Monday, 4 July, 2022
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From the Frontlines

Doctors feed patients at Bara as supplies run out and medical waste piles up

Doctors are having to take lunch to patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg, as a failure to pay food suppliers...

‘War crime’ accusations over attacks on Ukraine hospitals and civilians

Reports that Russian forces have put 61 hospitals in Ukraine out of operation, as well as  targeting civilians have caused international anger and accusations...

Sabotage and apathy behind Gauteng Health’s failure to repair Charlotte Maxeke – Prof Mahomed

Apathy, lack of empathy and “sabotage” lie behind the failure of Gauteng Health to bring the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, closed since April...

Audit explains Eastern Cape’s devastatingly high COVID death toll

Eastern Cape Health has effectively collapsed, reports Daily Maverick. Its accounts are overdrawn by R979m and it’s facing medico-legal claims of more than R40bn,...

Genetically engineered pigs put xenotransplantation back in the spotlight

A flurry of firsts using organs from genetically engineered pigs – kidneys and a fortnight ago a heart – to save human lives, has...

China’s bid for Zero Covid: Economic pain, rights abuses and data manipulation

As the Beijing Winter Olympics approaches, with the announcement that tickets will not be sold due to the “grave and complicated situation of the...

World first: Transplant of pig heart on terminal US patient

In a final effort to save a 57-year-old man’s life, doctors at the University of Maryland (UMSOM) have given him a genetically modified pig-heart...

How Groote Schuur Hospital’s ICU adapted to the pandemic

How the Intensive Care Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital adapted to the unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 pandemic is the subject of a study...

’War-like’ scenes inside a Hillbrow clinic amid violent unrest

Violent unrest spilled into a Hillbrow clinic in Johannesburg at the weekend. A doctor described war-like scenes as the clinic ran out of resources...

Hospital infant deaths rocket but Bhisho’s not listening…

The infant death rate at Dora Nginza Hospital in Zwide, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), has skyrocketed since 2020 as crippling staff and equipment shortages are left...

Inside India’s ‘black fungus’ mucormycosis wards

The “black fungus” killing hundreds across India may be related to the highly infectious Delta variant, rather than overuse of steroids, Indian specialists believe. The...

How 'business forums’ killed the build of a R68m Pretoria clinic

The site for a R68m clinic outside Pretoria is now a dump, after the project was halted in 2019 because of the "impossible' demands...

South America buckling as pandemic deaths rise

It's not only India that is racking up terrible COVID-19 statistics. The crisis in South America is deteriorating daily, with a region that has...

Patient diagnosed with schizophrenia branded a witch and killed

A wrap often worn by sangomas (ibhayi) and wandering in a stranger’s yard was all it took for Jostina Kate Sangweni to be branded...

Brazil's government in denial over COVID-19 catastrophe

Brazil’s healthcare system has been plunged into the most severe crisis in its history, with doctors overwhelmed and patients dying while they wait for...

Unlike the Cubans, the supernumerary registrars battle COVID-19 unpaid

While the Cuban brigade doctors earn handsome salaries on the COVID-19 frontlines, there is a small group of doctors from the African continent who...

Losing touch: The mental health cost of isolation

Humans are designed to touch and be touched, which is why so many who live on their own have suffered during the pandemic, writes...

China's drive for political influence through vaccines backfires

China’s coronavirus vaccines were supposed to deliver a geopolitical win that showcased the country’s scientific prowess and generosity. Instead, reports The New York Times,...

No filming — or dying — without KZN Health's 'official authorisation'

A viral video on social media that shows seriously ill patients lying unattended, while one patient — who later died — pleads for her...

Vula app – Opening referral doors, saving lives

An elegantly simple free phone application called Vula is revolutionising patient treatment and referrals between primary care facilities and tertiary hospitals in South Africa,...

Life on the inside: The locked-in patient who escaped

Jake Haendel spent months trapped in his body, silent and unmoving but fully conscious. Most people never emerge from ‘locked-in syndrome’ but Haendel did...

Eastern Cape Health’s failure reflected in doctors' and nurses' wish list

Last week, Gift of the Givers’ Dr Imtiaz Sooliman went to Nelson Mandela Bay's beleaguered doctors and nurses with an invitation, writes Estelle Ellis...

A KZN doctor’s observations and treatment of COVID-19 may reveal a missing element

In an article in the South African magazine Modern Medicine, KZN general practitioner Dr Shankara Chetty outlines his observations of the COVID-19 pandemic and...

India: The mental health emergency that comes after COVID-19

In India, relentlessly rising case numbers are causing another emergency - serious mental health problems among COVID-19 patients, reports BBC News. Many recovering coronavirus patients in...

Zimbabwean doctor: Situation is more dire than you can imagine

The situation in Zimbabwean health care was already so bad last year that there was a protracted national doctor's strike. COVID-19 has made matters...

A Cape GP's reality of daily exposure to COVID-19

A Western Cape GP soon realised the limited potential of tele-consultations in a poor community, which meant gruelling days of face-to-face appointments and house...

KZN Health: Big talk but COVID-19 patients opt for private care

Despite talk by KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu about how superior public facilities in the province are to private hospitals, most COVID-19 patients are opting...

Groote Schuur nurses: 'This place steals a lot away from you…'

"Emotionally drained" are the words two nurses, who work in Groote Schuur Hospital's C27 ICU COVID Ward, have used to describe how they feel....

The word from within the Wuhan lockdown

Wang Xiuying, a self-proclaimed pessimist who’s trying to self-quarantine in Wuhan, describes in London Review of Books how misinformation and disinformation dominates lives in...

Virus hunters of Sierra Leone pursue the next deadly coronavirus

A team of medical scientists in Sierra Leon, part of the Predict international network, is in search of a holy grail to virus hunters:...

Anti-FGM movement gains ground in Sierra Leone, where 9/10 women are 'cut'

About 700 traditional ‘cutters’ in Sierra Leone have pledged to abandon and advocate against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which is still not illegal in...

Australian wildfires spark worrying public health effects

Australia's devastating wildfires are causing serious public health effects, especially for those with underlying lung and heart conditions. Hospitals have also seen an increase...

Malawian albinos are being kidnapped and sacrificed

Nowhere is it more dangerous to be an albino than in Malawi, where they are captured by the albino-hunting gangs and either killed immediately...

Desperate times in Zimbabwe mean home childbirth services rampant

Zimbabwe's worsening health crisis is forcing desperate women to seek out traditional birth attendants, who often deliver babies using their bare hands with no...

Taxi drivers storm hospital over baby's body held in unpaid bills dispute

The storming of an Indonesian hospital to retrieve the body of a baby claimed to have been held hostage over an unpaid bill, has...

Shrines where the chained and padlocked mentally ill are 'cured'

The age-old practice of chaining the mentally ill to trees, to release them as "cured" after 40 days, persist in much of Afghanistan and...

Doctors' leader tells of Zimbabwe's 'silent genocide'

Zimbabwe's hospitals are the site of "a silent genocide", accepting all referrals but lacking most basics - gloves, bandages, even Paracetamol, writes Nomatter...

'Don't attack us!’ EMS staff plead

Eastern Cape ambulance drivers drove in convoy through Port Elizabeth townships last week, appealing to residents not to attack the people who serve the...

‘I gave up medicine to save my mental health’

Julia Patterson recalls clearly the moment she decided she had to quit two things she treasured – practising medicine and working in the UK's...

Gunshot admissions to Groote Schuur doubled in past 8 years

Massive levels of violence — the number of gunshot wound patients admitted to Groote Schuur has doubled in the eight years — coupled with abusive...