Women in health: Mlisana on science and co-chairing SA’s COVID-19 MAC

Women in health: Mlisana on science and co-chairing SA’s COVID-19 MAC

Professor Koleka Mlisana is co-chair of South Africa’s COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee. Ufrieda Ho interviewed her about her love of science, her career, and her role in the fight against COVID-19.

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Spotlight on Women in Health

Spotlight on Women in Health

In 1947 the first black woman qualified as a doctor in South Africa. Her name was Mary Malahlela-Xakana. It took the country about 60 years after its first black male doctor started practicing for Malahlela-Xakana to don her stethoscope and practice medicine. Much, but not enough has changed since then, writes Alicestine October.

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Assessing Dr Zweli Mkhize’s two years as Health Minister

Assessing Dr Zweli Mkhize’s two years as Health Minister

Last night President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Dr Zweli Mkhize had resigned as South Africa’s Minister of Health after eight weeks on special leave. Although Mkhize will primarily be remembered for the Digital Vibes scandal that caused his downfall, a lot more happened over the last two years. Spotlight editor Marcus Low asks what we can learn from Mkhize’s time as health minister and tries to make sense of some of the contradictions.

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COVID-19 and HIV: What we can learn from a new WHO report

COVID-19 and HIV: What we can learn from a new WHO report

The risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 is 30% greater in people living with HIV compared to those who are HIV negative, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Comprised of data from 37 countries, including South Africa, the report suggests people living with HIV should be prioritised for vaccination. Laura Owings reports.

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Blow to Health Professions Council as new registrar faces serious charges

Blow to Health Professions Council as new registrar faces serious charges

The already battered image of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has taken another blow with its recently appointed registrar Dr David Motau this week appearing in court in connection with alleged corrupt payments amounting to R8.7 million relating to his time as head of the Free State Health Department. Ufrieda Ho reports.

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What they say: Community perspectives on health services in the Eastern Cape

What they say: Community perspectives on health services in the Eastern Cape

After making damning findings on the conditions of some Eastern Cape Hospitals, the Deputy Public Protector recommended several changes the provincial health department had to implement within 60 days. The report was published on 30 June this year. Halfway through the 60 days, people still have mixed feelings about their hospital visits and the provincial health department has little to say about what they’ve done to implement the recommended changes.

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In-depth: SA’s perennial problems with placing community service doctors

In-depth: SA’s perennial problems with placing community service doctors

Troubles regarding the placement of community service doctors have made headlines once again this year, as it seems to do most years. The structural roots of these problems are long-standing and complex. Elna Schütz unpacks the complexities and talks to role-players about possible solutions.

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COVID-19: Crisp on the challenges with SA’s vaccine rollout

COVID-19: Crisp on the challenges with SA’s vaccine rollout

Dr Nicholas Crisp is a deputy director-general in the National Department of Health and the person responsible for coordinating South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Crisp spoke to Chris Bateman about challenges with the rollout and his wife and daughters getting sick with COVID-19.

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COVID-19: Jabs for most pregnant women more than a month away

COVID-19: Jabs for most pregnant women more than a month away

Most pregnant women in South Africa will have to wait at least another month for a potentially life-saving COVID-19 jab. Chris Bateman takes a look at what we do and do not know about COVID-19 and its impact on pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant, and when it is safest for such women to get vaccinated.

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Efforts to vaccinate the homeless stumbling over red tape

Efforts to vaccinate the homeless stumbling over red tape

South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination programme currently requires that people enter an identity number when registering on government’s electronic system and present an identity document when they go to get jabbed. This makes it hard for homeless people without IDs to get vaccinated. Siyabonga Kamnqa reports from the streets of Cape Town.

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In-depth: SA pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe HIV treatment

In-depth: SA pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe HIV treatment

In what Spotlight understands to be a world-first, South Africa is on the brink of allowing pharmacists with the required permits to prescribe HIV medicines without people first having to get a script from a doctor or nurse. Catherine Tomlinson investigates how it will work and why it may be just the boost the country’s HIV response needs.

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Important TB drug as effective at lower dose, study finds

Important TB drug as effective at lower dose, study finds

The treatment of drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis has been transformed over the last decade with treatment becoming more effective, safer, and treatment duration in many cases dropping to under a year. Even so, treatment can still come with serious side effects and for some, it can still last over a year and a half. In a finding that may help further reduce side effects, new research has found that the dosage of a key drug can be lowered without compromising how well it works. Tiyese Jeranji and Marcus Low report.

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