You and I can prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections

This year's Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)/Condom Week (12 - 18 February 2006) theme is - Just the two of us can prevent STIs - which aims to inspire individuals to seek STI treatment before they infect or re-infect their sexual partners.

Flu Vaccine Could Have Far Reach Under Best Circumstances

GENEVA, Nov. 8 -- Data presented on Tuesday at an international conference on bird flu indicate that drug manufacturers could produce enough influenza vaccine starting sometime in 2008 to protect between a quarter and half the world's population over the course of a year, should a new and dangerous strain of flu virus emerge.

New body to examine SA's food safety

A new initiative by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) will improve food safety standards of the whole food supply chain, to the benefit not only of the food industry, but also of South African consumers according to the CGCSA's Michael Broughton.

Create a culture of vaccination

One precaution South Africans can take in the advent of an expected influenza strain evolving from Southeast Asia's avian flu is to have routine vaccinations. Professor Barry Schoub, the executive director of the National Institute for Communicative Diseases, and Dr Andrew Jamieson of the SAA-Netcare Travel Clinic, said today that developing a culture of being vaccinated would help progress the logistical framework within which influenza vaccines would be provided to South Africa in the event of a pandemic.

Masters in Medical Science and Postgraduate Diploma Occupational and Environmental Health

This programme is intended to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills and competence in the fields of occupational and environmental health. The course will provide health professionals with the skills necessary to render effective, ethical and quality occupational and environmental health services in the private, public and academic sectors.

An Evaluation of a modified school vision screening programme

A modified school vision screening programme (MSVSP) developed for use by school health nurses was evaluated. The procedure was the comprehensive vision screening programme which is based on the modified clinical technique originally used in the Orinda study.

Dirty Needles Misjudged in AIDS in Africa

The World Health Organization's long-held position that dirty needles cause 2.5 percent of African HIV exposures is too conservative, says a leading researcher at the U.N. agency, prompting questions about a congressional bill focused mainly on unsafe sex. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has launched a review of all research linking AIDS and medical injections, possibly laying the groundwork for changes in how the legislation's $15 billion in funding is distributed. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a member of the Senate's health panel, requested the review after he turned up a WHO report listing four separate studies that find dirty needles responsible for 8, 15, 41 and 45 percent of exposures in sub-Saharan Africa. The report, dated Dec. 19, 2002, concludes that the lowest attributable fraction calculated on the basis of the data provided by the authors (8 percent) exceeds our 2.5 percent modeled attributable fraction, suggesting that our estimate is conservative. Yvan Hutin, a WHO researcher who wrote the report, acknowledged the 2.5 percent number was probably low, although just how low remains a point of debate. Regardless, he said, it would be wise to consider an education campaign on unsafe needles, perceived by many as an easier and cheaper problem to correct than unsafe sex. If this information was available when Congress was balancing the spending priorities in the AIDS bill, which President Bush signed last month, Congress would have poured far more money into needle education and possibly even a clean-needle exchange program. But some at WHO say cost isn't the only issue. Because it is widely believed that sex is more responsible for AIDS than needles, they contend the message would be diluted if needle and sex education were given equal weight. That position outrages Sessions, who suspects it's the reason WHO continues to tout an estimate its researchers acknowledge is low. A major part of the AIDS bill could be rerouted if new research about injections surfaces, Sessions said. But HHS officials aren't saying how likely that is, or even when the study is expected to be finished. Sessions' interest in the connection between AIDS and injections was heightened in March after he invited Dr. David Gisselquist to testify to the Senate. After reviewing some 19 years of research, Gisselquist concluded that at least one-third of AIDS exposures in sub-Saharan Africa are due to contaminated needles in medical treatment. Gisselquist contends that because WHO's focus has been on unsafe sex for so long, it's deliberately overlooking good research like his. But although Hutin now doubts the 2.5 percent number, he says Gisselquist's estimate is inflated. Similar concerns are raised by Gary Cohen, president of BD Medical Systems, a New Jersey-based company that makes disposable syringes that permanently lock after they're used once. The syringes cost about 6 cents each, he said. For $75 million to $100 million a year, Cohen said, all of Africa could be supplied with the safe syringes. He contends that a needle distribution program is the most effective way to combat the problem because many people in Africa don't have the option to demand clean needles. Source: (The Pop Reporter 9 June, 2003).

IHRG requires an HIVAIDS education and training facilitator

The Industrial Health Research Group requires an HIV/AIDS education and training facilitator with working experience of the public health sector. To apply, please send your CV and a letter of application summarising how you believe your knowledge and experience meet the criteria for this position. Include the names, and contact details of two referees. Submit, to:The Director, Industrial Health Research Group,Protem 1, Lower Campus, UCT.Phone: 021 6503508, Fax: 021 6855209 e-mail: Closing date for applications 18th November, 2002

Mining diseases unacceptably high

The burden of disease resulting from working in mines is unacceptably high in South Africa, Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said on Tuesday. Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Amendment Bill, she said about 25 000 compensation applications were made each year for occupational lung diseases resulting from working in mines. In the past, occupational health has often been neglected, and yet the fact remains that globally over one million workers die from work-related diseases and injuries, and there are over 160-million cases of work-related diseases annually. The amendments in the bill might appear to be minor, but had far-reaching implications, as they will unblock some of the problems experienced thus far, she said. Among other things, the bill extended the length of time during which an ex-miner could apply to be medically examined from six to 24 months. Tshabalala-Msimang said one of the most important provisions in the bill was one that limited commission for agents who assisted mineworkers in accessing compensation. A fee of not more than half a percent of the benefit paid to the sick worker could be charged, and the bill made it an offence to charge more. The measure received the support of all sides of the House, and will now go to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.(Source:SAPA, 22 October 2002)