Latest News

World: Stop turning your back on TB
Bhekisisa | 18 May 2016
If a new disease epidemic killed 1.5 million people in one year, it would be covered extensively in the news, and all avenues to bring it to an end would likely be explored and funded. But what about an existing disease that kills that many people? According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tuberculosis (TB) killed 1.5-million people in 2014, causing more deaths than any other single infectious agent. The response to TB has been woefully inadequate to curb the epidemic. South...
Large-scale HIV vaccine trial to launch in South Africa
National Institutes of Health | 18 May 2016
An early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa has determined that an investigational vaccine regimen is safe and generates comparable immune responses to those reported in a landmark 2009 study showing that a vaccine can protect people from HIV infection. Consequently, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its partners have decided to advance the experimental HIV vaccine regimen into a large clinical trial. This new study, called HVTN 702, is...
Too much work, too few doctors
TimesLive | 17 May 2016
Limpopo health officials staved off a strike by doctors unhappy about work conditions and lack of equipment. Doctors say hospitals lack basic medicines and equipment. They are also unhappy about overtime pay. There is a severe shortage of staff in the province, meaning some doctors work 150 hours of overtime a month. Although the department caps the level of overtime pay at 80 hours a month, SA Medical Association member Sadiki Tshilidzi said some doctors worked more hours than that. They...
National Health Insurance: Bring in the specialists
Health-e News | 16 May 2016
There’s a dire shortage of medical specialists, yet provinces have cut budgets for their training. Specialists need to be involved in planning the NHI roll-out to prevent such things from happening, writes South African Society of Anaesthesiologists CEO Natalie Zimmelman. In 2012, the National Department of Health unveiled the country’s first 10 districts to pilot a series of health care reforms under the banner of the NHI, which is aimed at ensuring equitable access to health...
Motsoaledi: No more waiting for Aids drugs
IOL | 11 May 2016
Cape Town - South Africans who test HIV-positive will no longer have to wait for their CD4 count to drop before they receive antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, but will be started on treatment immediately, Minister of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has announced. Delivering his budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday, Motsoaledi said the new treatment plan, which is in line with the World Health Organisation's new treatment guidelines released in December, will be introduced as early as...
Budget Vote speech
Department of Health | 10 May 2016
Madam Speaker/Deputy Speaker/House Chairperson  My Colleague Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla  Cabinet Colleagues  Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Honourable Lindelwa Dunjwa and  Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee on Health  Honourable Members  Representatives of UN agencies  Representatives of development agencies and Donor Partners  Distinguished guests  Ladies and Gentlemen Good Morning! It is a great...
SA still has a way to go in healthcare legislation
Bizcommunity | 9 May 2016
Despite the considerable progress made to deliver quality healthcare to all South Africans, the country's medical policies and legislation are still being hamstrung by red tape. In the 19th edition of the South African Health Review (published by Health Systems Trust), Andy Gray and Professor Yousuf Vawda from the University of KwaZulu-Natal unpick what’s really happening in terms of South Africa’s healthcare laws. NHI White Paper
Sex work, migration and HIV: South Africa’s health system can – and should – take a lead
Migration and Health Project | 9 May 2016
Last week saw the launch of the South African Health Review (SAHR) 2016 edition at the Health Systems Trust Conference in Johannesburg. The conference convened around 300 healthcare workers, policy- and decision-makers, civil society groupings and academics in a bid to strengthen South Africa’s efforts towards the global public health agenda.
Sloppy work hinders our healing
TimesLive | 9 May 2016
Wits public health professor and former Gauteng MEC of health Laetitia Rispel has written about why South Africa's health system underperforms despite the country spending 8% of its gross domestic product on health. Rispel's research was published in the 2016 edition of the SA Health Review. South Africa's spending on health compares with that of Brazil, but with less favourable results and fewer health workers. While Rispel praises the health minister as "charismatic...
Health-E News: SA’s looming water crisis – the less we have, the dirtier it is
Daily Maverick | 8 May 2016
A swim in a lagoon on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast cost historian RW Johnson his leg in 2009. Flesh-eating bacteria entered a cut on his foot, causing necrotising fasciitis – a terrifying condition in which bacteria poison the connective fascia tissue at a rapid rate. The condition kills at least half of all those it infects. Peter Breedt, a Durban doctor, also suffered from necrotising fasciitis after surf-skiing off Durban’s beaches in 2012. He reported that the water was...
One year into the Zika outbreak: How an obscure disease became a global health emergency
World Health Organization | 5 May 2016
In early February 2015, doctors in the impoverished north eastern part of Brazil noticed a surge in the number of people complaining about a mild illness, with and without fever, characterized by rash, fatigue, joint pains, and red eyes. The illness was brief and recovery was spontaneous. A mild form of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease hyperendemic throughout the country, was initially suspected, but tests were negative in the vast majority of samples. Chikungunya, another mosquito-borne...
HIV/AIDS schemes need more money
BDlive | 5 May 2016
Increasing the HIV/AIDS budget in the current fiscal climate will be tough, but worth it in the long run, according to research published in the latest edition of the South African Health Review. SA has the world’s largest HIV burden, with between 6.4-million and 6.8-million people infected with the disease. By December last year, 3.26-million of those with the disease were on treatment. The expansion of this treatment programme by about half a million people a year has required an...