News From The Frontline is Tekano’s solidarity initiative, where we bring you news from the frontlines of local communities. We put health equity within Covid-19 on the agenda and amplify the work and voices of our Fellows and other organisations at a local community level. Not only will you learn about the resilience of South Africans, but also how their stories are shaping and reconstructing the persistent fault lines that feed poverty and inequality. The podcast is produced by Volume Africa.

Episode 1: Sex Workers in South Africa

In our very first episode, our focus will be on Sex Workers in South Africa. Sex Work in South Africa is still illegal, many organisations have tried in vain to legalise sex work. According to the South African Constitution, Sex Workers are afforded every right under the constitution but the illegality of their work presents a contradiction unlike no other. For Sex Workers, reporting a rape is a challenge because their work is criminalized in South Africa.

Episode 2: Young Women and Access to Water

In South Africa the right to water is enshrined in the Constitution – with everyone being given the right to approximately 25 litres per person per day. However, more than 5.3 million households and 21 million people in South Africa don’t have clean water.

In this episode we also look at how the burden of collecting water falls mostly on women.

Episode 3: Community Health Workers

In this episode we are interrogating issues around Community Health Workers during the COVID-19 crisis. And through that process we focus on three Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity: Shehnaz Munshi, Rene Sparks and Tinashe T. Njanji.

Episode 4: Domestic Violence During Lockdown

With the nation under lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus, the country has seen a surge in incidents of gender-based violence. President Ramaphosa declared gender-based violence the ‘second pandemic’.

SAPS recorded 2300 gender-based violence complaints in the first week of the lockdown alone. And in the first three weeks of lockdown, more than 120 000 survivors phoned the national hotline for abused women and children. That is double the usual volume of calls for a 3-week timeframe.

In this episode we look at how people are working to fight domestic violence across Africa.

Episode 5: Food Scarcity and Fighting Hunger during Covid-19

In this episode we are interrogating issues around Food Scarcity during lockdown and the time of COVID-19.

Before Coronavirus hit the African continent, 239 million people in Sub Saharan Africa were already undernourished. And food insecurity has led many to argue that they’ll die of hunger long before Coronavirus can kill them.

Joining the discussion is Nolubabalo Bulani, Theresa Wigley, Professor Ruth Hall and Ashley Newell.

Episode 6: The Impact on Covid-19 on Children

In this episode we are interrogating issues around Covid-19 national lockdowns and the impact that they have had on children and education.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the closure of schools on 18 March until further notice as part of the country’s fight against the spread of coronavirus. This led to to the interruption of the academic year but also stripped away school nutritional programmes, psycho-social support and healthcare for many children.

South African children were among the 776-million around the world that the UN reported were affected by school closures.

Joining the discussion is Firdoze Bulbulia, Faith Isiakpere, Justine Jowell and Kholofelo Mphahlele.

Episode 7: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Foreign Migrant Workers

In this episode we are interrogating issues around the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on foreign migrant workers.

While South Africa was praised for its early lockdown and its Covid-19 testing capacity, the country has received criticism for the way in which it failed to provide for non-citizens – or immigrants – during lockdown.

In this episode we speak to Tinashe Njanji, Mafoko Phomane and Lelona Mxesibe.

Episode 8: Reflections on Tekano’s Covid-19 Relief Efforts

In the 8th episode of News From The Frontline, our podcast panel reflects on the support provided by Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity based at Tekano, to projects that aimed to tackle the social and economic inequalities that were brought to the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through their fellowship and support programme, Tekano seeks to inspire and sustain the changes South Africa needs, to bridge the enormous gap between rich and poor.

In this episode we hear from Lebogang Ramafoko, the Chief Executive of Tekano Atlantic Fellowship Health Equity South Africa, as well as Crystal Dicks the Programmes Director, and Munya Saruchera the Programmes Officer as they speak about Tekano’s Covid-19 relief efforts.

Episode 9: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Essential Work

In this episode we are interrogating issues around the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on essential work and workers in South Africa. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, essential work is now widely understood as work deemed necessary to meet basic needs of human survival and well-being. But who determines what is deemed necessary work? In this episode we speak to Khululiwe Bhengu.

Episode 10: The Role of Vaccines during the Covid-19 Pandemic

In this episode we are interrogating issues around the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on equitable access to vaccines. We explore the role of vaccines during a global pandemic and take a look at the global challenges around the manufacturing, procurement and distribution of vaccines, specifically in South Africa, and factors opposing achieving herd immunity. In this episode we speak to Professor Glenda Gray.