The Gauteng Department of Health has struggled this year to ensure that patients in the province’s hospitals always have the food they need. Now a decision to source food for Gauteng hospitals via a government contract in Limpopo is raising eyebrows. Thabo Molelekwa reports.
Mary Selona, a community activist who heads up the Blood River Advice Centre in Limpopo, is putting women at the centre in her quest for social justice. Whether it is intervening when women are refused PrEP at clinics or in more immediate life-threatening situations relating to gender-based violence, Selona is leading from the front. Ufrieda Ho spoke to her as part of Spotlight’s Women in Health series.
Limpopo has consistently been one of South Africa’s leading provinces when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, outshining some larger and less rural provinces such as Gauteng. Mogale Mojela visited some vaccination sites and spoke to the Limpopo health department and other stakeholders about their approach to getting people jabbed.
Many clinics in Limpopo are operating without the required number of staff needed to deliver quality healthcare services, according to a report from Ritshidze, a community healthcare monitoring project. Activists say these staff shortages contribute to long waiting times for patients and overworked staff – which can ultimately undermine the province’s HIV programme.
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.
If South Africa is forced to go into a COVID-19 lockdown again, HIV support groups and adherence clubs should remain functional to make sure that everyone is supported, has regular access to information and treatment, and that people are motivated to adhere to treatment, argue Annah Maluleke and Solanga Milambo.