Latest News

New role for Durban’s McCord Hospital as specialist eye centre
BDlive | 9 September 2014
Durban's McCord Hospital is to be turned into a specialist eye hospital, expected to perform at least 40 eye operations a day, from next month.   This comes after the KwaZulu-Natal health department took over the running of the 104-year-old owned institution, which had been on the verge of financial collapse.   The acquisition was completed in February when staff and assets were absorbed into the public sector.   The institution will now be known as the...
Paper: The broken thread – Primary health care, social justice and the dignity of the health worker
Health-e News | 2 September 2014
This 17-page public position paper was recently presented at a 1 September Wiser lecture by Section27 Executive Director Mark Heywood.   The paper argues that the heart of the health systems crisis currently being experienced in South Africa is an acute shortage of health workers and the deteriorating conditions under which they are employed.   Unless a plan and adequate budget to rectify this social injustice is seen as the Department of Health’s first priority the...
Ebola takes its toll on healthcare workers
Mail&Guardian | 1 September 2014
Nigeria’s health minister will hold an emergency meeting of state health commissioners on Monday as West Africa struggles to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, amid growing concern at the infection toll among healthcare workers.   Nigeria on Sunday confirmed a fresh case of Ebola in a doctor whose husband died from the virus, adding to a growing list of those providing healthcare in West Africa who have been infected by the epidemic.
Health experts call for equality in access to health
SABC | 1 September 2014
  The Soul City Panel discussion took place at the Soul City Institute in Johannesburg. (Lerato Matlala)   Deputy Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission Pregs Govender says more needs to be done to ensure access to health for the poor. 
   Govender says lack of access to health for the poor further deepens inequality in the country.
Medical male circumcision campaign gains momentum
Stellenbosch University | 1 September 2014
Two mobile surgical theatres to take to the road   A campaign to promote medical male circumcision has been stepped up in the Western Cape, with the launch of two mobile surgical theatres.   Circumcision, which can be done in 30 minutes, protects men against HIV infection as well as sexually transmitted infections.   The mobile surgical theatres, about the size of an average bread truck, will travel through the Winelands, Overberg and Eden areas in the Western Cape...
Poor knowledge of partner HIV status among South African women with recent pregnancy
aidsmap | 29 August 2014
Over 40% of women with recent pregnancy and a third of men with recent partner pregnancy do not know the HIV infection status of their partner, research conducted in Durban, South Africa, published in BMC Public Health shows. Moreover, only 4% of women and 13% of men knew they were in a serodiscordant relationship (one partner living with HIV, the other HIV negative) prior to pregnancy.   “HIV prevalence for adults aged 15-49 years in KwaZulu-Natal is estimated at 28% and the...
Clinics run out of drugs
Times LIVE | 13 August 2014
Private hospitals have over the past six months been hit by stockouts of anaesthetic drugs.
Study in South African township shows HIV-negative individuals often source of new TB cases in patients with HIV
aidsmap | 11 August 2014
HIV-negative individuals are an important source of new tuberculosis (TB) cases in HIV-positive patients, according to a study conducted in a South African township published in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.   The authors examined TB isolates obtained from sputum samples to see if cases were reactivation of latent disease, unique cases, index cases within clusters, or secondary transmissions within clusters.
Civil society groups threaten to sue Eastern Cape Department of Health
Health-e News | 8 August 2014
Activists from more than 30 civil society organisations have again threatened to take the Eastern Cape Department of Health to court over alleged failure to fix the provincial health services.   The organisations – which are part of the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition (ECHCAC) – also plan a mass mobilisation of communities behind their demand for a health service delivery plan.   This follows the failure of the new health MEC, Dr Phumza Dyantyi, to...
Southern African states to collaborate on Ebola
BDlive | 7 August 2014
Health ministers in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) have agreed to collaborate in the event of an outbreak of Ebola in the region.   The ministers held an extra ordinary meeting in Johannesburg on Wednesday to plan a coherent response should the Ebola outbreak in West Africa spread to other regions of the continent as feared.   Malawi Health Minister and Sadc chairman Dr Jean Kalilani said the outbreak was the deadliest in history, and urged her...
New breast-feeding policy for HIV moms pays off
Mail&Guardian | 7 August 2014
Exclusive breast-feeding, introduced in line with WHO guidelines, has proven safe for babies if the mother is on antiretroviral treatment.   Government’s decision in 2011 to introduce a policy of exclusive breast-feeding for babies born to HIV-positive mothers, is paying off.   Yogan Pillay, the deputy director general of the national health department, said the exclusive breast-feeding policy, which saw the government phasing out the provision of infant formula milk...
More must be done to cut unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, say experts
The Guardian | 5 August 2014
Worst-performing GP surgeries hand out twice as many drugs for coughs and colds, finds Public Health England and UCL   More must be done to curb unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics, experts said after a study published on Tuesday found that the number of patients given the drugs for minor ailments has soared in recent years.   Researchers found that, in 2011, 51% of patients were given antibiotics for coughs and colds, up from 36% in 1999.   This is despite the...