Latest News

Dry facilities an indictment on our democracy
Health-E News | 2 May 2017
After 23 years of ‘freedom’, some health facilities are operating without the water as provincial authorities blame municipalities and municipalities drag their feet. Government healthcare facilities around the country – the only place the poorest people can go when they are sick – are often left without the most basic resource: water. Many clinics and hospitals have been left with dry taps, sometimes for several months.
Boko Haram leaves cruel legacy of trauma and starvation
Bhekisisa | 25 April 2017
Lay counsellors are being trained to assist a handful of psychiatrists to deal with the minds of Nigerians racked by Boko Haram terror Bulus Apollos is sitting in the small courtyard of a compound in Gomari Gana, an area with dusty streets in Maiduguri, Nigeria. His hands, gnarled from years of onion farming, shake as he lifts faded yellow trousers to reveal swollen feet. Apollos (47) was held captive for over a year by Boko Haram fighters, the Islamist insurgents who have waged a bloody...
Prevent malaria - save lives: WHO push for prevention on World Malaria Day, 25th April
WHO | 24 April 2017
News release 24 APRIL 2017 | GENEVA, NAIROBI - At an event on the eve of World Malaria Day in Nairobi, WHO called today for accelerated scale-up of efforts to prevent malaria and save lives. In sub-Saharan Africa, which shoulders 90% of the global malaria burden, more than 663 million cases have been averted since 2001. Insecticide-treated nets have had the greatest impact, accounting for an estimated 69% of cases prevented through control tools. Together with diagnosis and...
3 African countries chosen to test 1st malaria vaccine
STAT | 24 April 2017
JOHANNESBURG — Three African countries have been chosen to test the world’s first malaria vaccine, the World Health Organization announced Monday. Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi will begin piloting the injectable vaccine next year with hundreds of thousands of young children, who have been at highest risk of death. The vaccine, which has partial effectiveness, has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures, the WHO regional director for Africa,...
How Zambia is beating malaria
Bhekisisa | 24 April 2017
A decade ago, most countries used only localised strategies. But Zambia decided to make bed nets, insecticides, and drugs available nationwide. As doctors, we have seen the devastating effect of malaria on children, families and communities. We have heartbreaking memories of patients lost to this preventable disease. But we are now witnessing a new history. On April 25, Zambia launched a national elimination strategy. We are aggressively pursuing the goal of a malaria-free country by 2021...
KZN health in bad state
Times Live | 18 April 2017
The healthcare system is collapsing in KwaZulu-Natal as hospitals are short-staffed and filled with broken equipment. "Every day it gets worse," said the head of the KwaZulu-Natal coastal branch of the SA Medical Association, Mvuyisi Mzukwa. Mzukwa wrote a letter to the head of the SA Medical Association on behalf of the province's doctors. The Times has a copy of the letter, which warns of a growing risk in medical legal cases due to the reduced level of care at...
Campaign to teach traditional healers how to conduct HIV/Aids tests
Medical Brief | 11 April 2017
KwaZulu-Natal Health, together with an NGO called Integration of TB in Education and Care for HIV and Aids – known as I-TEACH – have embarked on a campaign to train thousands of traditional healers to conduct HIV/Aids tests on their clients. The department hopes this initiative will help slow the spread of the virus. To date, over 450 traditional healers have graduated from the programme. According to I-Teach, four in 10 people are infected with the HI...
How to fund a failing health system
Bhekisisa | 6 April 2017
Could Zimbabwe's new Health Development Fund rescue the country's cash-strapped clinics and hospitals? For two years, Widna Chiyangwa from Harare, Zimbabwe, suffered in pain. She was in her mid-40s and had four children to feed. But a broken ankle had left her without an income — she could no longer work as an informal trader because she couldn’t walk. Chiyangwa required urgent surgery to fix her ankle, but she couldn’t afford it
Busted: The myths that could be standing between you and the HIV prevention pill
Bhekisisa | 5 April 2017
A single daily tablet could slash your risk of HIV infection, could it be for you? More people than ever are taking the once-a-day pill to help prevent HIV infection. As of the beginning of this month, HIV-negative men who have sex with men in Tshwane are the latest to get access to Truvada, a two-in-one antiretroviral. When the pill is taken daily as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), it can reduce a person’s risk of HIV infection by between 44% and more than 90%, depending on how...
Health department in sick bay: R3.2bn budget shortfall leaves 11.5% of jobs unfilled
Times Live | 4 April 2017
The Department of Health has revealed that it cannot afford to hire its full complement of nurses and doctors, telling MPs it is short of at least R3.2-billion for the 2017-2018 financial year.   The department's director-general, Precious Matsoso, told the parliamentary standing committee on appropriations that the healthcare system had 45,733 vacant posts, and 351,925 filled posts - an 11.5% shortfall.
The political argument for investing in global health
The Lancet | 1 April 2017
An insular, nativist, authoritarian wave has been on the rise in countries around the world. These movements play on people's fears and insecurities. They create scapegoats, especially vulnerable minorities, and attempt to falsely blame these groups as the cause of people's fears. They also try to undermine institutions such as an independent media and judiciary, which are vital to maintaining the ties of accountability between the elected and the public: structures crucial to a...
How successful were the millennium development goals?
The Guardian | 30 March 2017
Did the United Nation’s millennium development goals (MDGs) make any difference? Perhaps no question is more important for assessing the results of global policy cooperation between 2000 and 2015. But this is a difficult question to answer, because pathways of cause and effect are difficult to discern. In our study we examined which trajectories changed, for better or worse, and to what scale of human consequence. Here we highlight three key findings.