Confusion over healthcare worker contracts in the Eastern Cape

Confusion over healthcare worker contracts in the Eastern Cape

Thousands of healthcare contract workers in the Eastern Cape Department of Health face an uncertain future over the continued extension of their contracts. This follows two conflicting decisions on ending contracts of workers roped in February last year to help in the fight against COVID-19 in the province. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.

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How safe is your data on the EVDS?

How safe is your data on the EVDS?

With the 1 July opening of registration for those aged 50-59, over 4.8 million more people can now register on South Africa’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). They will join a few million people before them in providing personal information including their names, ID numbers, cell phone numbers, and medical aid numbers if applicable. Laura Owings asks how safe your data is on the EVDS.

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Interview: Acting Free State Health head on his plans for the department

Interview: Acting Free State Health head on his plans for the department

On 20 May Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela announced that Godfrey Mahlatsi will replace then head of the province’s health department Dr David Motau in an acting capacity. Refilwe Mochoari asked Mahlatsi about his plans for a department that has seen its fair share of controversy over the years.

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Alcohol bans had greater impact than curfews, study finds

Alcohol bans had greater impact than curfews, study finds

New research published in the South African Medical Journal has found compelling evidence that a blanket ban on alcohol reduces the number of unnatural deaths related to trauma injuries while curfews have less of an impact. Adele Baleta spoke to lead author, Professor Tom Moultrie.

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COVID-19: “When will it end? I wish it would happen tomorrow” – Gauteng GP

COVID-19: “When will it end? I wish it would happen tomorrow” – Gauteng GP

For Dr Yakub Essack, a GP in Gauteng, the long workdays have become even longer as GPs become a vital pillar for managing COVID-19 patients in their homes for as long as possible to free up hospital beds during Gauteng’s third wave. Ufrieda Ho reports.

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COVID-19: Eight common questions answered about the Delta variant

COVID-19: Eight common questions answered about the Delta variant

The new and more contagious Delta variant has now surpassed the Beta variant to become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in South Africa. Laura Lopez Gonzalez pulled together answers to eight common questions asked about this new variant.

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OPINION: Excluding foreign nationals undermines the vaccine rollout 

OPINION: Excluding foreign nationals undermines the vaccine rollout 

Refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, and undocumented people are estimated to make up around 4 million of the people living in South Africa. That is nearly 7% of the country’s total population yet there is still no clarity on the process to register and vaccinate undocumented people.

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Opinion: Amidst the pandemic, health facility quality ratings give a false sense of security.   

Opinion: Amidst the pandemic, health facility quality ratings give a false sense of security.  

Health facility assessments are crucial to ensure patients’ needs for care are met, but often these assessments become a box-ticking exercise the country can ill afford, writes René Sparks.

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In-depth: How can we improve ventilation to prevent COVID-19 and TB?

In-depth: How can we improve ventilation to prevent COVID-19 and TB?

Ventilation plays an important role in preventing the transmission of airborne diseases but currently, ventilation standards for buildings are focused on preventing odours in spaces, instead of preventing disease transmission. Elri Voigt spoke to two experts about the role of ventilation in the transmission of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and COVID-19 and what can be done to improve ventilation in buildings.

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High hopes for deal to unlock local COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

High hopes for deal to unlock local COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

On Monday President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will host the first World Health Organization-backed COVID-19 mRNA vaccine Technology Transfer Hub – an initiative designed to get the production of mRNA vaccines off the ground in Africa. Parties involved in the hub expect to hear as early as next week whether pharmaceutical companies with mRNA COVID-vaccines for COVID-19 on the market – Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech – will share their know-how with the hub. Chris Bateman reports for Spotlight.

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Opinion: The President must rise above petty politics and appoint a Health Minister fit to fight our current crisis

Opinion: The President must rise above petty politics and appoint a Health Minister fit to fight our current crisis

While the Digital Vibes scandal has no doubt presented President Cyril Ramaphosa with a massive headache, it has also presented him with an opportunity. In appointing a new Minister of Health, he can set South Africa’s COVID-19 response on a sounder footing. We should soon know whether this is an opportunity he is ready to take, writes Spotlight editor Marcus Low.

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