Big questions were raised about getting the best results in health and development at the World Bank’s Africa Development Forum 2013. The event brought together Ministers of Finance and Health from some 30 African countries to explore effective and creative ways to ensure the future health of the continent.
With the umbrella theme finance and capacity for results, the aim of the forum was to identify concrete strategies to ensure that investments in health produce sustainable results on a large scale. Also sought, were new ways to finance and build institutional capacity so that African countries can design, implement and evaluate health investments.
A cheap antiseptic ointment, used to cleanse a newborn’s umbilical cord, can reduce the risk of infection and death in the first few weeks of life by as much as 20 percent.
Chlorhexidine has been around for ages and is often used as an antiseptic, but a number of studies are confirming that this intervention could have a major impact on the high number of newborn deaths in the world and more specifically sub-Saharan Africa.
Shrinking numbers of medical researchers have impacted on the production of health care professionals in South Africa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Thursday.
Speaking at Parliament in Cape Town at the launch of a National Health PhD Scholars Programme, he said there was an international “acute shortage” of medical personnel, but this was most pronounced in sub-Saharan Africa.
“In South Africa, one of the key impediments that has been constraining the production of healthcare providers is the decline in the health research workforce, which has been exacerbated by the burden of disease.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic arrived in sub-Saharan Africa after decades of neglect had left healthcare systems dangerously weak, barely able to cope with the onslaught of patients. Then the money started pouring in - funding for HIV programmes rose from 5.5 percent of health aid in 1998 to nearly half of it almost 10 years later.
Heterosexual couples in long-term relationships who have sexual encounters outside their established partnership (extra-couple relationships) are one of the main drivers of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, according to new research published in The Lancet journal.
The researchers added that their mathematical model showed that transmission within cohabiting couples occurred largely from men to women.
A massive population-based study launched in the Western Cape and Zambia yesterday is aiming to answer the critical question whether testing large populations for HIV and immediately starting those infected on effective antiretroviral treatment programmes, could close the tap on new infections.
The study, HPTN071 (PopART) will aim to find out whether offering a combination of several HIV prevention methods to a community will better prevent the spread of HIV that the standard individual methods currently on offer.
Africa is pulling out all the stops in its race to curb the AIDS pandemic by 2015, a deadline set by UN member states. From making anti-retroviral drug therapy (ART) readily available to the masses, to increasing consistent, correct condom use and voluntary medical male circumcision, everything has been tried and tested. And these efforts are paying off, according to the latest report of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), entitled Results.
THE death rate among employees of companies that bought risk cover from Old Mutual fell almost 20% between 2008 and 2011 — a decline that came as the government’s drive to get more HIV patients on treatment gathered pace.
Research by the financial services company, released on Wednesday, is consistent with the findings of a study published last year by the Medical Research Council which found life expectancy to have risen to 60 years in 2011, up from 56.5 years in 2009 as fewer people died of AIDS.
Old Mutual’s findings also tally with the latest UNAIDS Global Report, which estimated that sub-Saharan Africa had seen a 25% reduction in new HIV infections between 2001 and 2011. UNAIDS is the joint United Nations Agency on HIV/AIDS.
In the early 90s when South Africa's Themba Lethu clinic could only treat HIV/Aids patients for opportunistic diseases, many would come in on wheelchairs and keep coming to the health centre until they died.
Two decades later the clinic is the biggest anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment centre in the country and sees between 600 to 800 patients a day from all over southern Africa.
The world is making significant progress in coming to grips with the HIV epidemic, however in many countries stigma and lack of human rights remain.
The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) launched the 2012 Global Epidemic Report yesterday (TUES) and reported significant declines in new infections among adults and children with high numbers of people placed on antiretrovirals.
Still the region most severely affected, sub-Saharan Africa has shown progress with an estimated 1.8-million new HIV infections in 2011 compared with 2.4-million in 2001.