A Policy for the development of a District Health System For South Africa: executive summary

Published by: 
Department of Health (South Africa)
The challenge facing the South African health system is to be part of a comprehensive programme to redress social and econoniic injustices, and to ensure that emphasis Is placed on health and not just on medical care.

Lesbian health: more than screening for breast cancer and mental health

Series Name: 
Nursing Update
Published by: 
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
The focus this month for Nursing Update is breast cancer and mental health. Last month I noted that in the continuum of womens health, lesbian health has essentially been left off the agenda. In my training, if one thing was mentioned about lesbian health it was around breast cancer and that lesbians and nuns were vulnerable! (those who may not breast feed before the age of 35). While nuns might not have sex, lesbians certainly do have sex. The other remnant of my training was that gays and lesbians may need mental healthcare!

An Investigation into the effect of the baby friendly hospital initiative on exclusive breastfeeding in a rural area

Published by: 
University of Natal
At the 1990 World Summit for Children, it was stated that more than a million infant deaths could have been avoided if infants had been exclusively breastfed for six months (UNICEF, 1995). Three of the four most important threats to survival of children in South Africa are diarrhoeal disease, acute respiratory infection, and malnutrition (UNICEF, 1993). Failure to breastfeed has been linked to all these health problems.

Unlocking care: a research report on care and care learning

Published by: 
Health Systems Trust
In this project our main aim is to make a contribution to a caring attitude within the health sector, with reference to the training of health workers. Thus far there have been two distinct phases. In the first phase a literature review was completed. The second phase, involved a process of fieldwork. Initially it was envisaged that this fieldwork phase would use experimental methods. It became clear that these methods were not appropriate to meeting our aim necessitating a change in methods.

Why do HIV positive TB patients fail to complete treatment more frequently than HIV negative TB patients?

Published by: 
Medical Research Council
The aim of the study was to describe the health seeking behaviour of HIV positive patients with TB. the research question was: Why do HIV + TB patients fail to complete treatment more frequently than HIV-TB patients?

HealthLink electronic information resources catalogue

Published by: 
Health Systems Trust
There is an ubundance of health information in South Africa. Information providers such as medical libraries, statutory councils, university departments, government and non-government organisations have a wealth of information. However health workers, particularly those in rural areas, are often remote from these information sources. Consequently, health workers still find difficulty in understanding developments in health care, making clinical and management decisions or building intersectoral partnerships.

Lack of medical workers plagues developing countries

When her baby turned blue, Nivetha Biju rushed the child to the emergency room of an Indian hospital and watched helplessly as the baby lost consciousness because the nurses on duty had no idea what to do. Eventually a doctor saved the baby's life, but many patients are not so lucky in India and in other developing countries where a scarcity of doctors and trained nurses means there is often no helping hand in times of need. Health systems [in developing countries] are on the brink of collapse due to the lack of skilled personnel, said Ezekiel Nukuro, an official with the World Health Organization. In some countries, deaths from preventable diseases are rising and life expectancy is dropping, he said.

US relaxes visa rules for HIV positive travellers

United States immigration officials on Monday announced moves to ease and speed up visa-processing for HIV-positive visitors to the United States, months after a 21-year entry ban on people with the virus was lifted. Under the new rules, US consular offices overseas will have the authority to grant temporary, non-immigrant visas to HIV-positive applicants who meet all of the other normal criteria for the granting of a US visa, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.

Zimbabwe: New government gives HIV-positive people hope

AIDS activists are hoping that the country's new administration will make good on promises to urgently improve access to affordable HIV/AIDS treatment and services at state hospitals. The country's three political parties - ZANU-PF and the two factions of the majority Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - signed a power-sharing deal on 15 September, ending one of the worst periods of inter-party political violence since Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980. Despite scepticism that the three parties will be able to work together, the deal has brought hope to many ordinary Zimbabweans, particularly those living with HIV, who have been battling to cope in the current harsh economic and political environment. Of the estimated 320,000 people in need of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, only about 100,000 are accessing the medication at public health facilities. Besides the treatment gap, government hospitals are struggling to deliver services in the face of shortages of drugs, medical staff and foreign currency.

TB breakthrough a challenge to government

South African researchers have shown that deaths among people co-infected with HIV and TB could be more than halved by starting antiretroviral therapy earlier, adding further pressure on government to improve treatment for both diseases. If the government adapts its treatment guidelines in line with the findings -- which were so dramatic that the clinical trial was stopped early on ethical grounds -- it will mean starting 150 000 people living with TB on anti-HIV medicine much earlier than has been planned, and budgeted, for. Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who headed the study, said the research indicated that up to 10 000 lives a year could be saved if people with TB were given antiretrovirals at the beginning of the TB treatment if they had a CD4 count of less than 500. Currently the guidelines are for HIV-positive people to start ARVs when their CD4 count drops to 200, or when this is clinically indicated.