Treatment for other killer diseases lags behind in SA due to focus on Covid-19
By Bongani Nkosi Time of article published 5h ago

South Africa faces the unintended consequences of lagging behind in the treatment of other killer diseases and quadrupling mortality as a result of channelling most of its healthcare resources to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the warning by two health experts, Shabir Madhi and Karen Hofman, from Wits University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Medical Research Council. Their article has been published by the prestigious South African Medical Journal.

“Until we have a vaccine or a cure, Covid-19 may be among us for a while. Finite resources cannot be diverted solely to the pandemic,” they wrote.

“Careful priority-setting, taking into consideration the costs and benefits of basic health interventions and services, is critical to the success and sustainability of public health gains of the past decades, while simultaneously addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Not only have resources been shifted to focus on the virus, the nationwide lockdown has caused a decrease in demand and the supply of health services, Madhi and Hofman said.

“On the supply side, human resources’ shift to Covid-19 has resulted in limited services for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of other health issues.

“On the demand side, the public has avoided health facilities and has been affected by transport restrictions,” they said...