Court orders access to Stellenbosch’s deadly initiation school

Seven boys were admitted to Stellenbosch Hospital on the evenings of 25 and 26 November. Two were dead on arrival. One had sjambok marks on his body. They were about 20 years old. They were the victims of an initiation school.

Jonathan Dockney - 9 January 2014

When the ANC jeered Madiba

Do any of the members of the ANC's 1997-2002 NEC now regret the way they heckled and jeered Madiba at an NEC meeting in March 2002?

Roy Jobson - 12 December 2013

Rural Health: grossly unequal but some hope

While there are significant unmet health needs in many parts of South Africa, they are particularly acute in historically disadvantaged rural areas.

Tom Yates - 3 December 2013

AIDS medicine stockouts put thousands at risk

South Africa’s anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment programme is often hailed as one of the most important public health successes. It is the world’s largest ARV programme, with over two million patients initiated on treatment. But it has serious problems: many patients often go without medicines because of stockouts.

Koketso Moeti - 28 November 2013

Controlling quackery: will new regulations help?

Untested nonsense medicines and adverts to buy them are prolific. But after years of chaos in the alternative medicine market, it seems the Department of Health (DOH) is intent on fixing the mess.

Kevin Charleston - 26 November 2013

Dozens of unpaid asbestosis claims leave sick workers unsupported for years

Cassiem Mohammed is a 70-year-old retired boiler cleaner from the now-closed Athlone Power Station (APS). He was diagnosed with asbestosis (fibrosis of the lung) in the mid-1990s from exposure to asbestos while he was working at the APS.

Jonathan Dockney - 13 November 2013

Health Professions Council tried to stop exposure of Eastern Cape health crisis

Instead of fulfilling its vision to “enhance the quality of health”, the Health Professions Council (HPCSA) tried to stop details of the health crisis in the Eastern Cape being made public.

GroundUp Staff - 4 November 2013

Ambrosini is wrong about cancer

Receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis in your early 50s is frightening. It is difficult to imagine what Mario Ambrosini is going through. That he wishes to beat cancer and that he is disappointed with medical science because it offers him so little hope is entirely understandable.

Nathan Geffen, GroundUp Editor - 4 November 2013

Slow, unresponsive and unconcerned: How the Health Professions Council hurts patients

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is a statutory body that regulates health workers. It registers doctors and disciplines them if they do something wrong. If it had to perform its tasks properly, patients would benefit. Instead, according to several organisations and doctors, the HPCSA’s inefficiency hurts patients.

Delphine Pedeboy and GroundUp Staff - 30 October 2013

Daily grind of a Zimbabwean mother

Nancy Muzembe, originally from Zimbabwe, struggles against all the odds to give her son a good education.

Tariro Washinyira - 29 October 2013

Having a different HIV status to your partner

Lindiwe Kameni was ill in 2004. “I was in Jo’burg when I fell sick, and I tested HIV-positive”, she says. She told her husband her HIV status and things started to change.

Odwa Funeka - 28 October 2013

“It hurts when people call me mad”

“It hurts when people call me mad,” says Luvo Ndinisa. “I asked people from my community to stop calling me mad.”

Nwabisa Pondoyi - 28 October 2013

Patents must serve the public interest

It is in the interests of large multinational companies to secure as many patents as possible. The Treatment Action Campaign, in line with the Draft National Policy on Intellectual Property (IP), argues that patents should only be granted for medicines that are truly new and innovative, for example a brand new cancer cure.

Marcus Low - 24 October 2013

Patents must serve the public interest

Thousands of people in South Africa have drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Many of them will die. Death from TB can be slow and horrible. Many of those who do survive will struggle with severe side effects and may need daily pills and injections. Some, like 23-year old Phumeza who described her experience of TB treatment at a Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) press conference last week, will live, but lose their hearing.

Marcus Low - 24 October 2013

HIV vaccine: some progress, but we’re not there yet

While antiretroviral drugs against HIV are getting more effective and allow HIV-positive people to live longer, the ultimate prize is to find a way to cure people of the virus, the best hope being a vaccine.

Kerry Gordon - 9 October 2013

Junior school raises awareness about breast cancer

On October 4, Rustenburg Girls Junior School celebrated two of its teachers who have survived breast cancer by hosting two fundraising events to raise funds for cancer awareness.

Nwabisa Pondoyi - 7 October 2013