Viewpoint: HIV/AIDS and the health workforce crisis: What are the next steps?

In scaling up antiretroviral treatment (ART), financing is fast becoming less of a constraint than the human resources to ensure the implementation of the programmes. In the countries hardest affected by the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic, AIDS increases workloads, professional frustration and burn-out. It affects health workers also directly, contributing to rising sick leave and attrition rates. This burden is shouldered by a health workforce weakened already by chronic deficiencies in training, distribution and retention. In these countries, health workforce issues can no longer be analysed from the traditional perspective of human resource development, but should start from the position that entire societies are in a process of social involution of a scale unprecedented in human history. Strategies that proved to be effective and correct in past conditions need be reviewed, particularly in the domains of human resource management and policy-making, education and international aid. True paradigm shifts are thus required, without which the fundamental changes required to effectively strengthen the health workforce are unlikely to be initiated.

Is treatment of tuberculosis in Malawi prolonging the lives of people with HIV/AIDS?

Over the last 15 years, tuberculosis (TB) case numbers have increased 300-400% in Malawi, in conjunction with a rise in HIV infection. This is primarily because HIV increases the risk of disease reactivation in people with latent tuberculosis infection, and also because it increases susceptibility to new TB infections.

Technology reminds sick to take pills

CAPE TOWN A local doctor has developed a pill bottle that uses cellphone technology to remind patients to take their medicines and warns them if they are about to take an extra dose by mistake.

The Voice of the People

According to the citizens of Africa, Latin America and West Asia, HIV/Aids is the most important disease in these regions but it is seen as the second most important disease overall by citizens of the world. This was the most important finding in a survey released worldwide today by Gallup International, and their South African associate, Markinor.