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Tag search: "South Africa"

Promoting health through the life course

South African men march against abuse of women and children

Hundreds of South Africans who have been angered by a rise in violence against women and children took to the streets and marched in protest, calling for action, in the South African capital Pretoria

May 20, 2017
BBC, AlJazeera
May 21, 2017

In South Africa, mothers lead push to get pregnant women tested for HIV

South African mothers are leading the push to get pregnant women tested for HIV; mothers2mothers support groups are helping women to understand the value of HIV testing for young pregnant women and how this is leading to a cut in transmission of a virus that can pass AIDS from mothers to babies

May 5, 2017

Health department intensifies efforts to curb teen pregnancies

The latest shock statistics on pre-teen and teen pregnancies in South Africa revealed that 193 pupils in Grades 3,4 and 6 fell pregnant between 2014 and 2016. If school pupils from Grade 6 and 7 were added this number would jump to 1,449. The Department of Health acknowledged the issue and explained how it was intensifying its efforts to address this societal crisis

April 5, 2017

Preparedness, surveillance and response

South Africa confirms two more cases of H5N8 bird flu on poultry farms

South Africa`s agricultural department confirmed two more outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu have been detected on commercial layer farms in the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Two previous outbreaks of avian flu in recent weeks have also been detected in South Africa, including on a farm belonging to poultry producer Astral

July 12, 2017

South Africa bans sale of live hens to contain bird flu

South Africa has banned the sale of live hens throughout the country in a bid to control an outbreak of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu, but no humans have been affected, the government said. Exports of processed poultry products, live chickens and fresh produce will continue depending on the requirements of importing countries, the department of agriculture said. "To date, no human cases of infection with avian influenza H5N8 have been reported. However, people handling wild birds, sick or dying poultry must wear protective clothing and wash their hands with disinfectants," the department said

June 26, 2017

South Africa reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, industry body says

South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said. Poultry producer Astral confirmed that the H5N8 bird flu strain was found on its Villiers farm on the outskirts of the Free State province. The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds. "Astral assures all stakeholders that everything is being done to contain this incident. If this incident is contained to that specific site and/or farm Astral’s contingency plans do ensure continued operations with no impact,” Astral Managing Director, Agriculture, Gary Arnold said

June 23, 2017

South Africa suspends Zimbabwe chicken imports after bird flu outbreak

South Africa said it was suspending all trade in birds and chicken products from neighbouring Zimbabwe after it reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a commercial poultry farm

June 8, 2017

Study discovers new TB strain in SA

A new study has found that two thirds of patients with extensive drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) have incurable TB. XDR-TB is resistant to four key TB antibiotics and TB is the leading cause of death in South Africa among both men and women 

February 28, 2017

Non communicable diseases

High obesity rates stealing the youth of SA kids

Rising obesity rates in South African youth are crippling their ability to live healthy lives and fully enjoy their youth as more and more develop life-threatening chronic diseases like Type II diabetes. This is according to the Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA), an alliance of organisations with a mission to promote healthy living. According to PRICELESS SA, a 20 percent sugary drinks tax is needed to facilitate much-needed daily dietary adjustments to reduce sugar consumption as it has been modelled to result in 220,000 fewer obese South Africans. Proof that this policy lever can be effective has also been established in a study conducted among households of lower socio-economic status in Mexico which showed a decline in sugary drinks consumption two years after a tax was implemented

June 17, 2017

SA must place much greater focus on beating cancer - Institute

South Africa needs a more concerted policy focus on cancer and other non-communicable diseases, says the Institute of Race Relations, in a report, “Non-communicable diseases barely at heart of policy”, issued to coincide with National Cancer Survivors Day, the institute’s health-care analyst and author of the report Tawanda Makombo notes: “Cancer has a devastating effect on communities and households in South Africa.” This is particularly true for poorer households, who struggle to afford treatment and care options.

June 5, 2017

TB, Diabetes leading causes of natural deaths in 2015 - Stats SA

The leading underlying natural causes of death among South Africans in 2015 were tuberculosis and diabetes, Statistics South Africa said in a report

February 28, 2017

Health systems

Trump Budget Cuts Could Drastically Affect SA's Fight Against HIV And Aids

South Africa is holding its breath while the US Congress decides whether to approve President Donald Trump`s proposed budget cuts to global health programmes -- cuts that, if approved, could significantly reduce support for HIV and Aids in South Africa. While South Africa reportedly funds most of its HIV and Aids programmes itself, donor funding accounts for 18.5% of the HIV and Aids funds available for the 2017/2018 fiscal year

July 26, 2017
Huffington Post, iol.co,za

Nigeria accounts for 2nd highest HIV/AIDS burden worldwide – NEPWAN

The Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria says Nigeria accounts for second highest HIV/AIDS burden worldwide after South Africa. Nigerians that died due to the disease would not have died if the government had taken up ownership of the fight by ensuring availability and access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and support programme. The country’s HIV response was largely donor driven with about 93 per cent of HIV funding sourced from external sources, however, Nigeria only contributed seven per cent of the funding

July 3, 2017
Nigerian Observer

Teamwork can solve healthcare’s severe resource constraints

Over the years, a crippling capacity shortage in South Africa has become increasingly serious and now threatens to have a significant effect on the delivery of healthcare. Since 1994, not a single medical school has been built in SA, although one is due to come on stream in the next few years. The number of doctors and specialists has not kept pace with population growth, which has doubled since 1976. Local medical schools produce about 1,300 doctors a year, when some estimates are that at least 4,000 a year are needed. There is also a severe nursing shortage of between 40,000 and 80,000, depending on which report is referenced

June 13, 2017
Business Live

Pfizer, Roche and Aspen face South African probe into cancer drug prices

South Africa`s competition watchdog has launched an investigation into three drug companies accused of over-charging for cancer medicines, the agency`s chief said. Tembinkosi Bonakele, head of the Competition Commission, said the agency would investigate Aspen Pharmacare, Africa`s biggest generic drug maker, U.S. company Pfizer and Swiss-based Roche Holding. The Commission, which investigates cases before bringing them to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication, said it suspected the lung cancer treatment xalkori crizotinib sold by Pfizer had been excessively priced as have the breast cancer drugs Herceptin and Herclon sold by Roche. It also said it would look into whether Aspen, a local company based in Durban, might have over-charged for Leukeran, Alkeran and Myleran cancer treatments in South Africa

June 13, 2017

Cutting HIV and Aids treatments costs in South Africa

About 15% of India’s pharmaceutical exports arrive in Africa and in South Africa, in particular, with the availability of generic antiretrovirals from India leading to a significant drop in the cost of treatment for millions of people with HIV or Aids. The BBC’s Taurai Maduma reports on Africa Business Report for the BBC World Service

May 26, 2017

Shortage of paramedics imminent

Krugersdorp Paramedics recently expressed their concern about the Department of Health and the Health Professional Council of South Africa’s decision to terminate all Critical Care Assistant and Basic Life Support paramedic short courses at the end of 2017 

February 28, 2017
Krugersdorp News

Communicable diseases

SA/Japan Collaboration on Early Warning System for Malaria – CSIR

South Africa has experienced an unprecedented outbreak of malaria in several districts in Limpopo this year. The CSIR-hosted Alliance for Collaboration on Climate and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS) Programme, in collaboration with researchers in Japan, have studied the malaria outbreak in Limpopo, as well as worldwide climate phenomena and discovered that there is an association between climate change and malaria

June 27, 2017
Political Analysis South Africa

Many toddlers are falling through SA's vaccination net

One in 10 of Mpumalanga’s children under the age of two has not had any of the shots required under a government childhood immunization programme, according to the DHMS 2016 survey. The findings signal potential deadly weaknesses in the childhood immunization programme, as inadequate coverage of the population increases the likelihood of disease outbreaks. Both Gauteng and Western Cape have seen measles outbreaks this year

May 15, 2017
Business Daily

How AIDS denialism spreads in Russia through online social networks

The Huffington Post reports on a research project carried out by an international team into AIDS denialism in Russia, with a focus of online communities and on getting a handle on what themes or ideas drive the thinking of those involved. Much to their surprise ‘three important factors were determined: inadequate counselling, denial of the diagnosis because the informants felt OK and an unwillingness to follow antiretroviral treatment.’ They also pointed to ‘an arrogant and paternalistic approach’ which many doctors employed, leading to the deniers seeking their own answers often online. They concluded with some advice ‘believe whatever you want about AIDS but check your immune system just in case’

April 3, 2017
The Huffington Post

New Trial Looks at HIV’s Risks to Hearts of Aging Patients

Scientists are embarking on a massive clinic-based trial to test a drug which will reduce the chances of people living with HIV developing heart diseases and suffering from heart-related illnesses like strokes. The trial will span four continents and involve 6,500 participants

February 27, 2017
Voice of America, Times Live
February 28, 2017