Latest News

South Africa joins world to mark TB Day
SABC | 24 March 2015
As part of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day commemorations, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, will on Tuesday launch a National TB screening Campaign in Klerksdorp, North West.   Government wants to strengthen the fight against TB, focusing on miners and mining communities.   Over 40 000 cases of TB are recorded annually in South African mines, especially in the gold sector.
Treatment of drug-resistant TB at clinics a success
Mail&Guardian | 24 March 2015
A Médecins Sans Frontières project in Cape Town finds that sick people prefer being treated at facilities closer to home rather than in hospitals.   Treating patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) at clinics closer to their homes instead of in hospitals, which are often further away, is 42% cheaper as well as better for patients’ quality of life, according to a new report released by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) ahead of World TB Day on...
TB toll in South Africa is ‘disgraceful’ and ‘unacceptable’ says Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Stellenbosch University | 24 March 2015
The private gala screening of the film Breathe Umphefumlo and its introduction by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has brought home the grim reality of the toll TB has taken on so many South Africans.   Tuberculosis is the number one cause of death in South Africa, with more than 50,000 people dying of TB every year.   “It is disgraceful. We can’t accept this. There are people dying who need not die.  We can’t go on accepting that people die –...
Editorial: Decentralise treatment for drug-resistant TB
Health-e News | 23 March 2015
Decentralised treatment of people with drug-resistant TB reaches more patients and is cheaper – yet government is dragging its feet to implement this approach, which it adopted as policy in 2011.   Anyone can get drug-resistant tuberculosis DR TB from being sneezed or coughed on by the estimated 14 000 people who are infected, even if we have never had TB before.   Treatment for DR TB can take up to two years, is costly and often painful with some awful side effects...
Roll over Ebola: Measles is the deadly new threat
Mail&Guardian | 23 March 2015
A consequence of the Ebola epidemic is a steep drop in measles vaccinations as overburdened hospitals are unable to keep up.   The people of Monrovia’s Peace Island ghetto, refugees of civil war who found themselves suddenly overwhelmed and outmanoeuvred by the deadly Ebola epidemic, are used to life under siege.
New female contraceptive for school learners on the cards
SABC | 20 March 2015
Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi says a new contraceptive for female learners will soon be introduced which may prevent them from falling pregnant for up to three years. The initiative is in partnership with the Department of Health.    Lesufi says this contraceptive is aimed at reducing the high number of teenage pregnancies in schools across the country. He has been speaking to school principals in Kempton Park.    “We are now finalising an agreement...
Red Cross marches against stigma towards TB patients
SABC | 20 March 2015
The Red Cross in KwaZulu-Natal has taken its message of zero discrimination against tuberculosis to the Durban City Centre. They marched through the streets, carrying placards with various messages, driving home the fact that TB is curable.   KZN has the second highest number of people with TB in the country.     The Red Cross says people need to change their mind set and be supportive of people living with certain illnesses including tuberculosis.
TB fight could soon get boost from simple swab diagnostic test
BDlive | 19 March 2015
A simple mouth swab may one day help diagnose tuberculosis, if the results of a small trial conducted in Worcester and Seattle can be replicated.   Quick and accurate diagnosis is essential for controlling TB, which affected 380,000 people in SA in 2013, according to the World Health Organisation. TB is currently diagnosed by getting patients to cough up sputum and then testing it for TB germs.
Draft policy: Early Childhood Development Policy
Health-e News | 18 March 2015
The public comment period on the 164-page draft policy closes 24 April 2015.   Prompted by the lack of recognition of the benefits or right to early childhood education (ECD), the policy has five main objectives including ensuring equitable access to ECD services, coordinating a multisectoral approach to ECD provision, and ensuring adequate budgeting and monitoring of ECD services.   Despite recent progress in expanding access to ECD services in South Africa, the policy...
Innovations at Groote Schuur offer hope to patients and nurses
GroundUp | 17 March 2015
 A year after receiving a kidney transplant, Vuyo [not his real name] travelled to the Eastern Cape to visit his grandmother. A young man of 19, Vuyo had been making good progress after the operation, but he still had to take medication daily.   When his bag, containing his clothes and medication, was stolen, he went to the local hospital, where a junior doctor told him, “If you’re Groote Schuur’s patient, you can just get your medication when you go back....
Concern over NHI’s failure to woo doctors
BDlive | 16 March 2015
Four years into implementing National Health Insurance (NHI), the Department of Health has failed to persuade significant numbers of private sector general practitioners (GPs) to work in its facilities, raising doubts about its feasibility.   So far only 175 doctors have been contracted to work in state clinics in 10 of the 11 NHI pilot districts, a far cry from the target of 900 the department had hoped to reach by the end of this month.
New scheme to help patients in Province
Diamond Fields Advertiser | 13 March 2015
Patients in the Pixley ka Seme District who are on chronic medication now have more options to choose from when it comes to collecting their medication.   The Central Chronic Medicine Distribution and Dispensing Programme (CCMDDP) is a joint initiative between Health Systems Trust (HST) and the Department of Health, funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.