Lead poisoning part 2: Scientists find toxic metals in kitchenware

In part one of this Spotlight special series on lead poisoning, Jesse Copelyn explored new research suggesting that lead exposure is far more damaging to cardiovascular health than previously estimated. In part two, he takes a look at the sources of lead poisoning in South Africa, where the metal has been found in products ranging from cooking pots to serving plates.

Read More

Arsenic-contaminated drinking water found in two SA villages: scientists blame government mismanagement 

A study published in April this year found that residents across two villages in Limpopo’s Giyani local municipality have dangerous amounts of arsenic in their drinking water. Attempts to improve access to safe water in the area appear to have been derailed by alleged corruption. Jesse Copelyn unpacks the risks of excessive arsenic exposure and what is known about the alleged corruption in Giyani.

Read More

90-60-50: Can SA meet its diabetes targets, and would we know if we do?

Diabetes rates in South Africa are anticipated to keep rising in the coming years as the country’s health burden slowly shifts away from infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis toward non-communicable diseases. The relevant government strategy sets three key diabetes targets. Elri Voigt spoke to several local experts about these targets and South Africa’s prospects of meeting them.

Read More

Face to Face: Professor Soraya Seedat on the ‘workings of the brain’ and the realities of psychiatry in SA

Professor Soraya Seedat is a distinguished professor and head of Stellenbosch University’s psychiatry department. She has penned several hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on psychiatric disorders, with a focus on PTSD and anxiety, particularly among children and in resource-constrained settings. Biénne Huisman sat down with her to talk about her work, what drives her, and maintaining a work-life equilibrium.

Read More

FACE TO FACE: Prof Naeemah Abrahams on breaking feminist stereotypes and “fighting through research and analyses”

Professor Naeemah Abrahams, who heads the SAMRC’s Gender and Health Unit has been working in the field of gender-based violence (GBV) for thirty years. Activism always underpinned her research, which has focused on post-rape care, intimate partner femicide, and the interface between GBV and HIV. Biénne Huisman sat down with her to talk about her work, her feminism, and getting men to interrogate their perceptions of masculinity.

Read More

INTERVIEW:  Being a good doctor requires empathy, says outgoing health ombud Prof Malegapuru Makgoba

South Africa’s health ombud Professor Malegapuru Makgoba’s tenure as ombud will end at the end of May. Bienne Huisman spoke to him about headline-making investigations into the Life Esidemeni tragedy and conditions at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, his childhood in Limpopo, and how he side-stepped former President Nelson Mandela’s invitation to join the African National Congress.

Read More

Face to face: Prof Muki Shey on his journey from Cameroon to doing cutting-edge TB research

On 9 March, Professor Muki Shey received a silver award from the South African Medical Research Council for his “outstanding contribution to health research”. Shey is spearheading research into TB in healthcare workers from around Cape Town, scanning for those who over at least five years of high exposure to the disease at hospitals or clinics have never been infected. Biénne Huisman spoke to him about his journey from the North West of Cameroon to a lab at UCT and the value of ploughing back to help develop the next generation.

Read More

1 2 3 5