Latest News

KZN health in bad state
Times Live | 18 April 2017
The healthcare system is collapsing in KwaZulu-Natal as hospitals are short-staffed and filled with broken equipment. "Every day it gets worse," said the head of the KwaZulu-Natal coastal branch of the SA Medical Association, Mvuyisi Mzukwa. Mzukwa wrote a letter to the head of the SA Medical Association on behalf of the province's doctors. The Times has a copy of the letter, which warns of a growing risk in medical legal cases due to the reduced level of care at...
Campaign to teach traditional healers how to conduct HIV/Aids tests
Medical Brief | 11 April 2017
KwaZulu-Natal Health, together with an NGO called Integration of TB in Education and Care for HIV and Aids – known as I-TEACH – have embarked on a campaign to train thousands of traditional healers to conduct HIV/Aids tests on their clients. The department hopes this initiative will help slow the spread of the virus. To date, over 450 traditional healers have graduated from the programme. According to I-Teach, four in 10 people are infected with the HI...
How to fund a failing health system
Bhekisisa | 6 April 2017
Could Zimbabwe's new Health Development Fund rescue the country's cash-strapped clinics and hospitals? For two years, Widna Chiyangwa from Harare, Zimbabwe, suffered in pain. She was in her mid-40s and had four children to feed. But a broken ankle had left her without an income — she could no longer work as an informal trader because she couldn’t walk. Chiyangwa required urgent surgery to fix her ankle, but she couldn’t afford it
Busted: The myths that could be standing between you and the HIV prevention pill
Bhekisisa | 5 April 2017
A single daily tablet could slash your risk of HIV infection, could it be for you? More people than ever are taking the once-a-day pill to help prevent HIV infection. As of the beginning of this month, HIV-negative men who have sex with men in Tshwane are the latest to get access to Truvada, a two-in-one antiretroviral. When the pill is taken daily as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), it can reduce a person’s risk of HIV infection by between 44% and more than 90%, depending on how...
Health department in sick bay: R3.2bn budget shortfall leaves 11.5% of jobs unfilled
Times Live | 4 April 2017
The Department of Health has revealed that it cannot afford to hire its full complement of nurses and doctors, telling MPs it is short of at least R3.2-billion for the 2017-2018 financial year.   The department's director-general, Precious Matsoso, told the parliamentary standing committee on appropriations that the healthcare system had 45,733 vacant posts, and 351,925 filled posts - an 11.5% shortfall.
The political argument for investing in global health
The Lancet | 1 April 2017
An insular, nativist, authoritarian wave has been on the rise in countries around the world. These movements play on people's fears and insecurities. They create scapegoats, especially vulnerable minorities, and attempt to falsely blame these groups as the cause of people's fears. They also try to undermine institutions such as an independent media and judiciary, which are vital to maintaining the ties of accountability between the elected and the public: structures crucial to a...
How successful were the millennium development goals?
The Guardian | 30 March 2017
Did the United Nation’s millennium development goals (MDGs) make any difference? Perhaps no question is more important for assessing the results of global policy cooperation between 2000 and 2015. But this is a difficult question to answer, because pathways of cause and effect are difficult to discern. In our study we examined which trajectories changed, for better or worse, and to what scale of human consequence. Here we highlight three key findings.  
"Depression: let’s talk" says WHO, as depression tops list of causes of ill health
WHO | 30 March 2017
News release
Committee hears of NHI pilot problems
Business Day | 29 March 2017
Stumbling blocks remain to effective testing of how the National Health Insurance will work at pilot sitesTeething problems at provincial health departments, including a lack of co-ordination, poor planning and uncertainty in districts, remain stumbling blocks to the effective testing of how the National Health Insurance (NHI) will work at pilot sites. The dire state of affairs was detailed in a Financial and Fiscal Commission presentation to Parliament’s portfolio committee on...
World TB Day – Launch of online TB Surveillance Dashboard
Medical Brief | 29 March 2017
South Africa has the highest estimated tuberculosis (TB) incidence rate amongst the 22 high burden countries globally, with 834 new TB cases per 100,000 population. But there is evidence that the rate of new confirmed TB cases in the country is dropping. Now an online TB Surveillance Dashboard has been developed to better track and analyse the infectious disease. TB can affect people of all age groups but is most common among adults, particularly those co-...
In primary school and pregnant: The shocking numbers
Times Live | 27 March 2017
More than 190 learners in Grade 3‚ 4 and 5 fell pregnant between 2014 and 2016‚ a response to a parliamentary question has revealed. If learners from Grade 6 and 7 who fell pregnant are taken into account‚ the number jumps to 1‚449. “This information should shock every South African‚” the DA’s MP and basic education portfolio committee member Sonja Boshoff said in a statement. “Young girls‚ most under the legal age of 16...
New study helps crack the problem of diagnosing TB in people with HIV
The Conversation | 24 March 2017
Diagnosing TB in people who have HIV has been a challenge because they often have low levels of the bacteria in their system. This has been a serious problem for a country like South Africa where 454,000 people are infected with TB each year, half of whom are HIV positive. The Conversation Africa’s Health and Medicine Editor Candice Bailey spoke to Professor Bavesh Kana about a landmark study that provides a solution to tackling this diagnostic problem. What has the traditional...