Latest News

The World Could End AIDS if It Tried
New York Times | 13 June 2016
The world has made so much progress in reducing the spread of AIDS and treating people with H.I.V. that the epidemic has receded from the public spotlight. Yet by any measure the disease remains a major threat — 1.1 million people died last year from AIDS-related causes, and 2.1 million people were infected with the virus. And while deaths are down over the last five years, the number of new infections has essentially reached a plateau.
Billions of rand short for NHI to work
Financial Mail | 10 June 2016
Finally, we have confirmation: even government’s own numbers for National Health Insurance (NHI) just don’t add up. Government’s policy document — four years in the making, and finally gazetted last December — admits there’s a shortage of billions of rand if we want to make it work. Conveniently, that white paper doesn’t say exactly how much NHI will cost, or where the money is expected to come from. Nor do the numbers add up elsewhere: by the...
WHO: People in Zika-affected regions should consider delaying pregnancy
Washington Post | 9 June 2016
In a move with enormous social implications in countries hardest hit by Zika, the World Health Organization is recommending that millions of people in areas where the mosquito-borne virus is spreading now consider delaying pregnancy to avoid risking a baby born with serious brain damage.
WHO validates countries' elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis
WHO | 8 June 2016
The World Health Organization congratulates Thailand and Belarus for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and syphilis. WHO also applauds Armenia and the Republic of Moldova for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and syphilis, respectively. “To ensure children are born healthy is to give them the best possible start in life. It is immensely encouraging to see countries succeed in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of these 2 infections,” said...
Significant attrition at each stage of HIV care cascade in South Africa - Over half of HIV-infected men undiagnosed
AIDSmap | 6 June 2016
There is significant attrition at each stage of the HIV care continuum in South Africa, according to a study published in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The population-based research was conducted in North West Province and revealed that of those with HIV, only 48% of men and 76% of women were aware they were infected. Patients were then lost at each stage in the cascade of HIV care. Overall, just 22% of HIV-positive men and 56% of HIV-positive...
Second Durban Declaration
International AIDS Society | 1 June 2016
There has been remarkable progress in our response to AIDS since the global HIV community last convened in Durban in 2000. Curbing the spread of HIV was the first step . Accelerating investment and action on a robust human rights and social justice agenda is the next.
NHI: More pragmatism and less ideology
Health-e News | 30 May 2016
Just as the apartheid regime fed it’s supporters with horror stories about marauding ‘Reds’ out to confiscate everything privately owned, so some post-apartheid ANC leaders have made the private sector synonymous with everything that is greedy and selfish. Like most things, the truth is often found somewhere in between, which is why the “triple Ps” – public-private partnerships – can be effective in delivering services by harnessing the public...
Virtual GPs' weak pulse
Times Live | 26 May 2016
South Africans love their mobile phones, but not when they replace a doctor. Unlike the Chinese, South Africans have not taken to mobile consultations with GPs. In January Discovery launched a service that allows members to use a smartphone app to discuss symptoms with a GP over a video call. But, according to CEO Jonathan Broomberg, the South African uptake has been weak, although it has taken off in China. According to Broomberg, Discovery's business partner in China has a call...
Government hostility towards private healthcare impedes NHI
BDlive | 26 May 2016
The government’s antipathy towards public-private partnerships is holding up implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI), according to the head of the Independent Practitioners Association Foundation (IPAF), which represents doctors. IPAF chairman Morgan Chetty, speaking at a media summit on Wednesday organised by medical scheme administrator Discovery Health, said: "The government sees the private sector as a threat. "It fears divestiture and that the public...
Investing in health is not cheap, but it is not a luxury either
The Guardian | 25 May 2016
From Ebola to obesity, all countries need a healthcare system that is resilient to crises and responsive to people’s changing needs. While Ebola, Zika and yellow fever may seem like distant threats to most people living in the developed world, the lessons from these global crises should resonate across health services in all countries.
Is universal access to healthcare possible?
Bhekisisa | 24 May 2016
The World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international institutions agree that UHC saves lives, boosts economies and stabilises societies. This is why The Elders (an independent association of global leaders, founded by Nelson Mandela) have launched a new initiative to campaign for universal health coverage. We believe UHC makes political and economic sense. When people's lives are stunted or end prematurely, this is not only a terrible tragedy for them and their...
69th World Health Assembly: speakers at high-level side event call for a Fast-Track response to end the AIDS epidemic among women and adolescent girls
UNAIDS | 23 May 2016
At a high-level side event held during the 69th session of the World Health Assembly, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, delegates have urged countries to end gender inequity in the response to HIV by putting women and adolescent girls on the Fast-Track to ending the AIDS epidemic. Lorena Castillo de Varela, First Lady of Panama and UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America, hosted the event. Ms Castillo de Varela stressed the importance of women assuming leadership roles to...