Latest News

KZN MEC sees competency as key in hiring health officials
SABC | 27 March 2015
KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo says he will not compromise on experience and competency when recruiting professionals for health facilities.   Speaking to community members who embarked on a march on Wednesday, Dhlomo says the locals will be given priority for unskilled and semi-skilled posts at the new Dannhauser Community Health Central, to be opened in April in northern KZN.   The community is demanding that only locals be employed at the hospital. ...
Why aren’t we producing medications for looming global disease threats?
The Washington Post | 26 March 2015
In the United States, any cluster of tuberculosis cases makes headlines, no matter how small the numbers. For example, local health authorities recently issued a warning to medical providers after 15 residents of a New York City neighborhood contracted tuberculosis over a two-year period — and the tabloids promptly hyped the news.   When 78 people in Los Angeles contracted tuberculosis between 2007-2013, local health authorities asked for federal help in controlling the...
CDC anti-smoking ads target e-cigarettes for first time, highlight tobacco’s links to variety of diseases
The Washington Post | 26 March 2015
The latest round of government anti-smoking ads targets e-cigarette use for the first time and highlights links to a variety of diseases that aren't typically associated with tobacco use.   The Food and Drug Administration decided to regulate e-cigarettes less than a year ago and has not determined a course of action. Research on the harms of the inhaled chemical vapor and whether the devices can help smokers wean themselves off tobacco has been mixed.   But one of the...
Antibiotic used in pregnancy linked to risk of epilepsy and cerebral palsy
The Guardian | 25 March 2015
Scientists have raised the alert about an antibiotic routinely prescribed for chest infections, after linking it to an increased risk of epilepsy and cerebral palsy in children whose mothers took the drug during pregnancy.   Children of mothers who had taken macrolide antibiotics were found to be almost twice as likely to be affected by the conditions, prompting scientists to call for a review of their use during pregnancy. The study authors urged pregnant women not to stop taking...
MDR-TB: The struggle at home
Health-e News | 25 March 2015
After being diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), Olebogeng Selumi was recently discharged from the Northern Cape’s Kimberley Hospital. Back at home, it is a daily struggle to stay on treatment – and keep his family safe.   Selumi lives in the Promise Land informal settlement near Kuruman. Although the municipality has provided water tanks to the community, residents say that the water is not enough.
System is in good health, insists MEC Malakoane
Mail&Guardian | 24 March 2015
Free State Health MEC Benny Malakoane has accused the M&G of sensationalist reporting, but warned that his department will run out of money this year.   Free State Health MEC Benny Malakoane has accused the Mail & Guardian of “sensationalist reporting” and publishing “inaccurate and unsubstantiated stories” about Dihlabeng Regional Hospital in Bethlehem, as well as the Free State public health system in general, in an effort to undermine his leadership...
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...