My colleague the Deputy Minister of Health
MECs for Health present
The Chairperson and members of the Health Portfolio Committee
Honourable Members of Parliament
Ladies and Gentlemen
Honourable Speaker, it is now well documented and generally understood that South Africa faces a quadruple burden of disease. Many other countries are faced only with a double burden.
These four are:
TB is linked with a deadly silicosis epidemic hidden for decades in rural South Africa. Gold mining firms must make amends, says Jaine Roberts.
Across the rural Eastern Cape province in South Africa, up to half of men admitted to hospital withtuberculosis (TB) are former gold miners. This should not be surprising: the incidence of TB among miners is 2,000 cases per 100,000, four times the national incidence.
But researchers rarely ask about occupation when studying the distribution and determinants of illnesses such as TB — and the result here is a hidden epidemic of silicosis-related TB among former gold miners in South Africa.
Screening every inmate for TB, treating them upon diagnosis - coupled with improved cell ventilation and an urgent focus on alleviating overcrowding are the cornerstones of government’s plans to tackle this curable disease, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe told a group of Pollsmoor inmates yesterday (SUNDAY).
Arguably South Africa’s most overcrowded prison with an unsurprisingly high TB prevalence, Pollsmoor was yesterday the focus of government’s World TB Day events attended by Motlanthe, health minster Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Correctional Services minster Sbu Ndebele.
On Sunday, researchers at the 20th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta, Georgia announced that they had, for the first time, “functionally” cured a baby born with HIV. A "functional cure" refers to state where a person is AIDS-free without the need for HIV drugs, despite a trace of the virus lingering in the body.
Silicosis might appear only 15 years after exposure to gold ore dust, long after they have gone home. Heidi Swart reports.
They called them the radium girls – five factory workers who sued a company that produced glow-in-the-dark radioactive paint because it knowingly exposed them to radiation poisoning.
The United States Radium Corporation operated from 1917 until late 1926 in Orange, New Jersey. The company employed women to paint watch dials that were sold to the country's military services to help soldiers to keep track of time at night in the trenches of World War I.
PREVENTATIVE and primary care are in some respects two sides of the same coin.
Primary care involves visiting an appropriate healthcare practitioner when an illness first starts for first-line treatment — before the illness progresses.
Preventative care is incredibly important, and is necessary to prevent conditions or illnesses from getting worse or needing radical treatment, according to Heidi Kruger, the Board of Healthcare Funders head of corporate communications.
And though it may cost a medical scheme more money while it is putting a disease management programme together for diabetes, HIV or another chronic condition, it’s going to save medical scheme members, as well as the scheme itself, money in the long term.
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in southern Africa, but new research reveals that governments’ attempts to address the disease have been inadequate. Access to cervical cancer screening services is minimal, few countries in the region have policies on the disease, and treatment remains a major challenge.
A study published in the latest edition of a leading medical journal explains why the survival rate of HIV-positive women is higher than that of men.
Findings that appeared in PLOS Medicine suggest the gender differences in deaths of people on antiretrovirals in South Africa are not related to the HI virus.
The study, which analysed data from about 46 200 adults who started antiretroviral treatment between 2002 and 2009, found that the gender differences in the death rates of South Africans on antiretroviral programmes were smaller than those in the HIV-negative population.
The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is a global nonprofit health organisation that strengthens integrated health systems in the developing world and expands access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi rubs his forehead and repositions himself in his chair, leaning forward as if to make sure the point come across clearly: “I will say it upfront. There is no way National Health Insurance (NHI) will function anywhere if the public health system is not functioning well.”
The health minister has been on a long overdue mission to transform South Africa’s health system since he took office more than three years ago.