First clinical data on COVID-19 published in South Africa with COVID-19 Special Issue of the Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine

Health professionals will face hard ethical decisions when it comes to dealing with Covid-19 patients. For example, do they resuscitate patients even though the prospect of recovery are slim and the risk to the health-care team is very high? How should they respond?

This is one of the pressing topics covered in theCOVID-19 Special Issue of the Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine. The journal, published by Wits University Press under open access conditions, presents the first clinical data on COVID-19 published in South Africa.

The special issue covers a range of aspects of the pandemic, from the clinical to ethical and the social dynamics of its impact.

Highlights from this issue:

·        Social dimensions of COVID-19 in South Africa : a neglected element of the treatment plan

·        Diagnosis of COVID-19 : considerations, controversies and challenges in South Africa

·        Clinical ethical challenges in the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa

·        Potential impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in HIV-positive patients in South Africa

·        COVID-19 : the concept of herd immunity – is it a strategy for South Africa?

·        COVID-19 resource page

·        Patient Guide – COVID-19

Despite a growing data set on COVID-19 infection worldwide, there are no published local clinical data that have studied the impact of different aspects of COVID-19 infection in South Africa.  Wits University Press is pleased to announce the publication of the COVID-19 Special Issue of the Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine.

This journal offers the first clinical data on COVID-19 published in (South) Africa.  In this issue many aspects of this viral pandemic in South Africa are reviewed and information and direction is provided for health-care professionals in South Africa.

This journal is OPEN ACCESS and covers a range of aspects of the pandemic, from the clinical to ethical and the social dynamics of its impact. For example, in the setting of severe COVID-19 infection, what are the ethical aspects related to the pandemic?, do you resuscitate because the prospect of recovery is slim and risk to a health-care team is very high? Which patients do you admit to already-filled ICUs and who are the decision-makers in this triage process? Prof Kevin Behrens, Director and Head of Bioethics at Wits’ Medical School discusses many of these ethical conundrums in his review.

In this country with its vast social disparities, Prof Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven, (Wits Department of Family Health), presents a sobering overview of the social inequalities that exist in South Africa, on how some of these inequalities may play out during this unique situation in our country and what will be our responsibilities, both clinical and social, during this pandemic.

The vexed issue of the burden of HIV and tuberculosis in South Africa and the risk of infection in HIV-positive patients is dissected by Prof Charles Feldman, of Pulmonology at the Wits Medical School.

This special issue of the journal includes a guide to worldwide Medical Resources on COVID-19, as well as a handy poster-style PATIENT GUIDE.

Commenting on these difficult and somewhat scary times where social media is awash with all sorts of quackery regarding prevention and treatment remedies for COVID-19, Prof Pravin Manga, from the Wits School of Medicine, and Editor-in-chief of the Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine said, “it is during these times that we need to keep rationality and be guided by science rather than by emotion.”

Find the full list of articles on COVID-19 here and below: 

(https://journals.co.za/content/journal/wjcm/browse)

The Journal is OPEN ACCESS under a Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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