Opinion: WHO numbers underscore urgent need for stronger leadership and ambitious TB recovery plan

Opinion: WHO numbers underscore urgent need for stronger leadership and ambitious TB recovery plan

According to new estimates from the World Health Organization around 61 000 people died of TB in South Africa in 2020, an increase of around 5% over 2019. That works out to over 1 100 TB deaths in the country every week. We urgently need a transparent TB recovery plan and we need both President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Joe Phaahla to invest real political capital in the implementation of the plan, the authors argue.

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Research round-up: 7 new HIV prevention options in the pipeline

Research round-up: 7 new HIV prevention options in the pipeline

One of the most vibrant areas of HIV research these days is the search for new, more convenient ways to use antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) to prevent HIV infection. Elri Voigt rounds up the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) research presented at the recent International AIDS Society Conference, including a biodegradable antiretroviral implant.

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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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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: Why is there hardly any flu in SA this year?

In-depth: Why is there hardly any flu in SA this year?

While COVID-19 cases are surging in South Africa off the back of the dominant Delta variant, the flu virus has virtually vanished. Only 50 influenza cases have been detected so far this year through the country’s influenza monitoring system. Adele Baleta unpacks what is going on.

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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: Could community health workers be the answer to reducing Tuberculosis stigma?

Opinion: Could community health workers be the answer to reducing Tuberculosis stigma?

Tuberculosis stigma thrives when TB is spoken about in hushed whispers, or behind closed doors. The truth is anyone who breathes can get TB as it is an airborne disease like COVID-19. We can all reduce the harmful effect of TB stigma in our communities by taking part in activities that break down false and unfair attitudes towards people with TB. Community health workers are leading the way and deserve more support, write authors from TB Proof.

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COVID-19: “When will it end? I wish it would happen tomorrow” – Gauteng GP

COVID-19: “When will it end? I wish it would happen tomorrow” – Gauteng GP

For Dr Yakub Essack, a GP in Gauteng, the long workdays have become even longer as GPs become a vital pillar for managing COVID-19 patients in their homes for as long as possible to free up hospital beds during Gauteng’s third wave. Ufrieda Ho reports.

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COVID-19: Eight common questions answered about the Delta variant

COVID-19: Eight common questions answered about the Delta variant

The new and more contagious Delta variant has now surpassed the Beta variant to become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in South Africa. Laura Lopez Gonzalez pulled together answers to eight common questions asked about this new variant.

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In-depth: How can we improve ventilation to prevent COVID-19 and TB?

In-depth: How can we improve ventilation to prevent COVID-19 and TB?

Ventilation plays an important role in preventing the transmission of airborne diseases but currently, ventilation standards for buildings are focused on preventing odours in spaces, instead of preventing disease transmission. Elri Voigt spoke to two experts about the role of ventilation in the transmission of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and COVID-19 and what can be done to improve ventilation in buildings.

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COVID-19: Numbers escalating in Free State schools

COVID-19: Numbers escalating in Free State schools

While it is uncertain when teachers in the Free State will receive vaccinations during this third wave, the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the province’s schools continues to increase. Refilwe Mochoari reports.

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Like a “blanket of fatigue” – Inside Groote Schuur’s long-COVID clinic

Like a “blanket of fatigue” – Inside Groote Schuur’s long-COVID clinic

As a third wave of COVID-19 looms in the Western Cape, a group of doctors at Groote Schuur Hospital’s Post-COVID-19 Lung Disease Clinic are treating patients who have recovered from COVID-19 but who suffer lingering symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Bienne Huisman paid them a visit.

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