Mental health: Are medicine shortages fuelling a shadow epidemic?

Mental health: Are medicine shortages fuelling a shadow epidemic?

Almost half of the most commonly used medications to treat mental illness in South Africa were out of stock in August, and many have been in short supply since March. Now, experts warn that amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation could see a “shadow epidemic” of psychiatric illness. Laura Lopez Gonzalez investigates.

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The dreadful effects of lockdown on access to sexual and reproductive health services

The dreadful effects of lockdown on access to sexual and reproductive health services

Under COVID-19 lockdowns in South Africa and elsewhere, many public services have been interrupted, including sexual and reproductive health services. Thuthukile Mbatha considers the heavy toll these interruptions have taken on people’s lives.

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Fear of COVID-19 has caused major disruption to healthcare, new data shows

Fear of COVID-19 has caused major disruption to healthcare, new data shows

New data points to fears of contracting COVID-19 at congested health facilities as the primary reason for people not seeking needed care and defaulting on their chronic medication, including HIV treatment. Amy Green reports.

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ANALYSIS: Has administration rehabilitated the North West Health Department?

ANALYSIS: Has administration rehabilitated the North West Health Department?

The recent suspension of Professor Ebrahim Variava and the subsequent lifting of his suspension briefly placed the North West Department of Health in the national spotlight – a department that has been under administration for over two years. Marcus Low asks whether the latest developments are just a blip on the department’s road to recovery, or are they symptomatic of still deeply entrenched dysfunction.

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COVID-19: Pandemic puts pressure on medicine supply

COVID-19: Pandemic puts pressure on medicine supply

Reports of drug shortages and stock-outs across South Africa have the Department of Health in a race against the clock to ensure a supply of essential medicines. With manufacturing operations around the world still facing issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is battling to meet the demand for contraceptives, tuberculosis medicines and psychiatric medicines.

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