Latest News

DJs for a day
Press Release | Health Systems Trust | 17 April 2015
HST staff recently felt like DJs for a day, when they recorded radio adverts for a new project in the Northern Cape and Limpopo.   Andile Masilela, Roger Tevan and Melton Mashudu Mbedzi were asked to be the voice artists for the Power of Knowing project currently underway in the Northern Cape and Limpopo.   The project, funded by KfW (the German Development Bank) through the Development Bank of Southern Africa, will provide free HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) services...
Easy access to chronic medication in NHI districts
Health Systems Trust | 17 April 2015
Once every month, the elderly Maggie Mogati used to jump out of bed before five, to catch a taxi from her home in Tshing township to the local clinic in Ventersdorp in the North West Province. Just a few minutes’ delay could make the difference between getting a good place in the queue, or sitting there for the better part of the day.   However, all that has changed since she joined the Central Chronic Medicine Distribution and Dispensing Programme (CCMDDP).   These...
Caesarean births can be dangerous - report
Independent Online | 14 April 2015
C-sections are generally regarded as a safer method of delivery, with many birth experts opting for them in emergency situations as an attempt to save the lives of mothers and babies.   Cape Town A new investigation into Caesarean-section deaths shows that this method is dogged by problems and could be riskier than natural birth.   The latest research on maternal deaths in the country by Stellenbosch University, UCT, Mowbray Maternity Hospital and the University of KwaZulu-...
Lowest weekly Ebola figure in nearly a year: WHO
SABC | 9 April 2015
Thirty confirmed cases of Ebola were reported in West Africa in the past week, the smallest number in nearly a year of the worst-ever outbreak of the deadly fever, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.   "This is the lowest weekly total since the third week of May 2014," the WHO said in its latest update.   The virus is receding in Liberia, which reported no cases in the week to April 5, and in Sierra Leone, which reported nine, its fifth...
TB: Taxis’ deadly passenger
Health-e News | 9 April 2015
Millions of South Africans rely on minibus taxis daily, but South Africa’s most widely used mode of public transport could also be ferrying a deadly passenger.   About a 100 members of the AIDS lobby group the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) recently took to some of Johannesburg’s busiest taxi ranks to spread awareness about tuberculosis (TB).
Multi-organization call to action identifies and addresses safety concerns in labor and delivery
EurekAlert! | 8 April 2015
The four collaborating organizations are the American College of Nurse-Midwives; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Additionally, these organizations partnered with VitalSmarts, a research and training organization.   The report, "Transforming Communication and Safety Culture in Intrapartum Care: A Multi-organization Blueprint," follows...
HIV: New approach against virus 'holds promise'
BBC | 8 April 2015
The first human trial of a new type of HIV therapy suggests it could be a promising weapon in the fight against the virus.   Reports in the journal Nature show infusions of so-called broadly neutralising antibodies could suppress the amount of HIV in a patient's blood.   The approach uses clones of immune proteins taken from a rare individual who has natural control of the disease.   Scientists hope with further work this could bolster current treatments....
Dispute declared in public sector pay talks
Moneyweb | 29 March 2015
Public service unions and the government have failed to reach an agreement on workers’ pay.   South African public service unions and the government have failed to reach an agreement on workers’ pay, a government official confirmed on Saturday, raising the prospect of a major strike in Africa’s most advanced economy.   Any strike action by the 1.3 million nurses, teachers and police officers will hurt investor sentiment and hit economic growth, forecast at...
KZN MEC sees competency as key in hiring health officials
SABC | 27 March 2015
KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo says he will not compromise on experience and competency when recruiting professionals for health facilities.   Speaking to community members who embarked on a march on Wednesday, Dhlomo says the locals will be given priority for unskilled and semi-skilled posts at the new Dannhauser Community Health Central, to be opened in April in northern KZN.   The community is demanding that only locals be employed at the hospital. ...
Why aren’t we producing medications for looming global disease threats?
The Washington Post | 26 March 2015
In the United States, any cluster of tuberculosis cases makes headlines, no matter how small the numbers. For example, local health authorities recently issued a warning to medical providers after 15 residents of a New York City neighborhood contracted tuberculosis over a two-year period — and the tabloids promptly hyped the news.   When 78 people in Los Angeles contracted tuberculosis between 2007-2013, local health authorities asked for federal help in controlling the...
CDC anti-smoking ads target e-cigarettes for first time, highlight tobacco’s links to variety of diseases
The Washington Post | 26 March 2015
The latest round of government anti-smoking ads targets e-cigarette use for the first time and highlights links to a variety of diseases that aren't typically associated with tobacco use.   The Food and Drug Administration decided to regulate e-cigarettes less than a year ago and has not determined a course of action. Research on the harms of the inhaled chemical vapor and whether the devices can help smokers wean themselves off tobacco has been mixed.   But one of the...
Antibiotic used in pregnancy linked to risk of epilepsy and cerebral palsy
The Guardian | 25 March 2015
Scientists have raised the alert about an antibiotic routinely prescribed for chest infections, after linking it to an increased risk of epilepsy and cerebral palsy in children whose mothers took the drug during pregnancy.   Children of mothers who had taken macrolide antibiotics were found to be almost twice as likely to be affected by the conditions, prompting scientists to call for a review of their use during pregnancy. The study authors urged pregnant women not to stop taking...