After various delays and setbacks, a new, less toxic, short-course tuberculosis preventive therapy called 3HP is finally being launched in six districts in South Africa. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
Treating highly drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis can take anything from nine to 24 months and patients have to contend with various unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous, side effects. A new six-month regimen made up of just three drugs that will be offered to 400 patients in South Africa might offer a better solution for some. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
A study published in the Lancet medical journal confirms that the health effects of COVID-19 can linger months after someone has ‘recovered’. Kathryn Cleary asked local experts about the underlying science and whether the South African public healthcare system is ready for so-called long-COVID.
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.
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.
While high-flow nasal oxygen has been one of the success stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not always enough. Sometimes more invasive mechanical ventilation is required. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Professor Ross Hofmeyr on what mechanical ventilation entails and the measures his team at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town have employed to successfully manage these critical COVID-19 cases.
In his illustrious career, Broadhurst (Broadness) Cona, learnt to fight hard on the rugby field and never gave up until the final whistle. It is this same spirit that Cona brought to another fight – surviving COVID-19 as a 73-year-old. Siyabonga Kamnqa paid Cona a visit.
The COVID-19 epidemic in the Western Cape is at least a few weeks ahead of that in South Africa’s other provinces. Some leading doctors in the province have shared some key lessons learned in recent months.
Doctors at two of the Western Cape’s most severely impacted COVID-19 hospitals say they have seen positive outcomes from using high-flow nasal oxygen instead of invasive mechanical ventilation. Kathryn Cleary asked doctors at these hospitals to explain how and why this kind of oxygen therapy works so well.
Health and safety officers play a critical role in keeping hospitals safe. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Jan Engelbrecht, a health and safety officer at Groote Schuur Hospital where 69 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.