Latest News

Africa’s health system remains weak
SABC | 5 June 2015
A panel of Ebola experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town have warned that the continent's health system remains weak and vulnerable to the pandemic.     This incurable disease killed thousands of people mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in an epidemic that began in 2014.   It has also wiped out families and had a huge economic impact on West Africa.   Secretary-General in Mali's Presidency Moustapha Ben Barak shared what Mali...
Teens trust Dr. Google and go online to seek health information
TECH TIMES | 3 June 2015
A new study shows that 84 percent of American teenagers consult the Internet for information regarding health, fitness and overall physical and mental behavior.   The nationwide survey is the first initiative after more than 10 years to tackle how media tools are being put to use by young people, said Ellen Wartella, lead author and communications professor at Northwestern University. The study is the only one of its kind that used new health information systems such as social media...
450 South African nurses to undergo diabetes training as epidemic mounts
News24 | 2 June 2015
Over the next three years, 450 South African nurses will receive diabetes training to better identify symptoms and to educate patients about diabetes management.   Nurses have an important role to play in public health at every level of the healthcare system. In South Africa where diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic, the role of our nurses is even more critical.   This sentiment is shared by Deputy Minister of Health, Dr.
NHI: New system lets patients pick up medicine from shops
Health-e News | 1 June 2015
Patients in rural KwaZulu-Natal are able to pick up their medicine from a wide range of local pick-up points, in a national experiment aimed at cutting the long queues at hospital pharmacies.   The system is for stable patients in the Umzinyathi district who have been on medication – including antiretroviral drugs – for at least six months.   Patients can chose to collect their medicine from various private pick-up points, including factories, shops, schools,...
NHI far from reality but progress made in improving public health
Health-e News | 1 June 2015
One common medical aid for all South Africans, as envisaged by government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, is many years away, but many of the country’s 10 pilot sites are making progress.   But most of the 10 NHI pilot districts – with the exception of OR Tambo in the Eastern Cape – are making reasonable progress to improve the public health, according to a Health-e News investigation.   The most immediate success is the school...
Many South African women become infected with HIV during pregnancy posing high risk of transmission to their infants
aidsmap | 1 June 2015
There is a high risk of HIV seroconversion during pregnancy for women in South Africa, investigators report in the online journal PLOS One. The study involved approximately 10,000 mother and infant pairs and found that 3% of mothers became infected with HIV during pregnancy, accounting for over a quarter of all cases of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV.   The authors believe their findings have important implications for prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes...
‘Don’t send us to the bush’ say nurses
News24 | 1 June 2015
If you live in a predominantly urban province such as Gauteng or areas of the Western Cape, you are less likely to stand in long queues to get help from a nurse – unlike those people living in largely rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape.   This is because of a skewed distribution of nurses in favour of metropolitan areas.   Apart from this, figures show that at least half of the country’s 270 000 nurses work in the private sector, which services only 16% of...
A nurse and a family kit help save children’s lives
UNICEF | 29 May 2015
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a UNICEF-supported programme providing families with medicine and advice at home is a positive step towards reducing child mortality.   Mbanza Ngungu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 May 2015 – Charlotte Disukini is a busy bee, to say the least. A mother of five and grandmother in her forties, Charlotte lives in a suburb of Mbanza Ngungu, four hours from Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  ...
World Health Assembly closes, passing resolutions on air pollution and epilepsy
WHO | 26 May 2015
26 MAY 2015 | GENEVA - The World Health Assembly closed today, with Director-General Dr Margaret Chan noting that it had passed several “landmark resolutions and decisions”. Three new resolutions were passed today: one on air pollution, one on epilepsy and one laying out the next steps in finalizing a framework of engagement with non-State actors.   Air pollution   Delegates at the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to address the health impacts of air...
Poor management blamed for bulk of drug stock outs
Health-e News | 25 May 2015
Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has blamed manufacturers for shortages of medicines including HIV and tuberculosis drugs, but a civil society coalition has alleged 80 percent of stock outs are due to poor management.   According to Motsoaledi, recent reports by Times Live and eNCA regarding alleged widespread drug shortages promoted the minister’s early return last week from the World Health Organisation’s on-going, annual World Health Assembly in Geneva.  ...
Ensuring universal health coverage for key populations
UNAIDS | 22 May 2015
Without addressing HIV among marginalized populations and human rights, it will not be possible to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030, according to experts at a World Health Assembly side event.   A high-level panel, which included UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, called on health ministers to pledge to remove structural barriers to accessing HIV services and health care for all. The speakers also stressed the need for political commitment to leave...
Birth control implant needs a shot in the arm
Mail&Guardian | 22 May 2015
Poor training of nurses may have led to severe reactions to a new contraceptive device.   When Ntombi-khona Ndlovu (28), from Volksrust in the Pixley ka Seme district of Mpumalanga, went to the local clinic to get contraception, she was introduced to the Implanon NXT – a hormonal contraception device inserted under the skin on the inside of the nondominant upper arm.   The health department introduced the implant, produced by pharmaceutical company MSD, in April last...