THE department of health in KwaZulu-Natal planned to fast-track infrastructure development and hospital revitalisation projects this year, health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said yesterday.
The province suffers from a disproportionately high incidence of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and has a large rural population, many of whom live a long way from proper healthcare facilities.
Dr Dhlomo said this year would be groundbreaking for the healthcare sector nationally as "we will be introducing the long-awaited National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme ".
He said districts had social mobilisation and communication plans to popularise the NHI at community levels, while the hospital management programme would be fast-tracked.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), through its partnership with the Millennium Challenge Account–Lesotho, is helping Lesotho address key challenges in its health sector through a $122 million investment in health infrastructure and health systems.
More than 720,000 Basotho are expected to benefit from the MCC health project over the next 20 years. MCC described the ways its investment in health is helping in Lesotho in a December 1 press release.
Ten years ago, the Doha Declaration allowed countries to circumvent patent rights to access life-saving medicines, particularly those used to treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. However, the South African government has failed to take advantage of these provisions, and increasingly important TB medication and second- and third-line antiretrovirals (ARVs) remain out of reach, activists warn.
"Pre-Doha, treating [HIV] without generics... meant HIV was a death sentence," said Gilles van Cutsem, medical coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Years of treatment and mounds of pills are hard work for older patients with multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), but in children, treatment becomes a minefield for patients and doctors alike.
MDR-TB is resistant to the most powerful drugs used to treat active TB, rifampicin and isoniazid. With weaker immune systems, children who contract TB - most often from parents - progress to active disease in about a year. But just how many children are affected is not known as there is almost no research into children and MDR-TB - and very little useful guidance on how to treat them.
Home-based tuberculosis (TB) education and testing reduced community TB prevalence by about 20 percent, according to findings of a large, two-country study released at the International Lung Health Conference in Lille, France.
Conducted among almost 963,000 people in Zambia and South Africa, the ZAMSTAR study rolled out household education and TB testing to some communities while others received enhanced TB case detection, which included activities such as community dramas to raise TB awareness.
This is the sixteenth global report on tuberculosis (TB) published by WHO in a series that started in 1997. It provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in implementing and ﬁnancing TB prevention, care and control at global, regional and country levels using data reported by 198 countries that account for over 99% of the world’s TB cases.
UN meeting has finally alerted the world to what SA’s medical professionals have long suspected — the burden of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease is as serious a threat as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis to social and economic development.
THIS week’s first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on noncommunicable diseases has finally alerted the world to what SA’s medical professionals have long suspected — the burden of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease is as serious a threat as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis to social and economic development.
After 30 years and over 20 million deaths in Africa alone, US researchers now report that early treatment of people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that leads to AIDS cuts transmission of the disease by over 96 per cent. The news has sent shock waves through the medical and scientific world. Unexpectedly announced by the US National Institutes of Health on 12 May after a six-year clinical trial, the discovery that anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) can make people living with HIV far less infectious means that humanity finally has the tools to reverse the global epidemic.
Government's decision to offer free ARV treatment to people with CD4 counts of 350 or less has been welcomed as a life-saver.
The South African government’s announcement that it will give antiretroviral medication to people with HIV who have CD4 counts of below 350 will save lives and prevent infection.
This is according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which welcomed the announcement made by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Friday (12 August).
Until Friday, people were only able to get ARVs if their CD4 count was below 200 unless they were pregnant or had tuberculosis.
Though it is expected to cost R214 billion by 2014 – more than double the current health expenditure – details of what exactly will be on offer under proposed benefits of the national health insurance (NHI) remain vague, while contributions will be mandatory for most working South Africans.
The NHI Green Paper, released on Friday, makes it clear cosmetic surgery, like botox and liposuction, and expensive spectacle frames would be excluded, as would treatment of anyone who did not go through the referral system.
But details yet to be fleshed out include:
* The income threshold above which contributions will be mandatory;