COVID-19: Second wave was “like a tsunami”, reflects Tygerberg doctor

COVID-19: Second wave was “like a tsunami”, reflects Tygerberg doctor

Spotlight first interviewed physician and infectious diseases specialist Dr Arifa Parker in May last year as South Africa’s first wave of COVID-19 was building up. Eleven very difficult months later, Bienne Huisman checks in with Parker to hear how things are going on the frontlines at Tygerberg Hospital.

Read More

Rolling out the vaccine: Provincial plans compared

Rolling out the vaccine: Provincial plans compared

Provinces manage the day-to-day running of the public healthcare system in South Africa and provinces will be responsible for the massive logistical effort of getting COVID-19 vaccines from fridges and depots into people’s arms. Elri Voigt has been keeping track of the nine provinces’ plans.

Read More

Cancer care in the public sector: Are things getting better?

Cancer care in the public sector: Are things getting better?

Three years ago, public sector cancer services made headlines for failing patients in multiple provinces. A few government interventions later, experts say there have been improvements, but significant issues remain. Elna Schütz reports.

Read More

COVID-19: Robot Quintin connects patients in ICU with loved ones

COVID-19: Robot Quintin connects patients in ICU with loved ones

At Cape Town’s Tygerberg Hospital, a robot named Quintin played its part in the fight to save Nceba Simayile’s life as he lay intubated on a ventilator, struggling to breathe. Biénne Huisman reports.

Read More

COVID-19: How provinces are catching up on elective procedures

COVID-19: How provinces are catching up on elective procedures

As South Africa prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals had to come up with plans to deal with the expected influx of COVID-19 patients. Part of this plan was that hospitals would minimise or temporarily put elective procedures on hold. Now, with the country at alert level 1 of its lockdown, Tiyese Jeranji looks at how four provinces are again phasing in elective procedures.

Read More

COVID-19: SA doctors were ready for multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children

COVID-19: SA doctors were ready for multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children

The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Tuesday declared multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) a Notifiable Medical Condition. Elna Schütz spoke with doctors who have been treating this rare and dangerous condition.

Read More

COVID-19: How mechanical ventilation has saved lives at Groote Schuur Hospital

COVID-19: How mechanical ventilation has saved lives at Groote Schuur Hospital

While high-flow nasal oxygen has been one of the success stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not always enough. Sometimes more invasive mechanical ventilation is required. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Professor Ross Hofmeyr on what mechanical ventilation entails and the measures his team at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town have employed to successfully manage these critical COVID-19 cases.

Read More

COVID-19: “Some days tears were just flowing over my cheeks,” says Cape Town ICU nurse

COVID-19: “Some days tears were just flowing over my cheeks,” says Cape Town ICU nurse

COVID-19 patients often die without family or loved ones by their side. However, they are not entirely alone. People like nurse Anthea Willemse console them in their final hour.

Read More

COVID-19: 65-year-old driver tells of his time in Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope

COVID-19: 65-year-old driver tells of his time in Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope

On July 22 Richard Abrahams, his wife, and three children celebrated his 65th birthday with orange cake and well-wishes. Less than a month before, Abrahams was struggling to breathe due to COVID-19 and receiving oxygen at Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope. He shared his story with Biénne Huisman.

Read More

COVID-19: Seven lessons from the Western Cape

COVID-19: Seven lessons from the Western Cape

The COVID-19 epidemic in the Western Cape is at least a few weeks ahead of that in South Africa’s other provinces. Some leading doctors in the province have shared some key lessons learned in recent months.

Read More

COVID-19: How high-flow nasal oxygen is saving lives and sparing some patients the trauma of intubation

COVID-19: How high-flow nasal oxygen is saving lives and sparing some patients the trauma of intubation

Doctors at two of the Western Cape’s most severely impacted COVID-19 hospitals say they have seen positive outcomes from using high-flow nasal oxygen instead of invasive mechanical ventilation. Kathryn Cleary asked doctors at these hospitals to explain how and why this kind of oxygen therapy works so well.

Read More