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What Life Esidimeni and Gauteng’s late payment of NGOs have in common

The way in which Gauteng’s social development department has treated nonprofits’ funding this year reminds, to some extent, of the provincial health department’s conduct in the Life Esidimeni saga. Lisa Vetten writes why it’s important that government’s decision-makers be held accountable.

There’s a new way to test kids for TB — but the NHLS cyberattack...

Around 10% of South Africa’s 280 000 TB cases in 2022 were in children. But because it’s so difficult to diagnose the disease in this group, four in ten kids with TB aren’t treated. Researchers at the National Health Laboratory Service were planning to test a new way to find the bug in kids later this month — until a cyberattack put a spanner in the works.

Shunned: The hidden cost of speaking out about Life Esidimeni

An inquest has found that Gauteng’s former health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, and former head of mental health, Makgabo Manamela, can be held responsible for the death of Christine Nxumalo’s sister, Virginia Machpelah. Nxumalo was one of the first Life Esidimeni family members who spoke out about the death of a loved one. But it came at a devastatingly high cost. Here’s why.

Read the full Life Esidimeni judgment — and find out how it all happened

On 10 July, Judge Mmonoa Teffo handed down judgment of the inquest into the deaths of 141 mental health patients of the state who...

Death trap: Timeline of the Life Esidimeni tragedy

The findings of a legal inquest set up to decide whether there is enough evidence to prosecute Gauteng health department officials and workers of nonprofits for criminal charges, will be released today. The inquest revolves around the unnatural deaths of 141 out of 144 government mental health patients who died when they were transferred from private psychiatric hospitals in Gauteng, Life Esidimeni, to community organisations.

The power of media: How this drug rehab centre got back its subsidy

Four days after our TV show, Health Beat, was broadcast on eNCA — the Freedom Recovery Centre, which helps drug users sober up, got confirmation from the Gauteng government that they would receive the subsidy they had been waiting for for months. Without it, they would have had to close their doors.

Eight things Motsoaledi and Phaahla have in common

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi faces a massive challenge: rolling out a controversial NHI Act by a government of which only four out of 11 governing parties support the legislation. Does he have the skills? Mia Malan reports.

From ordering a Coke in Cuba to Sama’s top seat: Meet Mzulungile Nodikida

In February, Mzulungile Nodikida stepped into the top seat at the South African Medical Association. He tells Sean Christie how he went from playing soccer and cricket while at school in the Eastern Cape to studying medicine in Cuba — and how his career path moved from seeing patients every day to steering an organisation that stands for “uniting doctors for the health of the nation”.

Out of pens: How pharma greed cuts people with diabetes off from lifesaving meds

Novo Nordisk has cited “capacity limitations” as its reason for deciding to stop supplying human insulin pens to the health department. But the company is now making more of its newer diabetes and weight-loss drugs — which it sells for much more than insulin. What happens when a pharma company decides to stop making lifesaving medication because it’s no longer profitable enough?

Health Beat #20 | Shades of Life Esidimeni: How the Gauteng government makes up...

Social development budgets in Gauteng have been steadily declining, from R2.13-billion in 2022/2023 to R1.9-billion this year. Non-profit organisations say funding they’ve relied on for years is halted without adequate explanation, leaving some of them with no option but to close, and residents with no alternative care.

Motsoaledi has replaced Phaahla as health minister. How will they navigate the NHI?

Five political parties have pledged to work together in the government of national unity — but what does this mean for the future of the National Health Insurance Act? We asked some experts.

Why the health department will send flood and heatwave warnings to pregnant women

The chance of a miscarriage or stillbirth can be up to 8% higher during floods or long periods of heat than in normal times. That’s why the health department will soon send warnings about dangerous weather to pregnant women and mothers of young children using their maternal health messaging service, MomConnect.

11 July UPDATE: SA now has 22 mpox cases — up from 20 on 4...

By 21 June, South Africa had 13 laboratory-confirmed mpox cases in three provinces (Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape). Two people have died. So far, all cases required hospitalisation.

[LISTEN] Most people with mpox in SA have HIV, but are not on treatment 

Most people with mpox recover without treatment. But all South Africa’s cases, so far, have had to be hospitalised; all cases were also infected with HIV, which was mostly untreated. In this podcast, Mia Malan asks Jacqueline Weyer of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases how large the country’s mpox outbreak will be.

7 mpox cases, 2 deaths: Jabs and treatment could arrive in days

The health department will start to vaccinate four groups of people — men who have sex with men, sex workers, health and lab workers — with a much higher chance than the general population to contract the monkeypox virus, which causes mpox disease, as soon as donations arrive in South Africa.

Will the new EC government give the people of Ngcobo back their 24/7 health...

A rural Eastern Cape health centre has had to close its doors at night because of crime and dry taps. But neither the local municipality, police or provincial health department say they’re to blame.