Latest News

Vaginal ring offers partial HIV protection in HIV Treatment
Health-e News | 22 February 2016
A vaginal ring that releases antiretroviral (ARV) medicine slowly over a month provides women with moderate protection against HIV infection.One-third fewer women were infected with HIV when using the ring filled with the ARV, dapivirine, than women using a ring without the ARV, according to results from two big trials released yesterday. The ring worked best in women over the age of 25, where it protected over half of women from HIV. However, researchers say that many of the younger women...
Comment: South Africa must close the immunisation gap that parallels class
Mail & Guardian | 19 February 2016
Just 30 years ago, the average South African woman would have had four children, with the expectation that only two would live to celebrate their fifth birthdays. Today, parents no longer need to live with the same fear, in large part as a result of a remarkably powerful public health tool: the introduction of vaccines. They can protect children for a lifetime from deadly and devastating diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus. In South Africa, the introduction of pneumococcal and...
E Cape Denosa demand better working conditions
SABC | 18 February 2016
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in the Eastern Cape (EC) is demanding better working conditions and that more nurses be appointed to address a massive shortage. Members of the organization marched to the Provincial Health Department in Bhisho. Taking to the streets as a last resort to air their grievances, Denosa says the limited intake of nursing students cannot address the nine thousand shortage in the province. The union says dire working conditions at...
Expensive private healthcare highlighted at inquiry
BDlive | 18 February 2016
The high cost of private health care took centre stage at the health market inquiry on Wednesday, amid revelations that South Africans pay six times the international average for hospital stays. A World Health Organisation (WHO) commissioned study on price levels for private hospitals found that 41.8% of the funds spent on private voluntary health insurance in South Africa were equivalent to 3.7% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This is six times the average in the...
When a child gives birth, who has failed her?
Health-e News | 15 February 2016
When a 12-year-old girl slides onto your operating table for a caesarean section, it's hard not to ask how she got here - and the answer seems to lie somewhere in the distance between cities and villages and in the family planning gap between the "have's" and "have not's" There’s an awkward tension in the operating theatre as the nurses and doctors prepare for the caesarean section. They go about the usual business of unpacking equipment and switching...
Mpumalanga's health is failing - but it won't take it's medicine
Mail & Guardian | 12 February 2016
The Mpumalanga department of health incurred nearly R2-billion in irregular expenditure in the 2014-2015 financial year - making up more than 80% of the province's total irregular expenditure, according to the auditor general's report. The report, released in November, reveals that the department failed to investigate the irregular expenditure identified in the 2013-2014 financial year. The department “has [also] been struggling to address a qualification on assets for the...
Home HIV tests no suicide risk
Timeslive | 10 February 2016
The South African Pharmacy Council has relaxed the regulation prohibiting chemists from selling HIV home-testing kits for private use. So South Africans concerned about their HIV status can now go to their local pharmacy and buy a home HIV test. In the past, the only way to self test would be to purchase the kit online because the law did not cover websites. The law changed in May last year but inexplicably has only just been announced by the council. When testing at home, without...
Concern grows at Catholic church's silence over Zika virus crisis.
The Guardian | 4 February 2016
Critics draw comparison with church view on Aids/HIV as proscription remains on artificial contraception and abortion despite virus's links with birth defects.   The Catholic church has remained silent in the face of the mounting crisis caused by the Zika virus in Latin America, which has led at least four countries to urge women to avoid pregnancy for up to two years.
No rise in SA's ARV resistance
Times Live | 3 February 2016
So said the deputy director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Francois Venter, in response to global reports that resistance to HIV drugs is on the rise in Africa. According to a study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, 60% of 2000 HIV patients in sub-Saharan Africa, tested because they had failed to respond adequately to tenofovir - one of the most commonly used antiretrovirals - had developed resistance to it. Researchers at University College London...
Forced virginity-testing is unlawful and offensive, and will not prevent HIV-AIDS
Daily Maverick | 2 February 2016
Bathabile Dlamini is South Africa’s Minister of Social development and President of the ANC Women's League. The print media and social media have been abuzz with the decision by the uThukela District Municipality in Kwazulu-Natal to put in place a bursary scheme for girls provided that they remain virgins.
Nurses leaving SA in droves
Pretoria News | 2 February 2016
Pretoria - More and more South African nurses are taking their skills and knowledge abroad for the promise of more pay and better working conditions. This has plunged the country’s healthcare sector and nursing profession deep into crisis, the Pretoria News learnt on Monday. The hardest-hit victims of the exodus are children, the sick, poor and elderly and those who live in areas where healthcare was already scarce, stakeholders said. Hundreds of thousands of well-trained and...
Newsletter of the HIV, TB, and MNCWH Cluster
National Department of Health | 1 February 2016
In the September newsletter we noted that the United Nations was getting ready to adopt the SDGs It’s now January 2016 and the SDGs have been adopted and its implementation should have commenced. Whilst many of the detailed targets and indicators will only be finalised by April this year, we know what some of the targets are and need to take these into account in all the plans that we develop. In this newsletter we look at both the targets for selected activities and our current...