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.
A pivotal case for access to affordable medicines in South Africa is set to determine whether people in South Africa will be able to get access to breakthrough cystic fibrosis treatments. Aneesa Adams spent some time with a family living with cystic fibrosis to get a sense of what is at stake.
The 11th South African AIDS Conference – the first since COVID-19-related disruptions – kicked off on Tuesday in Durban. This year’s theme is, “Act, Connect and End the Epidemic”. Spotlight summarises some key themes that emerged from the opening ceremony and spoke to some delegates.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a debilitating and often deadly disease. Until recently, the only treatments for its symptoms were difficult to administer and time-consuming. Life-changing new treatments that dramatically improve the prognosis for people with the disease have been developed, but they are expensive and Vertex, the US company making the drugs, has decided against registering the drugs in South Africa. Cheri Nel, a woman living with CF, is now taking Vertex on in a South African court. Catherine Tomlinson unpacks the details.
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.
Staff attitudes and patients complaining of being treated badly by healthcare workers at some clinics in the Eastern Cape were among the issues flagged in the latest report by community-led clinic monitoring group Ritshidze. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
National Health Insurance (NHI) was one of the hot topics at the 2022 Public Health Association of South Africa Conference recently held in Durban. While several speakers and attendees expressed support for the principles underpinning NHI, many also expressed reservations. Elri Voigt assesses what the conference told us about the views of some of South Africa’s public health experts on NHI.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) elected new leadership at its recently held seventh national congress. Thabo Molelekwa attended the congress and asked TAC leaders about the organisation’s focus in 2022 and beyond.
It is estimated that in 2021, around 0.3% of sexually active people in the Western Cape were taking antiretroviral medicines to prevent HIV infection. This is substantially lower than the national estimate of 1%. Elsabé Brits asks why uptake in the Western Cape is lagging behind most other provinces.
Over the last three decades, Dr Fareed Abdullah has been at the coalface of South Africa’s response to HIV, tuberculosis, and more recently, COVID-19. Biénne Huisman chatted with Abdullah about providing antiretrovirals in the time of AIDS denialism, National Health Insurance, working as a medical doctor, and the toll HIV has sadly taken on his own family.
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.
People who belong to key populations, such as men who have sex with men, often report that it is difficult for them to access health services – for example, due to negative healthcare worker attitudes. Now, a large survey published last week by community healthcare monitoring group Ritshidze provides important statistics that not only confirm that such experiences are widespread but also help in pinning down some specific issues. Tiyese Jeranji reports.