Interview: “I used that anger to feed my activist’s soul,” says former TAC General Secretary

In 2001, at age 22, Vuyiseka Dubula-Majola joined the Treatment Action Campaign in its fight to bring antiretrovirals to South Africa. Today, she walks the streets of Geneva in Switzerland to get to her job as head of the Global Fund’s community, rights and gender department. Biénne Huisman spoke with Dubula-Majola about her remarkable journey, balancing activism with diplomacy, and the struggle “to build and regain the dignity of poor people around the globe”.

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Mabuyane under fire for moving Eastern Cape head of health

Some health activists and health professionals this week slammed as disruptive and nonsensical Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s decision to ‘second’ the head of health in the province, Dr Rolene Wagner, to a special unit in his office. Many have expressed concern over the impact this may have on providing health services, but Mabuyane insists his decision will not impact service delivery. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.

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In-depth: The court ruling that gives qualifying pharmacists the green light to provide HIV and TB meds without a script

Specially trained and accredited pharmacists in South Africa will now be allowed to dispense medicines to prevent HIV and TB and to treat uncomplicated HIV without a doctor’s script. This is because the North Gauteng High Court this week ruled against an application by a private doctors’ association attempting to block the initiative. Catherine Tomlinson unpacks the judgment and rounds up some responses.

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OPINION: How can we make surgical care accessible by drawing on lessons from the AIDS movement?

The quest for access to equitable and quality surgical care for all will not be won only in board rooms, theatres, or hospital corridors. We have to take this quest into communities and build alliances. In that respect, we can learn from one of the best examples of how community participation and mobilisation can help change health policy – the movement to ensure access to affordable and universal anti-retroviral treatment for persons living with HIV, argues Professor Kathryn Chu and Sangeun Lee.

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Editorial: Can health be fixed without fixing politics?

Several provincial health departments have stumbled from crisis to crisis over the last decade with no sign of sustained or meaningful improvement. One reason for this, argues Spotlight editor Marcus Low, is political interference and the cadre deployment and cronyism that usually goes with it. If this is correct, is it realistic to think we can address the dysfunction in our health departments without addressing the politics behind it?

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Patients bear brunt of worsening conditions at some Free State clinics, report shows

A recently published report by the community-led clinic monitoring project, Ritshidze shows that while there have been pockets of improvements at some clinics in the Free State, there are key issues on which facilities’ performance has worsened, especially for people living with HIV. Refilwe Mochoari unpacks the report’s findings zooming in on the situation at Bloemspruit Clinic in Mangaung.

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Ten years later: Reflecting on the successes and challenges at Khayelitsha Hospital

This month, the Khayelitsha District Hospital will celebrate ten years since it opened its doors. Tiyese Jeranji visited the hospital and spoke to the CEO, some staff members, patients, and health stakeholders about the services the hospital provides, its successes and continuing challenges.

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