In Focus: Water shortages in parts of Free State affecting health services

In Focus: Water shortages in parts of Free State affecting health services

Qwaqwa, situated in the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality is close to the Sterkfontein Dam, which is one of the four biggest dams in the country. Yet, hospitals and clinics in and around Qwaqwa have for years struggled with dirty water, dry taps, and constant water interruptions. Refilwe Mochoari reports.

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Healthcare workers in the third wave: “We are living in the shadows of death”

Healthcare workers in the third wave: “We are living in the shadows of death”

It’s been over a year since COVID-19 first hit South Africa. Since then, many people have been living in constant fear and many have lost loved ones. Frontline healthcare workers had no choice but to face their fears if they were to keep doing the life-saving work they were trained for. Amy Green and colleagues explore the emotional toll that South Africa’s third wave of COVID-19 is taking on healthcare workers.

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IN-FOCUS: How to protect hospitalised infants from dangerous germs

IN-FOCUS: How to protect hospitalised infants from dangerous germs

Outbreaks of hospital-acquired infections such as Klebsiella have claimed the lives of infants and made headlines on a number of occasions over the last decade. Tiyese Jeranji looks at how the germs involved spread, how common these infections are, and what can be done to prevent outbreaks.

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OPINION: Without contraception, Limpopo women’s rights are being violated

OPINION: Without contraception, Limpopo women’s rights are being violated

The ongoing stockouts of contraceptives grossly violate individuals’ and couples’ reproductive rights but alternative measures have not been put in place. If the issues of access to contraceptives are not dealt with, the country will face a baby boom and a rise in HIV infections at the end of the current pandemic writes Thuthukile Mbatha and Annah Maluleke.

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In-depth: What South Africa’s power cuts mean for health facilities

In-depth: What South Africa’s power cuts mean for health facilities

Every now and again people in South Africa have to endure a few weeks of mostly scheduled power cuts. Because power cuts can be deadly in hospitals, most facilities have backup systems in place. Tiyese Jeranji investigates how it all works and what safeguards are in place to prevent the lights from going out while you are on the theatre table.

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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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What is behind Gauteng’s shocking serious adverse event numbers?

What is behind Gauteng’s shocking serious adverse event numbers?

Rates of Serious Adverse Events that result in unintended harm to patients are disturbingly high in Gauteng public hospitals. Thabo Molelekwa spoke to health activists and government to see what is at the root of these risks to patient safety and what is done to curb it.

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Opinion: Getting people out of the clinic can support HIV treatment adherence

Opinion: Getting people out of the clinic can support HIV treatment adherence

The growing crisis in many of South Africa’s clinics has reached a point where patient care is being compromised and there is a deepening worry that people living with HIV are being pushed out of treatment, argues Anele Yawa and Lotti Rutter. In this op-ed, they ask whether repeat prescription collection strategies are simpler and quicker than waiting in long clinic queues.

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Opinion: Six ways clinics can help turn the tide on TB infection

Opinion: Six ways clinics can help turn the tide on TB infection

Six simple interventions are at the heart of how clinics can be part of turning the tide on TB infection. By following a checklist of good practice, clinics can be safer for patients and staff. However, most clinics are failing to implement enough of these measures, putting people at risk of getting TB while waiting at the clinic, argues representatives from the community clinic monitoring group Ritshidze.

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Opinion: Treat us better if you want us to keep coming back

Opinion: Treat us better if you want us to keep coming back

People who miss appointments or stop taking their treatment often report being treated badly by healthcare workers when they return to health facilities. This fear of being reprimanded discourages people from going back to the clinic to seek support and receive their treatment, argues Bellinda Setshogelo and Sibongile Tshabalala.

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EMS and clinic woes continue for the people of Xhora Mouth in Eastern Cape

EMS and clinic woes continue for the people of Xhora Mouth in Eastern Cape

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.

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Opinion: What PPE graft means for NHI

Opinion: What PPE graft means for NHI

Even as the need for a more equitable health system is being demonstrated, news has broken of large-scale corruption in the procurement of PPE. This makes it difficult for a population worn down by corruption to envisage the transformation of the health system into a system of contracting and procurement under National Health Insurance, writes Sasha Stevenson.

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