In-depth: SA’s mental health policy has lapsed, what happens next?

In-depth: SA’s mental health policy has lapsed, what happens next?

Once widely hailed, South Africa’s Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan 2013 – 2020 lapsed last year, with mixed reviews on its implementation from mental healthcare stakeholders. The National Department of Health now says the revised and updated Policy Framework and Plan will be in place in the next financial year. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to experts and activists about what the lapsed policy framework achieved and what to improve.

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Opinion: Climate emergency risks becoming a mental health emergency

Opinion: Climate emergency risks becoming a mental health emergency

Studies have shown that the rate of mental health problems, such as suicidality, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress, increase after natural disasters. Mbalenhle Baduza unpacks the findings of a recent report by the Centre for Environmental Rights on the psychological and mental health consequences of climate change in South Africa.

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Ageing nurses: A crisis on the horizon

Ageing nurses: A crisis on the horizon

Nurses make up a large part of the healthcare workforce in South Africa, but almost half of them are set to retire in the next 15 years. This suggests existing shortages of nurses will become even greater unless we take concrete steps to boost nurse training and retention. Elna Schütz reports.

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COVID-19: Unpacking North West’s low vaccination numbers

COVID-19: Unpacking North West’s low vaccination numbers

The North West has passed the one million mark for COVID-19 jabs administered. Nthusang Lefafa unpacks the vaccination numbers, reasons for the province having some of the lowest vaccination numbers in the country, and how it is working to catch up.

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Transport issues putting brakes on vaccination efforts in rural Free State

Transport issues putting brakes on vaccination efforts in rural Free State

In the Free State as a whole, roughly 16 COVID-19 jabs have been administered for every 100 people. In the province’s rural districts, the number is closer to one for every 100. Refilwe Mochoari spoke to a nursing union, some organisations on the ground, and the Free State Department of Health to get the full picture.

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COVID-19: A frontline view of vaccination efforts in the rural Eastern Cape

COVID-19: A frontline view of vaccination efforts in the rural Eastern Cape

By 13 June official statistics from the Department of Health showed 382 255 people 60 years and older in the Eastern Cape registered for COVID-19 vaccination. So far, 114 661 of them received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Luvuyo Mehlwana visited some rural areas to see how registration and vaccination are going.

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Oral Health: Dire shortage of dental practitioners in public sector

Oral Health: Dire shortage of dental practitioners in public sector

Oral health is critical to people’s overall health, but a dire shortage of oral health practitioners in the public health sector means that many people are not getting the oral healthcare services they need. Luvuyo Mehlwana spoke to health officials and oral health experts about the state of oral health services in the country.

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Hope in the Eastern Cape: A doctor reflects on the turnaround at Madwaleni Hospital

Hope in the Eastern Cape: A doctor reflects on the turnaround at Madwaleni Hospital

At Madwaleni Hospital in the rural Eastern Cape, vaccinations of health workers were set to start this week. However, steering this rural hospital to this point through a global pandemic, had its challenges. Bienne Huisman spoke to one doctor about how they made it through the first and second waves of the pandemic.

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Opinion: President Ramaphosa, we still don’t have ambulances in Xhora Mouth

Opinion: President Ramaphosa, we still don’t have ambulances in Xhora Mouth

Six years after the South African Human Rights Commission held hearings into access to emergency medical services in the Eastern Cape little has changed for the people of Xhora Mouth, writes Phumzile Msaro.

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Navigating abortion barriers in rural areas

Navigating abortion barriers in rural areas

Among several significant barriers to accessing abortion services, experts cite a lack of management support at health facilities, costs, fear of breach of confidentiality and stigma. Many of these barriers are compounded in rural areas. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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Eastern Cape: Questions over vaccine readiness in rural areas

Eastern Cape: Questions over vaccine readiness in rural areas

The shortcomings of healthcare services in the rural Eastern Cape is well documented. Now, with provinces gearing up for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Luvuyo Mehlwana asked local health activists and government leaders about the rollout plan for rural communities in the province.

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HIV in Umkhanyakude: Impressive numbers, but living with HIV difficult amid socio-economic hardship

HIV in Umkhanyakude: Impressive numbers, but living with HIV difficult amid socio-economic hardship

Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikhalala praised the Umkhanyakude District recently on its ‘exceptional’ figures in meeting the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. Yet, when Spotlight recently visited the Jozini area, we were confronted with a less rosy picture. Some people stopped their HIV treatment because they do not have food to eat, and activists now warn that the progress with the targets can be derailed if poverty, hunger and other social determinants of health are not urgently and comprehensively addressed. Nomfundo Xolo reports.

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