Latest News

Is universal access to healthcare possible?
Bhekisisa | 24 May 2016
The World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international institutions agree that UHC saves lives, boosts economies and stabilises societies. This is why The Elders (an independent association of global leaders, founded by Nelson Mandela) have launched a new initiative to campaign for universal health coverage. We believe UHC makes political and economic sense. When people's lives are stunted or end prematurely, this is not only a terrible tragedy for them and their...
69th World Health Assembly: speakers at high-level side event call for a Fast-Track response to end the AIDS epidemic among women and adolescent girls
UNAIDS | 23 May 2016
At a high-level side event held during the 69th session of the World Health Assembly, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, delegates have urged countries to end gender inequity in the response to HIV by putting women and adolescent girls on the Fast-Track to ending the AIDS epidemic. Lorena Castillo de Varela, First Lady of Panama and UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America, hosted the event. Ms Castillo de Varela stressed the importance of women assuming leadership roles to...
WHO confirms Zika virus strain imported from the Americas to Cabo Verde
World Health Organisation | 20 May 2016
Sequencing of the virus in Cabo Verde by Institut Pasteur, Dakar confirms that the Zika virus currently circulating in Cabo Verde is the same as the one circulating in the Americas - the Asian type- and was most likely imported from Brazil. This is the first time that the Zika strain responsible for the outbreaks linked to neurological disorders and microcephaly has been detected in Africa. “The findings are of concern because it is further proof that the outbreak is spreading beyond...
The circus is coming to town – end the Rhetoric, start the Revolution
Daily Maverick | 19 May 2016
In two months the international AIDS jamboree will arrive in Durban for a four-day conference on the state of the global AIDS epidemic ( The last conference was in 2014. It took place in Australia, about as far away as you could imagine from the frontline of the AIDS epidemic. Unsurprisingly, it made little mark. This one takes place in its vortex.
No excuse not to act now to fight drug resistance, say researchers on superbugs
BDlive | 19 May 2016
10-million people could die every year from 2050 onwards unless sweeping global changes are agreed to tackle increasing resistance to antibiotics, which can turn common ailments into killers, a report warned Thursday. Commissioned by the British government, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance set out steps to fight the emergence of "superbugs" as infections become immune to existing drugs, allowing minor injuries and common infections to become deadly. "It needs to be...
World: Stop turning your back on TB
Bhekisisa | 18 May 2016
If a new disease epidemic killed 1.5 million people in one year, it would be covered extensively in the news, and all avenues to bring it to an end would likely be explored and funded. But what about an existing disease that kills that many people? According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tuberculosis (TB) killed 1.5-million people in 2014, causing more deaths than any other single infectious agent. The response to TB has been woefully inadequate to curb the epidemic. South...
Large-scale HIV vaccine trial to launch in South Africa
National Institutes of Health | 18 May 2016
An early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa has determined that an investigational vaccine regimen is safe and generates comparable immune responses to those reported in a landmark 2009 study showing that a vaccine can protect people from HIV infection. Consequently, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its partners have decided to advance the experimental HIV vaccine regimen into a large clinical trial. This new study, called HVTN 702, is...
Too much work, too few doctors
TimesLive | 17 May 2016
Limpopo health officials staved off a strike by doctors unhappy about work conditions and lack of equipment. Doctors say hospitals lack basic medicines and equipment. They are also unhappy about overtime pay. There is a severe shortage of staff in the province, meaning some doctors work 150 hours of overtime a month. Although the department caps the level of overtime pay at 80 hours a month, SA Medical Association member Sadiki Tshilidzi said some doctors worked more hours than that. They...
National Health Insurance: Bring in the specialists
Health-e News | 16 May 2016
There’s a dire shortage of medical specialists, yet provinces have cut budgets for their training. Specialists need to be involved in planning the NHI roll-out to prevent such things from happening, writes South African Society of Anaesthesiologists CEO Natalie Zimmelman. In 2012, the National Department of Health unveiled the country’s first 10 districts to pilot a series of health care reforms under the banner of the NHI, which is aimed at ensuring equitable access to health...
Motsoaledi: No more waiting for Aids drugs
IOL | 11 May 2016
Cape Town - South Africans who test HIV-positive will no longer have to wait for their CD4 count to drop before they receive antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, but will be started on treatment immediately, Minister of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has announced. Delivering his budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday, Motsoaledi said the new treatment plan, which is in line with the World Health Organisation's new treatment guidelines released in December, will be introduced as early as...
Budget Vote speech
Department of Health | 10 May 2016
Madam Speaker/Deputy Speaker/House Chairperson  My Colleague Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla  Cabinet Colleagues  Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Honourable Lindelwa Dunjwa and  Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee on Health  Honourable Members  Representatives of UN agencies  Representatives of development agencies and Donor Partners  Distinguished guests  Ladies and Gentlemen Good Morning! It is a great...
SA still has a way to go in healthcare legislation
Bizcommunity | 9 May 2016
Despite the considerable progress made to deliver quality healthcare to all South Africans, the country's medical policies and legislation are still being hamstrung by red tape. In the 19th edition of the South African Health Review (published by Health Systems Trust), Andy Gray and Professor Yousuf Vawda from the University of KwaZulu-Natal unpick what’s really happening in terms of South Africa’s healthcare laws. NHI White Paper