Latest News

Healthcare heroes heal the system
Mail&Guardian | 17 January 2014
Clinical associates are changing the medical sector by freeing up doctors to do more. Arthur Setlhapelo's focus is momentarily broken by a person in a bright yellow T-shirt walking past the window. He turns his attention back to the spacious room where he smiles reassuringly at one of his patients, a quiet young woman, awaiting his medical advice. After graduating with a clinical associate qualification in 2011, Setlhapelo started practising at Tshwaragano Hospital, which is about...
Motsoaledi: Big pharma's 'satanic' plot is genocide
Mail&Guardian | 17 January 2014
Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi is livid about a pharmaceutical company campaign he says will restrict access to crucial drugs. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has accused a group of multinational pharmaceutical companies active in South Africa of conspiring against the state, the people of South Africa and the populations of developing countries – and of planning what amounts to mass murder.
Computerised counselling for HIV patients improves treatment adherence
Aidsmap | 13 January 2014
Computerised counselling can achieve reductions in viral load and HIV transmission risk behaviour, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The counselling programme was associated with significant reductions in viral load, improvements in adherence to HIV therapy and reductions in risky sexual behaviour. “The adherence effect was most pronounced among those whose plasma HIV-1 load was not suppressed at...
Webcast the World Health Assembly
The Lancet | 11 January 2014
Once a year, delegates of WHO member states gather in Geneva for the World Health Assembly (WHA) to establish WHO's priorities and programmes for the coming year. Those health practitioners, scholars, advocates, and journalists who are brave (or foolish) enough to come to the event jostle for credentials and queue for security, after spending thousands of dollars and burning tanks of jet fuel, with no guarantee of having a seat in the small public gallery.   The expense and...
Study uses stem cells to help treat drug-resistant TB
BDLive | 10 January 2014
Patients with potentially lethal multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) might one day be treated with stem cells taken from their own bone marrow, according to a small study published on Thursday in the medical magazine Lancet. New treatments are needed for TB, as there is growing resistance to the drugs available. There are about 450,000 MDR-TB patients around the world, mostly in South Afroca, Eastern Europe and Asia, according to the World Health Organisation, and about half of them...
Innovative healthcare initiative launched in Cape Town
Humanipo | 9 January 2014
The Inclusive Healthcare Innovation Initiative (IHII) has been launched in South Africa by two University of Cape Town (UCT) faculties, with the aim of creating a collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to achieving healthcare innovation. The Graduate School of Business and the Faculty of Health Sciences unveiled the collaborative project, which is intended to encourage African citizens to reimagine healthcare across the continent. “The complexity of challenges faced in...
New iPad app to record data at Groote Schuur
Health24 | 8 January 2014
Canadian surgeons have collaborated with Groote Schuur Hospital to successfully develop an iPad app for capturing trauma patient data. Electronic health records (EHRs) have become standard practice throughout hospitals in North America, but in countries with fewer resources many front-line clinicians are still collecting data on paper, if they are collecting it at all. But now, surgeons from Vancouver, British Columbia, have developed a way for their peers at a Level 1 trauma centre in...
TB/HIV programmatic challenges highlighted at ICASA
Aidsmap | 7 January 2014
The presence of tuberculosis (TB) at the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) predicts retention in care, according to a study presented by Dr Enegela at the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), held in Cape Town, South Africa from 7 to 11 December 2013.   Adults with TB at ART initiation were 2.85 times less likely to be retained in care (p = 0.0014; 95% CI, 1.2-6.4), according to the cross-sectional review of 1262 people who had initiated...
Wrangle may delay healthcare inquiry
BDLive | 6 January 2014
On the eve of the landmark inquiry into the private healthcare industry in South Africa, the Netcare group is challenging the Competition Commission’s use of professional services firm KPMG as its technical service provider for the investigation. Netcare says there is a clear conflict of interest since KPMG has done consultancy and strategic work for it since 2011, including work preparing for the market inquiry set to start on Monday.
Drink fuels nation’s health crisis
IOL | 31 December 2013
As the curtain falls on 2013 not much has changed regarding the health of the citizens. The burdens of disease have not abated, while health departments and other stakeholders have continued to forge ahead with the battle to educate and increase awareness of prevention, rather than cure. The major burdens on the health-care system – HIV, tuberculosis, maternal and child mortality, non-communicable diseases and violence, injuries and trauma – have continued to haunt the corridors...
Department to assess effects of mooted alcohol ad ban
BDLive | 24 December 2013
The Department of Health is to commission an independent regulatory impact assessment (RIA) of its plan to ban the advertising of alcohol products. Late in November, it quietly asked service providers to submit proposals for a regulatory impact assessment by Thursday last week. It said the assessment should be completed within three months from the date on which the contract was awarded, include a cost-benefit analysis and cost no more than R500,000. This implies a considerable delay in...
Concerns grow over Mpumalanga health care
News24 | 21 December 2013
Several hospitals in Mpumalanga are in a critical state and impact government's ability to provide health care, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Saturday. "The SAHRC found that several hospitals in Mpumalanga are in a critical state resulting in the violation of the public's right to access health care services," spokesperson Isaac Mangena said in a statement. "The latest findings in Mpumalanga are reflective of systemic challenges across the public...