccine proven to be safe and effective may be less than a year away, a new tuberculosis vaccine might only be ready to be rolled out in a decade, despite a massive head start over COVID-19. Amy Green takes a closer look at the race for a new vaccine for the world’s top infectious disease killer.

Read More

IN DEPTH: Power grab or tying loose ends? Experts respond to new health regulations

IN DEPTH: Power grab or tying loose ends? Experts respond to new health regulations

As Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize’s proposed amendments to regulations on notifiable medical conditions came under fire in Parliament this week, some public health and medical law experts welcomed the proposed amendments to the regulations and even made some suggestions on how it could be improved. Alicestine October took an in-depth look at what is at stake.

Read More

COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

People with COVID-19 and people with tuberculosis (TB) can experience similar symptoms such as coughing and breathing difficulties as both diseases affect the lungs. Exactly how these diseases affect the lungs, however, differs. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to a leading South African pulmonologist to learn more.

Read More

What we know about vaccine hesitancy in South Africa

What we know about vaccine hesitancy in South Africa

A recent global online survey suggests that more than a third of South Africans would not want a COVID-19 vaccine if and when it becomes available. Adele Baleta reports on vaccine hesitancy in South Africa.

Read More

COVID-19: How provinces are catching up on elective procedures

COVID-19: How provinces are catching up on elective procedures

As South Africa prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals had to come up with plans to deal with the expected influx of COVID-19 patients. Part of this plan was that hospitals would minimise or temporarily put elective procedures on hold. Now, with the country at alert level 1 of its lockdown, Tiyese Jeranji looks at how four provinces are again phasing in elective procedures.

Read More

COVID-19: Innovating and adapting at Zithulele Hospital

COVID-19: Innovating and adapting at Zithulele Hospital

With chronic health worker shortages and limited resources such as ventilators in rural public health facilities, how did Zithulele Hospital in OR Tambo District manage its COVID-19 cases? Tiyese Jeranji spoke to two doctors working at Zithulele about an innovative oxygen solution, infection control, and much more.

Read More

Analysis: Hunger remains a crisis in SA, despite new survey numbers

Analysis: Hunger remains a crisis in SA, despite new survey numbers

The second wave of findings from the National Income Dynamics Study: Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) released today, shows that household hunger has declined by about a quarter since the release of the first wave of findings. Although encouraging, there are still severe and unacceptably high levels of childhood hunger and stunting, writes Kathryn Cleary.

Read More