The South African TB Recovery Plan was developed to try and reverse the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s TB response. On World TB Day, authors from TB Proof (a leading TB activist group) assess how the recovery is going and identify four key areas where further intervention is needed.
For businesses and households that can afford it, solar panels and batteries offer a way to keep the lights on during South Africa’s ongoing bouts of loadshedding. Such technologies may also offer a solution for healthcare facilities, where a reliable energy supply can be a matter of life and death. Nthusang Lefafa spoke to stakeholders and experts in the public and private health sectors about the promise of solar energy to mitigate the impact of loadshedding on health services.
Investment in public health facilities is crucial as the country weathers storms on various fronts – from drought (water shortages) and flooding putting strain on health infrastructure to a harsh economic climate that makes private healthcare unaffordable to more and more people. Mbali Baduza and Matshidiso Lencoasa assess the investments in infrastructure in the budget and what it means for the planned National Health Insurance system.
Budgets, while important, are not the right mechanism to drive the structural change needed to improve the responsiveness of our public health system in meeting the needs of the population. But, argues Russel Rensburg, we can reorient the health system towards meeting the health needs of the population and then let the budget bolster the reforms. Here he provides some suggestions on how to go about it and contrasts that with the budget announced by Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana this week.
Health budgets have the power to advance access to healthcare for millions of people in South Africa. This year, however, as the health sector and the economy recovered from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a volatile global environment, the South African government missed opportunities to provide the financial resources to protect access to healthcare for the most vulnerable. Matshidiso Lencoasa unpacks how the past year’s budget choices will affect key public health services.
Antibiotics play a vital role in the management of bacterial infections, reducing illness, and preventing many deaths. A 2011 report from the UK estimated that they have increased life expectancy by 20 years. However, the extensive use of antibiotics has resulted in drug resistance that threatens to reverse their life-saving power and if the situation is not reversed, it has been estimated that by 2050 as many as 10 million people will die annually of drug-resistant infections. Tiyese Jeranji looks at how antimicrobial resistance plays out in South Africa and the role of pharmacists in the fight against it.
The position of MEC for Health in Gauteng is one of the most important, and probably one of the toughest jobs in public sector health governance in South Africa. Spotlight sent ten questions to the new Gauteng MEC for Health Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko. Here are her answers.
Despite some interventions by Mpumalanga’s health department, a litany of challenges at Mpumalanga hospitals continue to hamstrung quality patient care in the province. Nthusang Lefafa explores these challenges and asked the health department what is being done to address them.
In South Africa, a newly qualified professional nurse often has great difficulties when entering the clinical practice after completion of their studies. By applying a preceptorship model, newly qualified nurses may experience a positive transition period, improving their clinical competence, argues Warriodene Hansen.
The worsening climate crisis poses a threat to women and girls and their access to healthcare in the country. Matshidiso Lencoasa argues that although the ongoing climate crisis is daunting, it can serve as an opportunity for budgeting and policy-making processes to centre the most vulnerable and protect women’s right to healthcare.
Dr Daphney Conco is passionate about sexual and reproductive health rights – access to abortion in particular – and that is why she is now at the forefront of research on access to abortion services in South Africa. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to her about her work, her passion for research, and how as a little girl in rural KwaZulu-Natal she dreamed of wearing a graduation gown.
It is estimated that around half of medical negligence claims against the South African government are cerebral palsy-type claims. Apart from the direct impact on infants and families, cerebral palsy thus also has a major impact on health budgets. In this second article in a two-part series, Elri Voigt asks what can be done to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy in the country. In part 1 we looked at what we know about cerebral palsy in South Africa.