Brooklyn Rex had had 2,000 injections by the time she turned four. The little girl had spent two months in isolation in the Red Cross Children’s hospital while doctors tried to find out what was wrong. Her ailment: juvenile arthritis, a painful condition which causes high fever and is resistant to medication. She was then struck by Macrophage activation syndrome, a debilitating rheumatic disease. It took more than a year to diagnose her rare illnesses, despite the fact she started developing rashes at eight months, with fevers regularly over 40°C. But the drug she needed is unavailable in SA. So her family borrowed money and flew to America for treatment to save her life. As South Africans, they are not allowed to work in the US so the Rex family survives on donations and crowdfunding. But most South Africans needing rare, expensive or unregistered drugs can’t move abroad as they did. Instead, patients will fight medical aids or, like activist Tobeka Daki, who couldn’t afford the R5...

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