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  1. Editorial: New guidelines are a step forward for SA’s TB response

    New tuberculosis infection guidelines released ahead of World TB Day are another important step in the right direction for South Africa’s TB response, argues Spotlight editor Marcus Low, while also wa

  2. Opinion: Urgent course correction needed on NHI, climate change, and economic policy

    Unless we get ahead of both the climate crisis and the current levels of pervasive injustice, we will never be able to catch up – even if the National Health Insurance Project achieves what it origina

  3. In-depth: The state of SA’s HPV vaccination programme in 2023

    South Africa’s HPV vaccination programme has by all accounts been a resounding success over the last decade, likely helping to prevent many cases of cervical cancer. But the programme has suffered maj

  4. Spotlight on Nehawu strike: Dispatches from the frontlines

    Following a Labour Appeal Court judgement on Monday, health minister Dr Joe Phaahla during a media briefing on Monday night said the department has given essential health workers until Tuesday morning

  5. Community care model improves uptake of TB preventive therapy, KZN study finds

    The uptake and continuation of tuberculosis preventive therapy were much higher when it was provided through a community-based model compared to the standard clinic-based model, a study conducted in K

  6. Opinion: Patients to benefit from new funding and decision to let private sector help with Gauteng’s oncology backlog

    On 8 March 2023, the Gauteng MEC for Finance delivered his budget speech in which he indicated that an amount of R784 million has been set aside for the provincial health department to “address backlo

  7. No place for corrupt officials in Free State, says new premier

    In his first state of the province address, the new Free State Premier Mxolisi Dukwana said the province will no longer be used as the breeding ground for corruption. Refilwe Mochoari asked him about

  8. Analysis: Landmark SA court case takes on US maker of cystic fibrosis drugs

    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

  9. Should SA’s public hospitals go solar?

    For businesses and households that can afford it, solar panels and batteries offer a way to keep the lights on during South Africa’s ongoing bouts of loadshedding. Such technologies may also offer a s

  10. OPINION: Underinvestment in healthcare infrastructure will cost us in the long run

    Investment in public health facilities is crucial as the country weathers storms on various fronts – from drought (water shortages) and flooding putting strain on health infrastructure to a harsh econ

  11. OPINION: The billions allocated for infrastructure require more progressive procurement systems and oversight

    Spending on public sector infrastructure over the 2023 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) is estimated at R903 billion and the health sector accounts for 5% of this. The well-documented poor mai

  12. What next after shortened TB treatment fails in key trial?

    The current treatment for drug-susceptible tuberculosis (TB) used in South Africa last for six months, effectively cures TB and is dirt cheap. Two studies in recent years have shown that TB can be cur

  13. OPINION: Budget 2023 – opportunity missed to refocus public health spending?

    Budgets, while important, are not the right mechanism to drive the structural change needed to improve the responsiveness of our public health system in meeting the needs of the population. But, argue

  14. Take as needed: Preventing HIV might one day be as easy as using this suppository

    New research shows a quick-dissolving, rectal suppository designed to prevent HIV infection is safe, although its efficacy remains to be tested in clinical trials, some of which will be conducted in S

  15. Vaginal ring to prevent HIV safe to use in late pregnancy and while breastfeeding

    A vaginal ring used to prevent HIV infection is safe to use during late pregnancy and while breastfeeding, according to findings presented at a major international HIV conference in Seattle in the Uni

  16. Disproportionate number of children in SA have severe asthma, experts say

    In South Africa we see a disproportionate number of children with severe asthma and as the prevalence of asthma has risen over the years, so did the severity. Data now suggests although prevalence is

  17. In-depth: Some improvement but much more needed to address health needs of key populations

    Despite some improvement, the community-led monitoring group Ritshidze’s second report on key populations highlights that sex workers, people who use drugs and LGBTQIA+ community members are often sti

  18. OPINION: NHI Bill must still clear many hurdles to ensure adequate medicine access

    The Health Department’s recent response to submissions and its own recommendations on amendments to the National Health Insurance Bill sadly does not realise the gravity of the threat to the future of

  19. What’s the deal with viral variants when it comes to HIV?

    A study published last year on an HIV variant that has been circulating in the Netherlands for the last 20 years reminded the public of the existence of viral variants beyond SARS-CoV-2. Elri Voigt un

  20. Analysis: Why has the price of this cancer medicine risen and fallen by over a thousand percent since 2016?

    Lenalidomide is an important medicine used for the treatment of multiple myeloma – a type of bone marrow cancer that is not curable and typically requires long-term, ongoing treatment. Over the last d

  21. R27m needed to get Eastern Cape EMS plan off the ground

    In October last year, Eastern Cape Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth announced a three-phase plan to address key challenges with the province’s emergency medical services. Siyabonga Kamnqa visited All Sai

  22. Why SA is not getting the new bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccines

    The Department of Health is not planning to buy the new COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines, specifically tailored to target Omicron variants, anytime soon. Adele Baleta looks into the reasoning behind

  23. OPINION: Conversations about sex – we must do better for young people

    Conversations with young people about sex can lead to safer sexual behaviour, like delayed sexual debut, the use of condoms and other contraceptives, and having fewer concurrent sexual partners but we

  24. In-depth: Should SA invest in the latest HIV tests?

    South Africa’s HIV testing programme has been a huge success over the last decade, largely due to the use of rapid tests. Now, the introduction of a new generation of rapid tests may offer some benefi

  25. Progress in Charlotte Maxeke recovery, but HR and other problems persist

    It is a race against the clock to keep to the timetable for repairs at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. This as Gauteng’s public healthcare needs mount and the challenges of alleged cr

  26. Northern Cape health still without permanent head as suspended officials return

    Two senior officials have returned to the Northern Cape Department of Health following suspension, but the department remains without a permanent head. Opposition parties and trade union DENOSA have e

  27. HIV vaccine research set to change focus in wake of Mosaico disappointment

    Top South African HIV clinicians are setting their sights on different approaches to finding an HIV vaccine after the "disappointing" news that the Mosaico trial was stopped early because the vaccine

  28. Opinion: Changing the law on sex work will save lives, we must see it through

    In December 2022, the Minister of Justice, Ronald Lamola, set into motion a public participation process on the laws that govern sex work in South Africa. Marlise Richter & Pamela Chakuvinga poin

  29. As with COVID-19, the effects of TB can linger long after it is cured

    According to the World Health Organization, of the roughly 10 million people who fall ill with TB annually, over 80% survive, in most cases due to a six-month treatment course. Unfortunately, as with

  30. This is why Mpumalanga is repurposing some TB hospitals

    The Mpumalanga Health Department plans to repurpose three TB hospitals due to dwindling numbers of in-patients at these hospitals. The hospitals – Bongani TB Hospital, Standerton TB Hospital, and Barb

  31. In-Depth: As schools open, will measles outbreaks get worse?

    Almost 400 cases of measles have been reported across five provinces over the last four months. The NICD has advised that clinicians should be on high alert, as the opening of schools may lead to loca

  32. OPINION: Health in 2023 – 13 things to look out for

    2023 is set to be another tumultuous year for healthcare services, health policy, and governance in South Africa. We’ve picked 13 things to look out for this year arranged under three broad headings:

  33. OPINION: 2022’s health budget decisions in review

    Health budgets have the power to advance access to healthcare for millions of people in South Africa. This year, however, as the health sector and the economy recovered from the worst of the COVID-19

  34. Opinion: Living with a stoma in SA – we deserve better

    Our public health system is creating a new type of disability – ostomates who, with access to the necessary care and medical consumables could live long and fulfilled lives, but who every day are subj

  35. SA to receive donation of new child-friendly DR-TB medicines

    South Africa’s National Department of Health is set to receive a donation of child-friendly formulations of several medicines used to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). It is expected that ove

  36. Spotlight on Health: 2022 in under 1 000 words

    An HIV prevention injection approved in South Africa, several promising developments on the tuberculosis front, the National Health Insurance Bill grinding its way through Parliament, no end in sight

  37. Pilot programme improving access to mental health services for kids in Khayelitsha

    Earlier this year, the annual Child Gauge indicated that child and adolescent mental health services in South Africa are in crisis – mostly due to inadequate resources. How to best provide such servic

  38. Analysis: How well did SAHPRA do in 2022?

    The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has often made the headlines in recent years – be it in relation to COVID-19 vaccines, access to ivermectin, the approval of an HIV prevention in

  39. In-depth: ‘Access not excess’ key to reducing antibiotic resistance in SA

    Antibiotics play a vital role in the management of bacterial infections, reducing illness, and preventing many deaths. A 2011 report from the UK estimated that they have increased life expectancy by 2

  40. An open letter to us girls who still shoulder much of the HIV burden in South Africa

    In an open letter to young women in South Africa, Faith Fikizolo reminds us that meaningful comprehensive sex education is an important lever in ensuring girls and young women are fully empowered to e

  41. In-depth: The state of asthma in SA

    Asthma is a disease that can be easily controlled through the correct use of medications, yet in many low-and-middle-income countries like South Africa, many still die due to lack of effective managem

  42. Testing stool can help detect TB in kids

    Diagnosing tuberculosis is difficult in people who struggle to cough up sputum samples – a particular problem in children and people living with HIV. One promising alternative to testing sputum is to

  43. Experts call for better screening and treatment of TB during pregnancy

    Falling ill with tuberculosis (TB) can be challenging for anyone, but it can be especially hard if you are pregnant or have just given birth. Globally, TB is amongst the top five causes of death in wo

  44. Some in Free State only given ARVs for two weeks at a time

    While the Free State health department is denying that clinics in the province are experiencing stockouts of antiretroviral medicines, some healthcare users and HIV activists working in communities cl

  45. Editorial: World AIDS Day 2022 – Choice, convenience, and respect should be the cornerstone of SA’s HIV response

    In Spotlight’s analysis of South Africa’s HIV response in recent years, two issues have stood out consistently – still too many people living with HIV are not taking antiretroviral therapy and the rat

  46. First HIV prevention injection approved in SA

    The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has authorised an injection containing the antiretroviral cabotegravir for use to prevent HIV infection, according to drugmaker ViiV Healthcare.

  47. Opinion:  Ending HIV/AIDS inequalities to achieve equity and end the epidemic

    As we look at the year ahead, urgent work remains to build on past successes and to bring the HIV epidemic sustainably under control. Amongst others, we need to address persistent stigma and discrimin

  48. In-depth: What should behaviour change efforts look like in the PrEP era?

    HIV prevention pills are becoming more widely available in South Africa and the country is set to soon start piloting the use of an HIV prevention injection. But merely having these tools available in

  49. Difficult conversations: How do you tell your child they have HIV?

    Telling a child that he or she is living with HIV is not easy. Biénne Huisman spoke to a father and some doctors on how one approaches the issue. The post Difficult conversations: How do you tell your

  50. Almost 40 years with HIV – from ‘dead man walking’ to HIV awareness champion

    On December 12, Ntimbwe Munongo Mpamba will celebrate his fortieth birthday with chocolate cake in Northgate, Johannesburg. He was born with HIV but only became aware of his HIV status many years late