Latest News

NHI work founders on slow spending
Times Live | 4 November 2015
The Department of Health spent only 21% of a conditional grant for National Health Insurance pilot districts. Last week the parliamentary portfolio committee on health, discussing how the Department of Health had spent its budget in the 2014-2015 financial year, said it spent 83% of a R76- million grant aimed at improving medicine supply and providing primary health care. It also spent only 21% of a second grant of R388-million. The 2014-2015 under-expenditure equalled R305-million - up...
Estimated number of TB cases in children double, but better reporting may lead to advances
Stellenbosch University | 4 November 2015
Progress made in the fight against childhood TB although many children still die of TB, says Stellenbosch University   The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its 2015 Global TB report, revealing a million cases of TB among children worldwide, with 140 000 children dying from tuberculosis in 2014.     While this is double the estimate of childhood TB deaths compared to last year’s WHO report, the Desmond Tutu TB Centre (DTTC) at Stellenbosch University...
Working at accessing medicines
Daily News | 2 November 2015
South Africa has a long and proud history in addressing the barriers that patents present in the access to medicines. Much of the groundbreaking work done by the democratically elected government post 1994 in partnership with different stakeholders, has influenced global policy on patents and their effect on access to medicines. In this regard, the Medicines Act was amended to make provisions for Section 15C which allows for the minister to authorise the parallel importation of a medicine...
BRICS health ministers commit to put the BRICS countries on the Fast-Track to end the AIDS epidemic
UNAIDS | 30 October 2015
At the first BRICS (Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) meeting since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the BRICS ministers of health have adopted the Moscow Declaration, which makes bold new commitments on cooperation for global health. Commitments include strengthening linkages between the Sustainable Development Goals and public health, collaboration on the goal for tuberculosis elimination and strengthened access to affordable, quality, efficacious...
Bedaquiline: The first new drug in decades to treat TB is now available in South Africa
Centre for Tuberculosis, NICD-NHLS | 30 October 2015
For the first time in 40 years a new anti-tuberculosis drug with a novel mechanism of action has become available. Bedaquiline (BDQ) is a dia-rylquinoline antimycobacterial drug and specifically inhibits mycobacterial adenosine triphosphate syn-thase. Clinical data has consistently shown faster mycobacterial sputum clearance in patients on BDQ than those on a background regimen. In one study at the end of an 8-week period, 48% were culture converted compared with 9% in those on placebo....
Drug stock outs plague mental health patients
Health-e News | 27 October 2015
Elizabeth Mahlangu is living with HIV. When her Daveyton clinic runs out of her antidepressant, it can cost her R110 to refill her prescription at a private pharmacy. All too often, those like Mahlangu suffer in silence, says the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). Mahlangu was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2012 at the Far East Rand Hospital in Springs east of Johannesburg. In the months prior to the diagnosis, Mahlangu said she experienced mood swings, and had begun to withdraw...
Health Systems Trust launches the 2014/15 SAHR and DHB
Health Systems Trust | 26 October 2015
The latest editions of flagship publications issued by Health Systems Trust (HST) – the District Health Barometer (DHB) and the South African Health Review (SAHR) – were launched in Pretoria on 20 October 2015.    At least 200 public health experts attended the much-awaited event. The Chief Operating Officer of the National Department of Health, Dr Gail Andrews, was the keynote speaker at the launch. She said the “timely release” of the DHB provided...
Step forward as cabinet insists on single NHI proposal
BDLive | 22 October 2015
The Cabinet has asked the Treasury and the Department of Health to consolidate their proposals for National Health Insurance (NHI) into a single document that would be published before the end of the financial year, the Treasury indicated on Wednesday.
The blame game at Mthatha Depot
Section 27 | 21 October 2015
Drug stock-outs are a national crisis and the Eastern Cape has felt the effect even more acutely in the last few years a result of catastrophic decision-making by the Eastern Cape Department of Health. As recently as May 2015, National Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi was forced to return from an international trip to address critical drug stock shortages in the country. Motsoaledi has stated on record that drug manufacturers are sometimes to blame for the shortage, but civil society...
WHO issues statements on use of reversible hormonal contraception
WHO | 21 October 2015
WHO has issued two statements which address concerns about the use of two different hormonal contraceptives: Progestogen-only implants and depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). The WHO Statements on the use of these hormonal contraceptives aim to answer concerns about side-effects and reversibility (return to fertility after use is discontinued) of these forms of hormonal contraception – while ensuring that health-care providers, health policy makers and programmers and women,...
The good, bad and ugly in district health
Health-e News. | 21 October 2015
The SA Health Review and District Health Barometer, produced annually by Health Systems Trust, was launched last night. Important gains have been made, but huge challenges remain. In the past year, over 90 percent of pregnant women with HIV started antiretroviral medicine – a leap of 15 percent in a year – and this helped to drive the mother-to-child HIV transmission to its lowest level ever, a mere 1,5 percent. One in 14 births was to a girl under the age of 18, with a total...
Exodus of Free State doctors
Health-e News | 21 October 2015
Newly released Free State health indicators show all is not well in the troubled province as the province loses a unprecedented 177 medical doctors in the last year. The number of doctors working in public health in the Free State has plunged from 716 in 2014 to just 539 this year – an unprecedented loss of 177. The province has also lost 28 medical specialists over the past year.