Once South Africa had closed the door on state-sponsored AIDS denialism in 2008, a critical question was how to offer HIV treatment to as many eligible people as possible as quickly as possible. Given that the health system did not have enough doctors for the job, it was decided in 2010 to rope in nurses to help out. Tiyese Jeranji asks where things stand with Nurse Initiated and Managed Antiretroviral treatment (NIMART) 13 years later.
For decades, most stories from Cape Town’s District Six started with – “I was born at Peninsula Maternity Hospital!” The Peninsula Maternity Hospital was established in 1921 as a training hospital specialising in midwifery. It closed down in 1992. On the day of its closure, a group of nurses climbed up to the hospital’s roof to take a last look at Table Mountain and the surrounds where they served so many. Among them was sister Patience Watlington, or Sr Wattie, as many referred to her. Biénne Huisman sat down with the 80-year-old nursing veteran as she reflected on life as a midwife in District Six.
Nurse shortages and issues with the training of nurses have been making headlines in recent weeks, with some referring to a ‘nursing crisis’ in South Africa. After attending a recent conference hosted by the South African Nursing Council, Thabo Molelekwa dug deeper in search of clarity on where the bottlenecks are and what can be done about them.
Much of South Africa’s public health sector is plagued by long waiting times for surgery, a situation that was made much worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, an inspiring project at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town has reached its target of slashing its backlog by 1 500 surgeries. Elri Voigt reports.
There are serious concerns over the safety of health workers at public health facilities in the Eastern Cape, with some healthcare workers saying they are scared to go to work. Although the provincial health department says it shares this concern, the department remains tight-lipped over its plans and the relevant security contracts. Luvuyo Mehlwana spoke to union representatives, healthcare workers, and some security personnel about the situation.
In August 2021, the South African Pharmacy Council published legislation in the Government Gazette to enable pharmacists to prescribe and dispense antiretroviral medicines for the treatment and prevention of HIV. A legal challenge then put the brakes on the initiative and the courts are now set to decide whether it can continue. Catherine Tomlinson reports.
May 5th is International Day of the Midwife. Ufrieda Ho chatted to the remarkable nurse and midwife Boitumelo Motsei about her 37 years working in healthcare and why she still has hope for the nursing profession.
The uptake and continuation of tuberculosis preventive therapy were much higher when it was provided through a community-based model compared to the standard clinic-based model, a study conducted in KwaZulu-Natal found. Elri Voigt unpacks the study findings, which were recently presented at the Conference for Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, USA.
Fiery nurse activist Fikile Dikolomela-Lengene says she has had a front-row seat to corruption unfolding in Gauteng’s public health sector and she is not afraid to speak out. Biénne Huisman chatted to Dikomela-Lengene, who calls herself ‘Sr Fikx’ because she wants to influence change in the public health sector.
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.
In July this year temperatures in some parts of the Free State dropped as low as minus 8 degrees Celsius while in some hospitals patients were told to bring their own blankets or brace the cold without. Although the provincial health department denies any linen and blanket shortages, Refilwe Mochoari found patients who say otherwise.