Latest News

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...
ARV treatment helps reduce TB in HIV patients: study
SABC | 18 December 2013
A University of Cape Town study has found that anti-retroviral treatment helps reduce incidents of tuberculosis in HIV-infected people, as well as the mortality of those infected with both diseases. The study was conducted on adults enrolled in a public sector treatment programme in the Free State. UCT researcher Vanessa Timmerman says, "So, what we've seen is ARV is so highly effective in reducing the incidence of TB in these patients and also reducing mortality in this group...
US health policy weighs on SA's HIV patients
Mail&Guardian | 18 December 2013
Hundreds of thousands of HIV patients could be affected by Pepfar's shift in funding policy, according to a new report. A forthcoming report, written by the US advocacy group Health Global Access Project (Health Gap) and the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that potentially tens or even hundreds of thousands of HIV patients may experience treatment interruptions as a result of a key change in policy for one of the world's largest HIV funders. The report suggests that anywhere...
Firm warns on state role in private health
BDLive | 17 December 2013
A month before the Competition Commission begins its inquiry into South Africa’s private healthcare industry, research firm Econex has become the latest to warn that while some regulatory intervention may be required, direct government intervention in private health delivery is not necessarily a good thing. "It may be preferable to leave the shaping of a future private health sector to market forces that respond to the suggested (argued for) regulatory changes," said Econex...