Tuberculosis

Violence puts pressure on Western Cape healthcare

THE rise of interpersonal violence in the Western Cape, especially among males, is placing state healthcare facilities under immense pressure, according to Western Cape MEC for finance, economic development and tourism Alan Winde.

Presenting his economic review and outlook for the Western Cape and its municipal districts on Thursday, Mr Winde said on average Western Cape males were likely to live to until 64 years of age and women to the age of 70.

By contrast, nationally, men were likely to reach the age of 57 and women 61.

However, in terms of mortality, Mr Winde said, it was of concern that among males, interpersonal violence now accounted for nearly 10% of deaths in the Western Cape.

The Desmond Tutu TB Centre on a quest to reduce childhood TB Deaths

South African researchers have thrown their weight behind the first ever global action plan specifically targeted for children with tuberculosis (TB), in the hope of bringing down the country’s extremely high childhood TB rate.

About 45,000 children in South Africa get TB every year, while many more go undiagnosed or are not reported, says Professor Anneke Hesseling, director of the Paediatric TB Research Programme at the Desmond Tutu TB Centre at Stellenbosch University.

New funding models needed ‘to fight cancer in poor nations’

A global fund is needed to curb ballooning cancer rates in poor nations, where malignancies already kill more people than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria combined, a report by a coalition of researchers shows.

Progress against infectious diseases, aided by organisations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has helped to extend life expectancy. As people live longer, other illnesses such as cancer are more likely to develop.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of new cancer cases will double in the next 15 years, straining medical systems in the region, the researchers said at the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam on Monday.

TB in South African prisons: WHERE TO NOW?

South Africa stands at a crossroads in the fight against tuberculosis. An important victory in the Constitutional Court has affirmed the direction that we should take, but we need sustained political will and activism to ensure that we do not squander this momentum.

 The Dudley Lee case

Dudley Lee spent over four years in Pollsmoor Prison outside Cape Town as an awaiting trial detainee. Eventually he was acquitted and released, but not before being infected with tuberculosis.

Eastern Cape health access 'made to look like a privilege'

Advocacy groups are due to march to the Eastern Cape's health MEC as part of a campaign against a "crisis" in health care access in the province.

Health advocacy organisations are up in arms over the deteriorating state of the Eastern Cape's public health system. The Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition, which includes groups such as Section27, the Treatment Action Campaign and the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa, will deliver a memorandum of grievances to the province's health MEC Sicelo Gqobana as part of their "right to health" campaign, which was launched in Johannesburg and East London on Wednesday.

'NHI will benefit the entire region'

An effective healthcare system will free up donor money for more desperate countries.

South Africa's National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme will play a crucial role in freeing up donor funding for countries that need it more, said Trevor Mundel, the president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Programme. 

"It's essential that South Africa comes up with alternative solutions [to fund healthcare] and thereby potentially free up donor money … with the economic crisis in developed countries that puts a premium on maintaining overseas aid," he said. "Mechanisms like the NHI, which will take on more of the [financial] burden, will help to do that." 

'NHI will benefit the entire region'

An effective healthcare system will free up donor money for more desperate countries.

South Africa's National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme will play a crucial role in freeing up donor funding for countries that need it more, said Trevor Mundel, the president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Programme. 

"It's essential that South Africa comes up with alternative solutions [to fund healthcare] and thereby potentially free up donor money … with the economic crisis in developed countries that puts a premium on maintaining overseas aid," he said. "Mechanisms like the NHI, which will take on more of the [financial] burden, will help to do that." 

South African health minister: Canada should join us to fight TB in mines

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As South Africa’s Minister for Health, it may be surprising that many of the meetings I will have during my visit to Canada this week are not with health officials or medical personnel, but with representatives from mining companies.