In-depth: Dirty laundry at Eastern Cape hospitals and the plan to deal with it

Some staff members at Livingstone Hospital in the Eastern Cape say old laundry machines and staff shortages are creating backlogs in getting clean linen, towels, and hospital gowns to patients. Patients, in turn, say they have to sleep on bare and soiled mattresses often with no bedding or dirty linen. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports on the situation, its implications for infection control, and the province’s plans to deal with it.

Read More

In-depth: Millions spent on security at Gauteng health facilities but concerns remain

The Gauteng Department of Health annually spends millions on security at its health facilities based on contracts that expired in 2016 and that since have been extended from month to month. Yet, theft, vandalism, and reports of healthcare workers who work in fear at some health facilities continue. Despite this, the department insists that spending on security is not wasteful and “the business case for security remains robust”. Thabo Molelekwa and Alicestine October reports.

Read More

COVID-19: What tests are available in SA and which ones to use?

The different types of COVID-19 tests are far from equal. Picking a test is generally a matter of speed versus accuracy and, most importantly, why you need a test and when. What are the limitations of these tests? Is there any quality control? What are the chances of false positives and false negatives? Elsabé Brits surveys the landscape of tests available in South Africa and asks which type is most appropriate in what situation.

Read More

A convenient untruth: The TB Proof healthcare worker

We were told the planned release date for an occupational health policy to protect healthcare workers was World tuberculosis Day, 24 March 2017. Three World TB Days later and with a new epidemic claiming the lives of healthcare workers we are still waiting for the policy, writes Dr Arne von Delft.

Read More

COVID-19 “She said goodbye to me in her way”

By last week 1 010 public sector healthcare workers in the Western Cape had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of these six had passed away of COVID-19. Anncha Kepkey, a nurse at Tygerberg Hospital, is among those who died. Biénne Huisman spoke to her husband about who Anncha was and what happened in the last days of her life.

Read More