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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:
Big increase in diabetes deaths
Health-E News | 1 March 2017
There has been a significant increase in deaths from diabetes, which is now South Africa’s second biggest killer. Diabetes is the number one killer of women and people living in the Western Cape. This is according to StatsSA, which yesterday (28 Feb) released a report on the causes of death in 2015. Tuberculosis remains the country’s biggest single killer, claiming 7,2% of all deaths followed by diabetes, which was responsible for 5,4% of deaths. In 2013,...
Geographical disparities in HIV prevalence and care among men who have sex with men in Malawi: results from a multisite cross-sectional survey
The Lancet | 27 February 2017
Epidemiological assessment of geographical heterogeneity of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) is necessary to inform HIV prevention and care strategies in the more generalised HIV epidemics across sub-Saharan Africa, including Malawi. We aimed to measure the HIV prevalence, risks, and access to HIV care among MSM across multiple localities to better inform HIV programming for MSM in Malawi.
South Africa launches clinical trial to cut heart disease in HIV positive people
The Conversation | 27 February 2017
Scientists are embarking on a massive clinical trial to test a drug to reduce the chances of people living with HIV developing heart diseases and suffering from heart-related illnesses like strokes. The trial is being launched in South Africa but will span four ccntinents and involve 6,500 participants. The Conversation Africa’s health and medicine editor Candice Bailey asked Carl Dieffenbach and Gita Ramjee to explain the significance of the trial. How common is it for...
The inequality gap and its impact on health
Health-E News | 27 February 2017
Social injustice is the biggest threat to global health and a radical change in society is needed if we really want people to live long, healthy lives. “What good does it do to treat people and send them back to the conditions that made them sick?” This is the question Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, asks himself repeatedly. An expert in health and inequality, he spoke at Wits University recently about why...
African app cuts medical costs with community "virtual pharmacy"
Times Live | 24 February 2017
A mobile app in Senegal helps families save money and reduce waste through a "virtual pharmacy" where users can exchange leftover medication for new prescriptions. JokkoSante is scaling up after a two-year pilot phase in one Senegalese town and on Friday launched a partnership with its first hospital, said founder Adama Kane. It aims to reach 300,000 families in the West African nation by the end of the year. "Everyone has a box of unused medicine in their cabinet,...
Gordhan outlines initial focus of NHI Fund
Health-E News | 23 February 2017
The Finance Minister announced that a NHI Fund will be set up this year in the next step towards universal health coverage. A National Health Insurance (NHI) Fund will help mentally ill patients among others, announced Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his 2017 budget speech. The initial priorities of the Fund include maternal health, family planning services, the integrated school health programme and improving the services for people with disabilities, the elderly and “...
Service delivery starts with data. See who's been missing from the spreadsheets
Bhekisisa | 22 February 2017
Without accurate data, maginalised groups risk being left behind - again. Tanzania’s most recent national census tells us that about one in 16 people has a disability in the country’s Ruvuma region. But what if the true number was closer to one in five? Data is not just for analysts. When properly used, statistics can make a real difference to people’s lives. They can decide, for instance, where services such as hospitals, schools and voting stations are...
National Health Laboratory Service heads accused of graft
BD Live | 22 February 2017
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has accused top executives at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) of corruption and maladministration, prompting the organisation’s board to commission a forensic audit. The investigation, conducted by Grant Thornton, is complete and its recommendations are due to be discussed at a two-day board meeting that begins on Wednesday. Among the NHLS executives fingered by Nehawu are CEO Joyce Mogale, chief...