Department of Health embarks on a national study on the health of older persons

South Africa has been selected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to participate in a ground-breaking household Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), the first of its kind to be conducted in this country.

Children Suffer When Mother Lacks Input, UNICEF Says

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Children are likely to be undernourished in households where women are denied a voice in family decisions like doctor visits, food expenditures and trips to see friends and relatives, says a report by the U.N. Children's Fund, UNICEF, released on Monday.

Health leaders from developing countries commit to launch Health Systems Action Network

Thirty-one (31) health systems leaders from all regions of the world have agreed to launch a Health System Action Network (HSAN) to increase understanding at both the global and country level of the importance of strong health systems to achieve urgent health priorities. HSAN will share what is known across countries by linking health systems leaders through a global network and will provide input to global and donor initiatives so that programmes best serve country priorities.

'Significant progress in MDGs'

Dakar - Significant progress has been made in sub-Saharan Africa toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Bank said in the third annual edition of its world MDGs follow-up report presented on Wednesday in Dakar.

Rumor, Fear and Fatigue Hinder Final Push to End Polio

BAREILLY, India The cry went up the moment the polio vaccination team was spotted Hide your children!Some families slammed doors on the two volunteers going house to house with polio drops in this teeming city's decrepit maze of lanes, saying that they feared the vaccine would sicken or sterilize their children, or simply that they were fed up with the long drive to eradicate polio. We have a lot of other problems, and you don't care about those, shouted one woman from behind a locked door. All you have is drops. My children get other diseases, and we don't get help.

AIDS hits SA human development rating

SA has edged lower in the United Nations Human Development Index, which tracks indicators including life expectancy, equality of income and education. SA slipped marginally to 120 out of 177 countries surveyed from 119 last year.

Professional Roles and ARV provision

It is clear that large-scale treatment for HIV will depend on re-thinking the use of human resources if it is to have public health benefits. Health care staff working in multi-disciplinary teams providing long-term HIV care may find their roles changing over time in ways that will need careful management. The role of nurses is of particular importance in many settings, and there is clearly scope for expanding that role with appropriate training and support. Nurse practitioners trained to prescribe a range of medicines and nurse-led clinics are among the options that need to be explored. Specialised pharmacists can also take on a major role in supporting people with HIV on treatment. A system that chooses first-line regimens that can be managed with limited direct involvement from doctors will be able to make more use of other health care staff in managing them. Human resource issues are therefore directly connected with the development of national treatment guidelines. Lay involvement, starting with peer support, may also be needed for a successful large-scale treatment programme. A variety of models for peer support and treatment education are available for use. Social stigma doesn't automatically disappear when services are established (though treatment certainly helps to overcome it). As well as training, resources are needed to prevent occupational exposure to HIV. Continuing professional support and development are needed by all staff involved in delivering HIV treatment, and not only in relation to ARVs.