Latest News

South African DG of Health, Doctors challenge pharma lobbying plans
UAEM | 23 January 2014
GENEVA, January 23, 2014 - In a meeting with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), South African Director General of Health Malebona Precious Matsoso strongly criticized a leaked proposal by the pharmaceutical industry lobby to undermine access to medicines in South Africa.   The leaked plan from Public Affairs Engagement, a lobbying firm based in Washington, D.C., focused on halting reforms to South Africa's intellectual property laws that would expand access to...
Director-General of Health - remarks in Geneva about #Pharmagate
KEI | 23 January 2014
On Thursday, 23 January 2014, Malebona Precious Matsoso (Director General of the South African National Department of Health) delivered the following intervention at the 134th session of the World Health Organization's Executive Board under agenda item 9.7 on Access to essential medicines in response to the recent Pharmagate imbroglio.
Gates Foundation forms new health partnerships in South Africa
BDLive | 21 January 2014
THE Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Tuesday announced two new partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at finding new tools to fight HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. The partnerships will have a combined budget of R370m, and will be led by South African scientists. "South Africa has world-class researchers and the infrastructure necessary to develop the kinds of innovative health solutions needed to accelerate progress...
WHO may begin webcast of health minister meeting
The New York Times | 20 January 2014
The World Health Organization, responding to an angry letter to a British medical journal, says it may soon start streaming its annual meeting of the world's health ministers on the web.  
Hospitals may be discharging XDR-TB patients too soon – study
Health-e News | 17 January 2014
A shortage of beds may be forcing hospitals to discharge patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) before they are cured and a minority may be unwittingly infecting others, according to new research by Cape Town and Stellenbosch universities. Published online today in the medical journal, The Lancet, the research followed 107 XDR-TB patients from three hospitals Cape Town, Uppington and Johannesburg for five years. During the course of the study, about 40 percent of the...
UNAIDS has ‘good news’ about HIV in SA
Business Day | 17 January 2014
New HIV infections in South Africa have fallen by a third since 2004, according to a report handed to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Friday. Between 2004 and 2012, the number of new HIV infections fell from an estimated 540,000 to 370,000, the report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) showed. "The general message is that it’s good news," said UNAIDS country co-ordinator for South Africa Dr Catherine Sozi. Speaking at an event in Durban...
TB patients sent home to die, says study
BDLive | 17 January 2014
PATIENTS with incurable and highly infectious tuberculosis (TB) were being routinely discharged from hospital to die at home, putting friends, family and people in their community at risk of catching the disease, according to a South African study published in the Lancet on Friday. The study had found that 42% of the patients who were discharged from hospital with incurable, extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB were still infectious. The study throws out a direct challenge to the...
Healthcare heroes heal the system
Mail&Guardian | 17 January 2014
Clinical associates are changing the medical sector by freeing up doctors to do more. Arthur Setlhapelo's focus is momentarily broken by a person in a bright yellow T-shirt walking past the window. He turns his attention back to the spacious room where he smiles reassuringly at one of his patients, a quiet young woman, awaiting his medical advice. After graduating with a clinical associate qualification in 2011, Setlhapelo started practising at Tshwaragano Hospital, which is about...
Motsoaledi: Big pharma's 'satanic' plot is genocide
Mail&Guardian | 17 January 2014
Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi is livid about a pharmaceutical company campaign he says will restrict access to crucial drugs. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has accused a group of multinational pharmaceutical companies active in South Africa of conspiring against the state, the people of South Africa and the populations of developing countries – and of planning what amounts to mass murder.
Computerised counselling for HIV patients improves treatment adherence
Aidsmap | 13 January 2014
Computerised counselling can achieve reductions in viral load and HIV transmission risk behaviour, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The counselling programme was associated with significant reductions in viral load, improvements in adherence to HIV therapy and reductions in risky sexual behaviour. “The adherence effect was most pronounced among those whose plasma HIV-1 load was not suppressed at...
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...