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Hell is 16 000 unanswered telephones. The low tech problem blocking abortions

Abortion services only got a national “how to” document for doctors 23 years after termination of pregnancy was legalised in South Africa. And while the new rules go a long way to remove barriers to ending a pregnancy, non-profits say crucial information such as a simple list of telephone numbers is still lacking.

Bundle of jitters: How these community health workers are helping moms cope with the...

Pregnancy can be a time of joy - and sadness. Many pregnant women and mothers of infants in lower-income communities acknowledge feeling depressed during this time. Here’s how community health workers helped alleviate this.

A local home for a global dream: The Aurum Institute houses HIV, TB &...

The Aurum Institute has been selected as the new host for the South African Health Technologies Advocacy Coalition (SAHTAC) — a coalition of civil...
Community health workers didn't just provide at-home HIV testing. They went into schools to help teach young people sexual and reproductive health and encourage boys to get medically circumcised.

Community health workers – could COVID finally unlock their role in the NHI?

In the absence of action from the health department, South Africa’s community health workers are once again having to fight for their rights.

Why many South African mothers give up breastfeeding their babies so soon

The long-term benefits of breastfeeding for children’s development led to recommendations for its exclusive adoption in infants. But for some mothers, it isn’t a feasible option.

Why COVID school closures are making girls marry early

The pandemic’s impact is long-term: the UN warns that it could lead to 13 million more child marriages over a decade.

The preventable trauma of COVID childbirth

A new global investigation has documented, in at least 45 countries, “shocking” and “unnecessary” breaches of laws and World Health Organisation guidelines intended to protect women and babies during the pandemic.

If we invested in this today, South Africa could save billions — and fight...

Community healthcare workers have become what some have called our “heroes on the ground” during COVID-19. By keeping more people healthier for longer, and increasing productivity, these workers could save South Africa more than R400-billion over 10 years. The question is, when will the country recognise them as integral and pivotal players in the health system?

People still have sex during outbreaks — forgetting it can be deadly

Planning for the pandemic has to include sexual and reproductive health services. If not, we risk saving women from the new coronavirus but leaving them to die during childbirth, unsafe abortions or at the hands of their partners.

Will South Africa maintain its role as top funder of health research and development?

South Africa continues to make the list of top funders globally of research and development for neglected diseases, including HIV and TB. But local organisations need more domestic funding to continue cutting-edge research.

What do coronavirus and Ebola have in common? They always get a head start

Outbreaks such as coronavirus, Sars and Ebola have taught us communication is key, and that the world is only as strong as its weakest health system.

Whose National Health Insurance is it anyway? Taking back the power

Public comment on the NHI Bill has closed, but there are other ways you can add your voice to this historic overhaul of the country’s health services. Find out in this latest instalment of "Compass", our series on the NHI.

More than just a footnote: ‘African authors are under-represented as first authors — positions...

The foreign gaze: Academics from the Global North are more likely to be cited as first authors on papers — and sit on the editorial boards that accept them.
A pregnant woman sits on a hospital bed.

Headaches, heartaches & pregnancy: Could this stem preeclampsia’s deadly tide?

This silent killer stalks expecting mothers around the world and is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in South Africa. But still many women can’t name it — or identify its symptoms. But if knowledge is power, is it enough to stem this deadly tide? Ghana is hoping to find out.
No man’s land: People gather behind a barbed wire fence in a temporary settlement on the Myanmar border. When governments fail, aid organisations step in. But who should they report to? (Ye Aung Thu, AFP)

The price of aid: Who is watching whom?

When governments fail and health systems falter, aid agencies take over. But who holds them accountable?
Trumped: The US takes its controversial stances over abortion to the United Nations. (Shealah Craighead)

SA US face-off over the world’s first declaration on universal healthcare

The United Nations declaration on universal health coverage is signed. But will South Africa's National Health Insurance improve services at home?