Latest News

SA has UN’s HIV testing goal in sight
BDlive | 3 July 2015
SA will meet the United Nations (UN) goal of diagnosing 90% of HIV-positive adults by 2020 if it continues to test 10-million people a year, concludes research published in the journal, AIDS.   By 2012, fewer than a quarter of HIV-positive adults were unaware they were infected.   This was an improvement on the situation in the early 2000s, when the figure had been closer to 80%, the study, published last week, found.   Last year the UN joint agency on HIV/AIDS (...
Managing contacts in the MERS-CoV outbreak in the Republic of Korea
WHO | 1 July 2015
Briefing notes on MERS-CoV  1 July 2015   Background   In June 2015, WHO and the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Public Health and Welfare presented the results of their joint assessment of the MERS outbreak.
South Africa: Lower coverage of maternal HIV testing among adolescents leading to higher mother-to-child transmission
aidsmap | 1 July 2015
Adolescents have lower coverage of HIV testing and subsequent prevention of mother-to-child (PMTCT) services and significantly higher early vertical transmission rates compared with adults, according to findings from three South African national surveys, presented by Trisha Ramraj at the 7th South African AIDS conference last month in Durban.   The surveys also found that there was a significant reduction in early MTCT in pregnant women who were 20 years and older, but not in...
KZN health head appointed
Independent Online | 1 July 2015
Durban - Dr Sifiso Mtshali, the chief executive of the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, has been appointed the new head of the provincial Health Department. Mtshali will assume his duties on Wednesday.   MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo announced the appointment last night.   Dhlomo said he had faith in Mtshali’s ability to run the department.   “We are very thankful to the honourable premier and excited to welcome Dr Mtshali on board as the new head of...
Communicable diseases communiqué: Influenza data from Viral Watch
NICD/NHLS | 30 June 2015
The influenza season that started in epidemiologic week 19 (week ending 10 May) continues. The number of specimens submitted by Viral Watch sites have continued to increase and have risen to an average of 75 per week during the last week of May and the first two weeks of June.
There's no excuse, Minister: Here's the proof
GroundUp | 30 June 2015
There are massive medicine stockouts in the public health system. These are mainly due to failures within the state system, not external problems such as global supply shortages that Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi has claimed are primarily responsible. Here’s the proof.   On Monday 29 June GroundUp received three identically labelled anonymous letters by mail containing detailed reports of stockouts in health care facilities in KwaZulu-Natal. The reports have been...
Stunting: A rarely discussed public health problem
BioMed Central | 29 June 2015
Recent research published in BMC Public Health looks at the prevalence of stunting in South African children over the past 40 years. Here, Daniel Hoffman talks more about the importance of raising awareness about this topic.   Stunting, growth retardation due to chronic undernutrition in childhood, is not a topic that often appears in the popular press. As an investigator who has studied growth and stunting for close to 20 years, I felt a bit conflicted when I saw ‘stunting...
Meet the Khayelitsha compliers club
Mail&Guardian | 26 June 2015
Communities are bringing HIV monitoring and dispensing out of the clinics and into their homes.   “Siyanda!” Fanelwa Gwashu’s voice carries over the soft chatter inside the two-bedroom shack in Khayelitsha, a township on the Cape Flats in the City of Cape Town.   She shifts the large register from her arm, resting it on the tiny kitchen counter in front of her.   Siyanda looks up from her seat on the bed in the adjacent room, checks the number...
Standerton Hospital opens wellness clinic
Health-e News | 25 June 2015
Mpumalanga’s Standerton Hospital opened a new wellness clinic to improve services and shorten wait times this week.   The R6.8 million-wellness clinic includes rooms for social workers, dieticians and tuberculosis treatment. Opened this week, the clinic also houses a satellite pharmacy dedicated to dispensing chronic medication including HIV treatment. The pharmacy is expected to help decongest the hospital’s existing pharmacy and decrease waiting times.   At the...
Call for submissions – Emerging Public Health Practitioner Award
Health Systems Trust | 25 June 2015
The South African Health Review Emerging Public Health Practitioner Award is offered to South African candidates under the age of 35 to submit a chapter dealing with public health or policy in South Africa for publication in the South African Health Review. To apply for the Emerging Public Health Practitioner Award, please submit your complete chapter to editor@hst.org.za no later than 26 June 2015.  Click on the below links for further details.
Showdown over what medicals schemes must cover
GroundUp | 19 June 2015
A high-profile court showdown is looming between a medical scheme and the patient activist group, Treatment Action Campaign, as well as about a dozen other organisations. Its outcome will have significant repercussions for what schemes offer their members.   About 9 million people - about one in six South Africans - are members of medical schemes. Currently, medical schemes have to pay in full for the diagnosis, treatment and care of certain diseases. Regardless of what benefit...
MERS’s best friend is ignorance, so it’s time to wise up
IRIN | 16 June 2015
TORONTO, 16 June 2015 (IRIN) - The full story of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is yet to be told. Would South Korea now be in the grip of one of the disease’s largest ever outbreaks if more had been done sooner to unravel its mysteries?   A key point about MERS was that it gave some warning of its arrival. This was not the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which struck in early 2003 after an infected Chinese doctor and travellers from Vietnam, Singapore and...