OPINION PIECE: What will it take for South Africa to prevent TB

SOUTH Africa has good TB policies, an impressive achievement that comes through in Step Up for TB 2020, a report released this week by Stop TB Partnership and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which assesses TB policy in 37 high TB-burden countries. By Ivy Apolisi and Dr Liesbet Ohle For lives to be saved, though, policy must be implemented, and when it comes to implementation of TB policy in South Africa there is much that still needs to happen in the area of TB implementation, which is a major leg of…

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Why so many people still die from Aids-related illnesses despite more people being on treatment

Twenty years ago antiretroviral medicines for HIV were a rare luxury in South Africa. Exorbitant costs and president Thabo Mbeki’s government fierce government opposition against providing antiretroviral treatment (ART) kept it out of the public sector. Those were terrible days. Many lives were lost. By Dr Gilles Van Cutsem Today, one of the main challenges in the fight against Aids is the lack of availability of diagnostics and drugs that can help save lives of people suffering from advanced HIV; who are very vulnerable to deadly opportunistic infections such as…

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Debunking The COVID-19 preventive Misconception As Zimbabwe And Africa Face A Resurgence Of Cases

Dr Grant Marewanhema

BY some stroke of luck, or as yet unexplained factor(s), Zimbabwe, and indeed most of Sub-Saharan Africa, have been spared from the full wrath of SARS-CoV-2, the causative coronavirus for COVID-19. For a virus that decimated populations in developed countries with advanced healthcare, the worst was expected for Africa. By Dr Grant Murewanhema Projections were that Africa was going to be grossly overwhelmed with cases; formal hospitals would be filled to capacity, including floors and passages, and there would be a need for makeshift hospitals. For a virus whose spread…

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#CancerTalkWithMichelle: Cancer Awareness In The Times Of A COVID-19 Pandemic

THE world over, focus has shifted towards managing, treating and preventing COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 has literally overshadowed other ailments including Cancer, one of the leading causes of death in Zimbabwe which is currently killing more people than  HIV, Tuberculosis (TB), Malaria and COVID-19 combined. By Michelle Madzudzo However, a dearth of data, shortage of testing equipment, lack of proven treatments or vaccine  and the speed at which the coronavirus spreads has resulted in the virus being portrayed as a much bigger threat compared to all time ravenous cancers such as…

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A Resurgence Of COVID-19 Cases Is Possible In Zimbabwe

Dr Grant Marewanhema

THE COVID-19 pandemic reached its peak between July and August in Zimbabwe, and since then the daily numbers of reported cases have considerably come down. As of 7 November 2020, the country has reported a cumulative 8498 cases, with 7995 recoveries and 251 deaths, with 27 new cases having been confirmed in the past 24 hours. By Dr Grant Murewanhema The epi-curve for Zimbabwe has been quite different from what has been experienced in South Africa, Europe and America. We are grateful because with certainty, Zimbabwe would have been unable…

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#TalkingCOVIDWithDrGrant: COVID-19 Cases Drop, But Is It The End Of The Outbreak In Zimbabwe?

Dr Grant Marewanhema

ZIMBABWE reported the first cases of COVID-19 in March 2020, and unfortunately a fatality was reported early then, which saw many in the country getting scared. Projections from elsewhere had predicted an exponential, uncontrollable spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Sub-Saharan Africa, which would see the continent being overwhelmed with cases and deaths. Fortunately, several months into the pandemic, most of Africa has done well, witnessing an impressive picture where most infected individuals at worst developed mild symptoms, otherwise in most cases they remained asymptomatic. By Dr Grant Murewanhema The course of…

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#TalkingCOVID-19WithDrGrant: Rays Of Hope, But No Room For Complacency

Dr Grant Marewanhema

THE past few weeks have seen a marked reduction in the number of PCR-positive COVID-19 cases across all the ten provinces of Zimbabwe. This resonates well with the marked decline in the deaths attributable to COVID-19. Additionally, the number of cases admitted at the treatment and isolation centre at Parirenyatwa has significantly declined, and so are the admissions at Wilkins Hospital and other treatment and isolation centres throughout Zimbabwe. By Grant Murewanhema 218 new cases and 6 deaths were reported from 12 September 2020 to 18 September 2020. Harare still…

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#TalkingCOVID19WithDrGrant: Complacency Will Be Our Biggest Enemy In The Fight Against Covid-19

Dr Grant Marewanhema

FOR almost nine months now, Zimbabwe has been battling the COVID-19 outbreak, which unfortunately has brought unprecedented changes to our way of life. As a country, Zimbabwe has by and large been spared of major epidemics in the past, and the COVID-19 pandemic presents the first real challenge to the country. By Dr Grant Murewanhema The previous SARS and MERS outbreaks relatively spared most of Africa, Zimbabwe included, and the Ebola Viral Disease outbreaks of West Africa also spared Southern Africa. Not surprisingly, the idea of quarantine, isolation and lockdowns…

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#TalkingCOVID-19WithDrGrant: Removal Of Mandatory Institutional Quarantine For Returning Residents A Noble Move

Dr Grant Marewanhema

FROM the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe in March 2020, returning residents were mandated to go into quarantine in designated institutions, initially for 21 days, then for 14 and this was reduced in the past few weeks to 8 days. Recently a cabinet pronouncement was made that returning residents who test negative at points of entry no longer need to go into mandatory quarantine. By Dr Grant Murewanhema Before we critique this decision we have to go into the dynamics of transmission. Initially, the majority of confirmed cases…

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Funeral Policies Go Up As The Cost Of Death Rises Beyond The Reach Of Many

THE year 2020 can easily be named the year of COVID-19. The deadly disease, which is caused by coronavirus, was first reported in China’s Wuhan province towards the end of 2019 and was only declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on March 11, 2020. To date, over 20 million cases have been confirmed globally with over 700 000 people succumbing to the pandemic. Although the disease only arrived in Zimbabwe in March, the number of infected people rose dramatically from less than 50 in May to nearly 5,000…

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