Latest News

SA testing anti-HIV vaccine
Times Live | 17 March 2016
Scientists will know in May if they can test it on 7000 people, said investigator Professor Glenda Gray, president of the SA Medical Research Council. The vaccine - the only one shown to be reasonably effective against HIV after 30 years of research - is being tested on 100 people in this country. It is designed to activate the immune system to fight the virus. The results of the test will be known in May. If the vaccine proves to be effective, regulators will give the go-ahead for a...
Hospital watchdog lacks power to enforce standards
BDlive | 17 March 2016
BABIES sharing incubators and sedated patients left lying unattended on the floors were among grim findings made by the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC), which on Wednesday told Parliament it lacked the legal muscle to force public hospitals and clinics to up their game. The OHSC was established three years ago, but until Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi promulgates regulations for the norms and standards hospitals and clinics must meet, it cannot take firm action against...
Report on the South African Health Monitoring Survey: An Integrated Biological and Behavioural Survey among Female Sex Workers, South Africa 2013 - 2014
Health-e News | 16 March 2016
Conducted on behalf of South African National Department of Health, the study found an HIV prevalence rates of as high as about 72 per cent among the country’s female sex workers.  Conducted between July 2013 and February 2014, the study looked at not only HIV prevalence rates but also HIV risk factors among almost 2,200 female sex workers in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Sex workers in Johannesburg had the highest HIV prevalence rates at about 72 percent followed by Durban...
5 things you should know about HIV pre-exposure
Health-e News | 15 March 2016
South Africa has just announced that thousands of HIV-negative sex workers will be eligible to receive antiretrovirals (ARV) to help prevent them from becoming infected with HIV. Here are five things you should know about HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.
Antibiotics becoming ineffective at treating some child infections
The Guardian | 15 March 2016
Children are becoming powerless to fight off common infections because antibiotics they take are unable to kill the bacteria involved, experts warn. New research shows that overuse of antibiotics by children is to blame for bugs becoming drug-resistant for up to six months at a time in cases of urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by E coli.
Op-Ed: Coming to the aid of sex workers
Daily Maverick | 13 March 2016
In the same week that former President Thabo Mbeki stirred emotions with his weekly letter 'seeking to clarify' his views on HIV and AIDS, South Africa launched the national sex worker HIV plan aimed at arresting runaway infection rates in this vulnerable sector of our population.
Gender and eHealth in Kenya
Health Systems Global | 7 March 2016
E-Health or the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for health is increasingly being adopted in Kenya to bridge the gap in access to health services, and improve efficiency and governance of the health system in an effort to achieve better health outcomes. In Kenya, a mobile technology revolution is evolving with mobile coverage estimated to be over 80% and internet use through mobile subscriptions 99%. This ubiquitous use of mobile technology and applications has made it...
Five lessons Nigeria learnt when it clamped down on polio
Bhekisisa | 3 March 2016
Success hinges on a number of key factors, ranging from government buy-in to harnessing the support of traditional leaders and civil society. Much of my life has been spent working to eradicate polio, a crippling and vaccine-preventable disease. This was a feat once considered impossible - even just a few years ago, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. But last July, against all odds, we celebrated our first anniversary of being polio-free.A month later, the...
The five principles behind the world’s most efficient health systems
The Guardian | 1 March 2016
One of the greatest conundrums in global health is why so many countries don’t get what they pay for. A relationship between health expenditure and health exists, but is far looser than you might think. Many nations spend a quarter or even a half of what others do for the same or better outcomes.
Admin jobs surge in public healthcare
BDlive | 29 February 2016
The ranks of public healthcare's administrative staff increased 12% in the three years to September last year, even as the number of doctors and nurses flatlined, Treasury figures show. The data are in line with a recent analysis by the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, which found that the government went on a recruitment drive after 2008 in which low-level clerks were among the primary beneficiaries.
A global defence system to fight virus threats is urgently needed
The Guardian | 27 February 2016
The Ebola and Zika epidemics require a coordinated response involving infrastructure, international organisation and readily available vaccines.  A healthy body has three essential systems for staying that way. There is physical fitness, building resilience against threats. There is the brain, to spot danger and take action. And there is the immune system, to neutralise infections that breach other defences. The world needs similar systems to protect against epidemic and pandemic...
National Health Insurance: A wing and a prayer
Financial Mail | 26 February 2016
Government’s National Health Insurance plan (NHI), which has the noble ambition of extending affordable, quality treatment to all, is based on the most dramatic overhaul of the SA health-care system since the ANC came to power in 1994. But how and when it will come to fruition remains an open question, with gaping holes in the policy framework and implementation strategy. The vision, outlined in the White Paper on NHI, is of a health-care system based on the principle of social...