Shortages of doctors and nurses at hospitals in the Eastern Cape is a well-known systemic issue that creates serious challenges for access to quality healthcare. Attempts to access information on how the Provincial Department of Health is addressing or will address this have been unsuccessful, making it hard to hold the department accountable, writes Sibusisiwe Ndlela.
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.
By 13 June official statistics from the Department of Health showed 382 255 people 60 years and older in the Eastern Cape registered for COVID-19 vaccination. So far, 114 661 of them received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Luvuyo Mehlwana visited some rural areas to see how registration and vaccination are going.
At Madwaleni Hospital in the rural Eastern Cape, vaccinations of health workers were set to start this week. However, steering this rural hospital to this point through a global pandemic, had its challenges. Bienne Huisman spoke to one doctor about how they made it through the first and second waves of the pandemic.
Six years after the South African Human Rights Commission held hearings into access to emergency medical services in the Eastern Cape little has changed for the people of Xhora Mouth, writes Phumzile Msaro.
As the final negotiations in the 2021 budget process unfold, the government of the Eastern Cape and the department of health in particular are being asked to do more with less. It is now more urgent than ever to strengthen public primary health care, argue Ektaa Deochand and Russell Rensburg.
It is more than a year since Spotlight visited the Xhora Mouth area in the Eastern Cape to report on the locals’ challenges in accessing health care services. Now, a year later, not much has changed. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
Despite glaring poverty and the high unemployment rate plaguing the village of Ngquthu near Dutywa in the Amathole district in the Eastern Cape, villagers pulled together their resources to refurbish what was once a preschool into a community health facility. The community took their access to healthcare into their own hands after complaints over the long distance and residents who, on the way to the nearest clinic, fell victim to a spate of rapes and muggings. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
Medicine stockouts can have dire consequences. Tendai Mafuma and Ruth Dube look at lessons learnt over the years on how to help prevent medicine stockouts and argue that although the interventions are not new, if implemented it could help solve the vicious cycle of medicine stockouts in the Eastern Cape.
The persistent challenges in public health in the Eastern Cape, highlight the critical role of leadership. Prof Helen Schneider argues if we are to reimagine a future of access, equity and justice in health and health care in the Eastern Cape, we need bottom-up institution-building involving civil society and not just top-down legislative, budgetary and other reforms.
For over 9 million learners across the country, school meals are a lifeline, but this came to a grinding halt during the hard COVID-19 lockdown period. As a result, many learners became dependent on soup kitchens and donations. In the fourth part of a six-part series on child hunger and nutrition, Kathryn Cleary speaks to learners about how they were affected and how some organisations are fighting for improvements.
The dire state of health infrastructure and services in the Eastern Cape has made headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic and triggered promises of government intervention, but in some hospitals those providing and receiving healthcare note little to no improvement. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.