Latest News

National HIV plan scraps calls to decriminalise drug use
Bhekisisa | 21 March 2017
Contraception may be finally coming to a secondary school near you. South Africa is expected to release its new national HIV strategy later this month. In a country that continues to battle the world's largest HIV epidemic, the document will guide the next six years in the fight against new infections. The South African National Aids Council (Sanac), civil society groups and key government departments met to finalise the strategy late last week. The plan not only outlines the...
Kenyan medical students are learning through a community outreach model
The Conversation | 21 March 2017
This is a time of unprecedented change in medical education globally. Medical schools, postgraduate bodies and other organisations are responding to rapid advances in medicine and changes in health care delivery. New education approaches are being adopted to exchange information. This enables the institutions to produce relevant health professionals.
Doctors pass the scalpel to nurses in the quest for safer births
Bhekisisa | 21 March 2017
A doctor shortage in war-torn Mozambique paved the way for a new breed of surgeons that have slashed deaths among new mothers. In Caia, a small truck-stop town in a remote part of Mozambique’s central Sofala province, Sebastiana Domingos has just started her shift at the district hospital. She gently examines the scar on a patient’s abdomen. The 34-year-old pregnant woman was rushed to hospital after her uterus ruptured. “She was bleeding heavily and was severely...
Free Zimbabwean contraceptives smuggled for sale in South Africa
Times Live | 20 March 2017
Every month‚ Nancy (not her real name) and her business partner travel to Zimbabwe to stock up on Marvelon family planning pills. She smuggles them back into South Africa‚ where she sells them at a healthy profit to other Zimbabweans who for various reasons don’t want the contraceptive pills dispensed in South African clinics. Nancy’s suppliers are hospital staff in Zimbabwean hospitals who sell the pills to her for R5 a blister pack. Marvelon is distributed...
HPCSA urges residents to report misconduct
Health-E News | 14 March 2017
by Mogale Mojela on March 14, 2017 Patients who are badly treated at Limpopo hospitals are failing to report negligence or misconduct, prompting the Health Professions Council of South Africa to launch an awareness campaign to inform people of their rights, Mogale Mojela writes.
There’s a new killer in town
Health-E News | 13 March 2017
Kerry Cullinan on March 13, 2017 This killer preys on older, overweight and obese women – mainly from poor communities. It has been moving stealthily through the population, its influence under-estimated as our attention has been focused on HIV and tuberculosis.
Drugmaker to provide new TB drug worth almost half a million for free
Bhekisisa | 8 March 2017
A deal brokered with the health department guarantees free access but for how long? Drugmaker Otsuka Pharmaceutical won’t charge South Africa for using its new tuberculosis (TB) drug in a pilot programme, but South Africa’s free deal is unlikely to last. The drug, delamanid, is one of the first new TB medicines to be developed in 50 years. In unpublished research by international humanitarian organisation  Doctors Without Borders (MSF) delamanid has been shown...
Gauteng increases mental health spending after Esidimeni crisis
Business Day | 7 March 2017
Gauteng finance MEC Barbara Creecy on Tuesday tabled a R108bn budget for the province, which included R10bn added to the baseline of departments to meet increased demand. Gauteng is the largest contributor to the country’s economy and accounts for 35% of SA's gross domestic product (GDP). The main priorities for the provincial government were education, health and infrastructure. The largest amount - R40.8bn - was allocated to the education...
Full steam ahead for SA’s clinic-on-rails
Business Day | 7 March 2017
SA’s Phelophepa train draws a crowd wherever it goes. The sound of the lumbering 19-car clinic-on-rails signals the arrival of badly needed free healthcare for thousands of South Africans as it tours the country. "When you arrive, people are always ready, there will be kids performing," said train manager Anna Mokwena, a nurse. At a stop this week in Pienaarsrivier, a town in Limpopo, dozens of elderly patients alongside women clutching...
Health Systems Trust publishes the District Health Barometer 2015/16
Press Release | Health Systems Trust | 2 March 2017
MEDIA RELEASE   2 March 2017 For immediate comment   Health Systems Trust publishes the District Health Barometer 2015/16   Leading public health non-profit organisation Health Systems Trust (HST) today published the District Health Barometer (DHB) 2015/16, as its 11th edition.   Produced annually since 2005, the publication seeks to highlight, health system performance, inequities in health outcomes, and health-resource allocation and delivery, and to...
Radical transformation begins with fixing how we fund healthcare in remote areas
Bhekisisa | 2 March 2017
Once slices of the healthcare funding pie are dished out to provinces, there is little control over how this money is spent to benefit the rural poor. In Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech in last week, he touted the type of inclusive economic growth and radical transformation that is long overdue in South Africa. Each year, the minister’s speech outlines the broad brushstrokes of the country’s economic policy. From there, money flows from the...
Statistics SA: How South Africans die
Medical Brief | 1 March 2017
Statistics South Africa has released its exhaustive analysis of mortality and causes of death in 2015, noting a 3% decline to 460,236 deaths. The three leading causes were tuberculosis, diabetes and cerebrovascular disease. Key findings summary: