In-depth: The state of congenital syphilis in SA

In-depth: The state of congenital syphilis in SA

Over the last few years reported cases of congenital syphilis in South Africa have increased. This, accompanied by little or lack of notification, makes its management a challenge. Tiyese Jeranji reports on what congenital syphilis is, its management as well as gaps in management.

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In Focus: Global strategy to end Cryptococcal Meningitis in people living with HIV

In Focus: Global strategy to end Cryptococcal Meningitis in people living with HIV

Cryptococcal meningitis is the second biggest killer of people living with HIV after tuberculosis (TB). Now, a global initiative, the Ending Cryptococcal Meningitis Deaths by 2030 Strategic Framework aims to get the gold standard drug to treat cryptococcal meningitis – flucytosine – registered in countries that need it. Amy Green reports.

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Trial of potentially variant-proof vaccine ongoing in Western Cape

Trial of potentially variant-proof vaccine ongoing in Western Cape

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine currently in Phase I trials being run by the University of Cape Town has a unique design that might allow it to offer better protection against current and future variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Elri Voigt provides an update on the trial and unpacks the science behind this vaccine candidate.

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COVID-19: What is the correct way to report vaccine-related adverse events?

COVID-19: What is the correct way to report vaccine-related adverse events?

Phase two of South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is underway and members of the public are being asked to report any mild, moderate or severe adverse events experienced after receiving their jabs. Adele Baleta explains what the correct way is to report adverse events after vaccination.

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How vaccine safety is monitored in SA

How vaccine safety is monitored in SA

Strict monitoring and surveillance systems for the safety of all vaccines, including those for COVID-19, are in place during vaccine trials as well as once vaccines are rolled out more widely. Adele Baleta takes a look at how vaccine-related adverse events are monitored in South Africa.

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Opinion: Pivot to J&J vaccine makes sense in light of new findings

Opinion: Pivot to J&J vaccine makes sense in light of new findings

Government deserves criticism for various aspects of its COVID-19 response, but some social media criticism following Sunday’s announcement that the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine has little or no efficacy in preventing mild-to-moderate disease caused by the 501Y.V2 variant has been unfair, writes Marcus Low.

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Analysis: SAHPRA decision on ivermectin shifts heavy responsibility to doctors

Analysis: SAHPRA decision on ivermectin shifts heavy responsibility to doctors

In allowing section 21 applications as part of a controlled compassionate access programme, SAHPRA has essentially shifted the responsibility for deciding whether the anti-parasitic ivermectin is safe and effective enough to be used in the treatment of COVID-19 to doctors. This places an enormous responsibility on doctors, writes Adele Baleta.

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In-depth: After a rough 17 years, is Biovac finally on track?

In-depth: After a rough 17 years, is Biovac finally on track?

South Africa has struggled to secure adequate stock of urgently needed COVID-19 vaccines. This has raised questions about the state of the country’s local vaccine manufacturing capacity and why, after almost two decades of government support, South Africa’s partially state-owned vaccine manufacturer Biovac is not better positioned to respond to the pandemic. Catherine Tomlinson investigates.

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COVID-19: Millions of injection devices will be needed for vaccines

COVID-19: Millions of injection devices will be needed for vaccines

The delivery of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available in South Africa will be a complex and costly logistical exercise. Acquiring enough injection devices is part of crucial logistical planning to ensure rapid, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Adele Baleta reports.

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New medicines should make life easier for kids living with HIV

New medicines should make life easier for kids living with HIV

HIV medicines for children often taste bitter, pills are large, and for many children there is a lot of medication to take. This makes it hard to take treatment as prescribed. Tiyese Jeranji looks at the challenges with currently available HIV medicines for children, what innovations are in the pipeline, and how HIV treatment is being tailored to suit the needs of children.

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IN-DEPTH: Vaginal ring ushers in new era in HIV prevention

IN-DEPTH: Vaginal ring ushers in new era in HIV prevention

A recent announcement about a vaginal ring to prevent HIV has AIDS activists and women’s sexual and reproductive health advocates excited. But where would this ring fit in South Africa’s HIV prevention programme? Amy Green investigates.

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Opinion: Despite significant challenges, SAHPRA is on the right track

Opinion: Despite significant challenges, SAHPRA is on the right track

Recently the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority was criticised for not approving laboratory-based SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests. Spotlight Editor Marcus Low argues that despite the regulator’s capacity constraints, its flexible conservatism is something to be grateful for.

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