Latest News

Giving back to the hospital which saved his life
Tygerburg Children's Hospital Trust | 17 February 2015
Tygerberg Children’s Hospital was the scene of a heartwarming reunion when a Cape Town entrepreneur returned to meet the person who had treated him for childhood cancer nearly 20 years ago, and give back to the ward which had helped save his life.   “I’m so grateful to the doctors and staff who looked after me when I was so sick,” said Gerhard van Niekerk, who spent long stints undergoing chemotherapy and treatment at Tygerberg Children’s Hospital when...
HPV vaccine highly effective against multiple cancer-causing strains
EurekAlert! | 13 February 2015
WASHINGTON, DC, 13 January 2015 -- According to a multinational clinical trial involving nearly 20,000 young women, the human papilloma virus vaccine, Cervarix, not only has the potential to prevent cervical cancer, but was effective against other common cancer-causing human papillomaviruses, aside from just the two HPV types, 16 and 18, which are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases. That effectiveness endured for the study's entire follow-up, of up to four years.
Rheumatic heart disease levels high in SA
SABC | 12 February 2015
South Africa’s cases of rheumatic heart disease are 25 times the World Health Organisation (WHO) rate.
Breast cancer advocates demand three-month supplies of treatment
Health-e News | 12 February 2015
Many HIV patients are now issued with three-month supplies of treatment, cutting down the burden on clinics and patients. Now, breast cancer advocates want the same for women battling the cancer.   In 2011, 53-year-old Nobuntu Rulashe from Soweto’s Snail Park was watching TV when a breast cancer awareness advert came on. The advert promoted her to check her breasts for the lumps the lady on the TV described.   She found one.   Less than a year later in January...
Comment: Measles threat puts Ebola to shame
Mail&Guardian | 30 January 2015
The disease is outfoxing prevention efforts, thanks in part to vaccination myths.   The year 2014 saw one of the scariest infectious disease outbreaks in recent history. Ebola has so far claimed about 8 600 lives of the nearly 21 700 who were clinically ill. Ebola may have hogged the headlines, but a December 19 warning alert of a measles outbreak in South Africa failed to cause much of a stir in the media.   According to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD...
Influenza drug now hailed as effective
BDlive | 30 January 2015
The controversial influenza drug oseltamivir reduces complications and keeps people out of hospital, according to new research published on Thursday in the UK journal The Lancet.   Last year, an influential study published by the Cochrane Collaboration and the British Medical Journal cast doubt on the efficacy of oseltamivir, concluding it was little better than paracetamol at relieving symptoms.
State rethink on posting of doctors
BDlive | 28 January 2015
The Department of Health is planning to revise the National Health Act’s controversial provisions for regulating where doctors work, it emerged on Tuesday.   The development will allow doctor associations a fresh opportunity to lobby the government, but does not mean the policy is off the political agenda.   Health director-general Precious Matsoso said the principle of the so-called certificate of need, which aims to direct healthcare resources to areas where the...
Malaria cases on the rise: NICD
SABC | 20 January 2015
The National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) says malaria cases have increased from over 8 000 in 2013 to almost 14 000 last year. 

The institute's Deputy Director, Professor Lucille Blumberg, says the increase is primarily due to favourable climatic conditions for the breeding of mosquitoes. 

Travellers visiting malaria-affected areas are urged to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

SA’s health workers to help fight Ebola in Sierra Leone
BDlive | 20 January 2015
The first group of healthcare professionals recruited to help treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone is due to leave on Friday, Right to Care announced on Monday.   Right to Care is a nonprofit organisation working closely with the Department of Health to support its aid to Sierra Leone.   It launched an appeal in December for doctors, nurses and paramedics to help the West African nation.   Sierra Leone has been hardest hit by the region’s Ebola outbreak, which...
SA role in Ebola vaccine clinical trial
BDlive | 19 January 2015
South African healthcare workers in Sierra Leone might be among the frontline staff offered experimental Ebola vaccines when clinical trials get under way in West Africa in the next two months, it emerged last week.   Researchers and vaccine manufacturers are pushing ahead with plans to test whether three experimental Ebola vaccines are effective against the virus, racing against time as the number of patients falls.   West Africa has experienced the worst outbreak of Ebola...
60% of SA sex workers HIV positive
City Press | 13 January 2015
About 60% of South Africa’s estimated 150 000 sex workers are HIV positive.   The statistics were announced by the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) at the launch of a national HIV/Aids programme for sex workers in Johannesburg yesterday, The New Age reported.   “How can you talk about HIV prevention and not talk about sex work, knowing that HIV transmission involves sex?” Sanac chief executive Fareed Abdullah was quoted as saying at the launch...
Study links birth control to increased risk of HIV infection
Health-e News | 12 January 2015
Women using the birth control shot known by the brand name Depo-Provera may have about a 30 percent higher risk of contracting HIV, according to new research. However, the link between hormonal contraception and HIV remains uncertain.   Researchers have questioned a possible link between hormonal contraception use and HIV risk since 1991.