Monday, 17 January, 2022
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Talking Points

Realisation that COVID will be ‘a long warʼ sparks anger and denial

The prospect of a prolonged COVID-19 outbreak and constantly evolving roster of restrictions has brought back another feature of pandemic living — anger —...

COVID-19 in children: The South African experience and way forward

Surveillance data in South Africa indicate that the lower risk of COVID-19 infection, disease, death or transmission experienced by children is age-dependent – and...

Zimbabwe plays political roulette with vaccines

Despite a failing COVID-19 programme forcing the Zimbabwean government to allow private hospitals and clinics in infection hotspots to vaccinate, it insists the country...

The long and painful road to the Life Esidimeni inquest

On Monday an inquest began into the deaths of 144 mental health patients after they were discharged from Life Esidimeni into communities more than...

Asia’s COVID tsunami threatens to engulf the Olympic Games

Once envied for their ability to contain the spread of COVID-19, many Asian countries are now battling new strains of the coronavirus and case...

The long, slow collapse of South Africa’s top hospitals

Professor Daynia Ballot, head of Clinical Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand, has three decades of experience working in hospitals in Gauteng. Writing...

Ivermectin is not a ‘miracle drug’ against COVID. Vaccines are

Ivermectin may well prove to be useful in the battle against COVID-19 but it’s no “miracle drug”, write Claire Berlinski and Yuri Deigin in...

Fourfold more US soldiers commit suicide than die in combat

Since 9/11, four times as many United States service members and veterans have died by suicide than have been killed in combat, reports NBC...

Benefits of mix-and-match approach to COVID-19 vaccines

There are a number of potential advantages to a mix-and-match approach to vaccination against COVID-19, writes Maureen Ferran, Associate Professor of Biology at Rochester...

Obesity paradox gets new support – Ventilator-associated pneumonia study

Against expectations, French researchers have found obese hospitalised patients were at no greater risk for ventilator-associated pneumonia than those of normal weight, writes John...

COVID jabs for billions of humans will earn their makers billions of dollars

Drug-makers led by United States firms Pfizer and Moderna stand to make tens of billions of dollars from their COVID-19 vaccines this year and...

COVID-19 in children: No room for complacency

The most probable outcome of COVID-19 in children is, a complete and uncomplicated recovery. But the calculus of risk changes drastically when considered from...

Health tourism by Africa's leaders costs their countries dearly

Many of Africa's leaders have neglected the health care needs of their people, while selfishly finding treatment for themselves and their families abroad, writes...

HPCSA"s presentation on medical schemes’ role in NHI was 'incoherent'

The presentation by the Health Professions Council of SA’s Professor Mbulaheni Nemutandani before last week's Health Portfolio Committee, in which the HPCSA called for...

The WHO and tobacco policy – A seven-point reform agenda

The tobacco policies and actions of the World Health Organization are in urgent need of reform, if the United Nations’ global health agency is...

What really happened in the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital fire

When the Charlotte Maxeke  fire caused the evacuation of 700 patients and the destruction of an estimated R40m in hospital supplies, Gauteng Health denied...

Keep a particularly hot spot in Hell for health tenderpreneurs

State looting has been disastrous for South Africa in many ways, both practical and philosophical, writes William Saunderson-Meyer in the Jaundiced Eye column. But...

A bitter dispute over SA's vaccine secrecy

Some of South Africa’s most respected and influential scientists have been engaged for weeks in a bitter dispute in the SA Medical Journal over...

Academics dismiss MAC-Vac head Schoub's angry SAMJ editorial as a 'distraction'

The dispute between leading scientists in academia and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines' Prof Barry Schoub, continued this week in the SA Medical...

Opera singing is helping long-haul COVID patients to recover

ENO Breathe is a pilot breathing and well-being programme for people recovering from COVID-19 but still suffering from breathlessness and anxiety, deevloped in partnership...

SA's alcohol bans were not 'not based on credible science'

Research challenging the conventional wisdom over the South African government's alcohol bans has been met with “spittle-flecked fury” from the anti-alcohol establishment, writes Peter...

MAC vaccine chair slams critics who 'disparage' the DoH

Professor Barry Schoub has in a strongly worded SA Medical Journal editorial criticised other experts who said the country should have gone ahead with...

Sweden's COVID-19 experiment has divided the world

The world is divided about the Swedish “light touch”  approach to COVID-19, seeing it either a a triumph of good sense or disastrous misstep,...

Vaccination successes mustn't overshadow the massive failures — Peter Piot

In the first wave of COVID-19, the mortality rate in a London hospital was roughly the same as that from Ebola in West Africa...

Unpacking the lingering questions over AstraZeneca's vaccine

In response to US government concerns over data used, AstraZeneca released updated information on its COVID-19 clinical trial, showing an effectiveness rate of 76%...

SA's 22,000 pharmacists should be mobilised as vaccinators

South Africa must expand the healthcare workforce that is able to meet the immediate demand for COVID-19  vaccinators, writes the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Velisha...

Eastern Cape Health: Decades of crisis before COVID-19

Long before COVID-19 hit, the Eastern Cape Health system was already in crisis, with warnings over many years from the likes of the Public...

Debate continues over SA's ditching of the AstraZeneca vaccine

Despite a national Health Department statement this week that the on-selling of South Africa's Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine stocks is virtually concluded, debate continues among experts...

Accommodating trans athletes without rejecting the reality of human biology

In the debates about trans athletes, grandiloquent progressives posture as rigorous scientists, even as they demand that sports leagues cast aside the biological reality...

Nigeria's elites confronting the daily realities faced by their compatriots

As he ascended to power in that historic 2015 vote, President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) party made a raft of...

Public fixation on cancer 'cure' masks dramatic progress

The strong public focus on a “cure for cancer” is masking dramatic progress made in extending the lives of patients with advanced cancer and...

The complex story of 'medical xenophobia' in SA

The dominant narrative of "medical xenophobia" by SA health professionals against refugees and migrants is misleading, writes Kudakwashe Vanyoro of the University of the...

SA can afford health coverage for all — UK expert

It is "patently false" that SA cannot afford the reforms contemplated in the NHI Bill, writes Robert Yates, head of the Centre of Global...

Foundation calls for withdrawal of 'grossly inadequate' NHI Bill

It is not the principle of universal health coverage which is the problem, but the manner in which government is trying to implement it,...

Anglo American's extraordinary success in combating HIV/Aids

Mining giant Anglo American has done what much of the country, NGOs and the government cannot – persuade men to test for HIV and...

Trial places humans in suspended animation for the first time

Doctors have placed humans in suspended animation for the first time, as part of a trial in the US that aims to make it...

Discovery Health outlines its 'unequivocal' position on NHI

Much debate has taken place around the proposed National Health Insurance Bill (NHI), writes Discovery Health online. Our overall position on NHI is unequivocal.  We...

UK scientist with MND converts himself into a cyborg

A 61-year-old British scientist suffering from a life-threatening muscle wasting disease – motor neurone disease (MND) – has managed to convert himself fully into...

Medical sector in SA also touched by xenophobia

With sporadic and violent xenophobic attacks in South Africa making global and local headlines, the medical sector is also experiencing this worrying phenomenon, writes...

UCT med school has a culture of 'vicious victimhood', says academic

Racial friction in the third-year MBChB class at the University of Cape Town's medical school has spilled into public. David Benatar writes on Politicsweb...