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Old May 24th, 2018, 09:47 AM   #161
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SA medical engineers have built a EpiPen replacement that costs R200 a shot



A team of South African biomedical engineers have built a cheap replacement for the EpiPen that could revolutionise the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be triggered by food or insect bites.

Called the ZiBiPen, it delivers a shot of adrenaline in the form of a replaceable, R200 cartridge.

“The cost of the pen is R1,000 and we are testing to make it last up to five years,” said Gokul Nair, who helped developed it alongside fellow University of Cape Town’s Medical Devices Lab alumnus Giancarlo Beuk.

That is a fraction of the cost of the dominant device on the market, the EpiPen, which sells for R7,500 in a pack of 2; lasts only up 18 months; and can only be used once.

“When we originally did research into the cost of the devices on the market, we found that delays in the distribution chain can mean South Africans only receive their devices with six months before expiry, which made it unaffordable for South Africans,” said Nair, who originally designed it for a master’s project at the Division of Asthma and Allergy at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

The rising cost of the EpiPen has seen a class action lawsuit against manufacturer Mylan. The lawsuit claims the company is engaged in an illegal scheme to dramatically increase the list price, which ten years ago was R1,100, reported CNBC.

Adrenaline auto-injectors are inserted in the thigh, through the clothes. The shot slows the allergic reaction, buying precious time to get users to a hospital.

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/sa...-a-shot-2018-5
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Old June 6th, 2018, 01:36 PM   #162
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Manuel Herz Architect's rural hospital expansion in Senegal









https://archinect.com/news/article/1...ion-in-senegal
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Old June 21st, 2018, 07:47 AM   #163
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SA about to introduce universal health care:

8 things you need to know about the National Health Insurance bills

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is expected to release two bills on Thursday which could make universal health care a reality for South Africans.

The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill have caused a “hurricane” and will complement each other, Motsoaledi said in his budget vote speech in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday.

“This question of universal health coverage, which we call NHI, is not going to leave the world unshaken,” Motsoaledi said. He described NHI as the “land question” of health.

1. What is universal health coverage?

According to the World Health Organisation, universal health coverage means people will receive the health services they need without “suffering financial hardship”.

During his address to the NCOP, Motsoaledi said that universal health coverage is essentially “the world coming to its sense(s)”.

2. What is National Health Insurance?

According to Motsoaledi, NHI is the policy which will lead to the implementation of universal health cover for South Africans.

In a report last year, the Davis Tax Committee unpacked the rationale behind legislating NHI. The policy, which is to be publicly financed, aims to provide a “uniform package” of access to quality and affordable health services to South Africans based on their needs, irrespective of their socio-economic status, the report read.

"The main reason for the NHI put forward by the White Paper lies in the need to eliminate the huge disparities between access to health care services in the public and private sectors,” the report read.

3. How much will NHI cost?

Referring to government’s White Paper on NHI, the Davis Tax Committee noted that it would cost R256bn (US$ 20 billion) in annual funding, based on 2010 prices.

According to the committee, by 2025 a funding shortfall of R72bn would be expected, even at an assumed average economic growth rate of 3.5%. Economic growth of just 2% would result in a shortfall of R108bn by 2025. The DTC suggested that even this shortfall could be understated.

4. How will NHI be funded?

During his address, Motsoaledi explained that NHI would have a positive bearing on the economy, saying South Africa couldn't grow with a sick population. This is why “equitable and fair financing” of health is needed.

“Yes, under NHI, the rich will subsidise the poor. The young will subsidise the old. The healthy will subsidise the sick. The urban will subsidise the rural,” he said.

5. What must South Africans do about it?

Motsoaledi told the NCOP that the bills present a substantial policy shift and a possible reorganisation of the whole health care system.

“We have already identified 12 acts that will have to be amended by this House (the NCOP) to accommodate NHI,” he said. South Africans will have an opportunity to comment on the bills once they are gazetted.

Motsoaledi explained that four areas need to be addressed to stabilise the health care system. These are human resources, financial management, procurement and supply chain management and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment.

6. How does the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill fit in?

“The precise nature of the interaction will only become apparent once the bills have been published for public comment,” said Neil Kirby, head of health care and life sciences law at Werksmans Attorneys.

The Medical Schemes Amendment Bill was approved by Cabinet in May and is aimed at aligning with the NHI, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced at a post-Cabinet briefing last month.

7. What are the biggest obstacles to the implementation of the bills?

Dr Rajesh Patel, head of benefit and risk at the Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa, believes the biggest obstacle to implementing the bills would be “translating political will into action”.

People have vested interests and some will want to maintain the status quo while the marginalised would accept the change, he explained.

8. What is the timeline for implementation?

Both Kirby and Patel expect a three-month period for the public to submit their comments once the bills are gazetted.

There will then be a period where the comments have to be considered. If there are material amendments to be made to the bills, that could also add to the timeline, Kirby explained. “It can take time to have a national health scheme operating legally,” he said.

Read more: https://www.fin24.com/Economy/8-thin...bills-20180620
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Old June 21st, 2018, 04:59 PM   #164
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SA moving ahead to become first major African country to introduce universal health care:

New era for healthcare as Motsoaledi wants co-payments abolished

The abolishment of co-payments is one of the proposals of the Medical Schemes Amendment bill, announced by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

Motsoaledi was speaking at a briefing on the medical schemes amendment bill and National Health Insurance bill in Pretoria on Thursday.

The NHI bill was gazetted earlier on Thursday. Motsoaledi explained that the medical schemes bill was amended to align with the NHI white paper and NHI bill which seeks to achieve universal healthcare.

According to the health department’s definition, NHI is a health financing system that pools funds to provide access to quality health services for all South Africans based on their health needs and irrespective of their socio-economic status.

While NHI is phased in, beneficiaries of medical schemes need “immediate relief from serious challenges” they’re experiencing in the current medical scheme regime. “The nature and magnitude of the challenges is that it will be undesirable for medical scheme beneficiaries to have to wait for long term changes,” said Motsoaledi.

The amendment will also ensure a “smooth, harmonius transition” that does not disrupt access to healthcare during the implementation of NHI.

Motsoaledi explained that only 10% of South Africans can afford private healthcare, according to the World Health Organisation and the Organisation for Economic and Social Development, and it is important to ease the financial burden on South Africans.

Based on the proposed amendments to the Medical Schemes Amendment bill - which are open for the public to comment on for the next three months - co-payments will be abolished. This means that “every cent charged” to the patient must be settled in full by the medical scheme. The patient will not have the burden to pay.

According to the department's data medical schemes hold close to R60bn in reserves which are not being used. There is a statutory requirement that 25% of income be held in reserve to cater for emergencies, but R60bn is equivalent to 33% of reserves. Motsoaledi said this is an unnecessary accumulation at the expense of patients.

https://www.fin24.com/Economy/new-er...ments-20180621
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Old June 21st, 2018, 05:22 PM   #165
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These 4 graphs show how many South Africans don’t have medical aid

New data from StatsSA reveals the shocking number of South Africans who are covered by a medical aid scheme.

StatsSA revealed in its General Household Survey (GHS), that between 2002 and 2017, the percentage of individuals covered by a medical aid scheme increased marginally from 15.9% to 16.9%. During this time, the number of individuals who were covered by a medical aid scheme increased from 7.3 million to 9.5 million people.

StatsSA’s data showed that a quarter (24.7%) of individuals in metros that were members of medical aid schemes, exceeding the national average of 16.9%.

The data also showed that the highest membership was noted in the City of Cape Town (29.2%) and the City of Tshwane (29.1%), while the lowest membership was measured in Buffalo City (19.4%) and eThekwini (19,6%).

Other data shows that public clinics are still the first point of contact for most South Africans, with the bulk of the population (63.7%) making use of them, compared to the 24.6% of the population that head to a private doctor.









https://businesstech.co.za/news/gove...ional-healers/
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Old June 25th, 2018, 12:32 AM   #166
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Bloodless Test Detects Malaria With Light, Wins Prize



https://www.voanews.com/a/bloodless-...medium=twitter
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Old June 27th, 2018, 08:42 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicSA View Post
SA medical engineers have built a EpiPen replacement that costs R200 a shot



A team of South African biomedical engineers have built a cheap replacement for the EpiPen that could revolutionise the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be triggered by food or insect bites.

Called the ZiBiPen, it delivers a shot of adrenaline in the form of a replaceable, R200 cartridge.

“The cost of the pen is R1,000 and we are testing to make it last up to five years,” said Gokul Nair, who helped developed it alongside fellow University of Cape Town’s Medical Devices Lab alumnus Giancarlo Beuk.

That is a fraction of the cost of the dominant device on the market, the EpiPen, which sells for R7,500 in a pack of 2; lasts only up 18 months; and can only be used once.

“When we originally did research into the cost of the devices on the market, we found that delays in the distribution chain can mean South Africans only receive their devices with six months before expiry, which made it unaffordable for South Africans,” said Nair, who originally designed it for a master’s project at the Division of Asthma and Allergy at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

The rising cost of the EpiPen has seen a class action lawsuit against manufacturer Mylan. The lawsuit claims the company is engaged in an illegal scheme to dramatically increase the list price, which ten years ago was R1,100, reported CNBC.

Adrenaline auto-injectors are inserted in the thigh, through the clothes. The shot slows the allergic reaction, buying precious time to get users to a hospital.

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/sa...-a-shot-2018-5
Epipen is a rip off.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 05:57 PM   #168
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Why training pharmaceutical regulatory professionals is key to improving health in Africa



ACCRA, Ghana — In a quiet corner of greater Accra, in North Dzorwulu, lies a nondescript and isolated building. Red brick on the outside, clinically white on the inside, it’s here, on the fourth floor that potentially significant improvements in Africa’s health are being made, particularly when it comes to tackling malaria.

These improvements don’t stem from medical interventions or innovations, but from training. This is Ghana’s USP home — a global health organization focused on medicine quality — where pharmaceutical regulatory professionals from across Africa meet in classrooms and laboratories to receive comprehensive, hands-on training, allowing them to better detect the continent’s substandard and falsified medicines and, with it, improve the region’s health outcomes.

Patrick Owusu Danso is one such trainee. Having worked in Ghana’s Food and Drug Administration laboratories for more than eight years, he told Devex that the training refreshed and enhanced his skills in several ways.

“In our lab, we had an instrument that we had not received training on. It was a good opportunity for us to learn this technique and apply it to our work,” he explained across the test tubes and machines inside the center’s lab. “It was a practical, hands-on training … We looked at how to apply the pharmacopeia, good implementation practices, and good quality control lab practices.”

...

https://www.devex.com/news/sponsored...n-africa-91211
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Old July 18th, 2018, 08:12 AM   #169
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SA slashes new HIV cases by almost half

The country’s investments in HIV treatment and prevention are paying off, leading to huge reductions in new infections

New HIV infections in South Africa have fallen by 44% in the last five years, the country’s latest HIV household survey found.

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) released the study’s preliminary results on Tuesday in Pretoria.

HSRC scientists interviewed over 33 000 South Africans about everything from how many people they’d had sex with in the last year to how much they knew about the spread of HIV. More than 60% of those surveyed also agreed to be tested for HIV.

The study shows about eight-million South Africans between the ages of 15 and 64 are infected with HIV and almost three-quarters of those who know their HIV status are on antiretroviral treatment (ARVs). HSRC project director Sean Jooste says the country doubled the number of people on treatment between 2014 and 2018. The country has the largest HIV treatment programme in the world, with more than four-million people with HIV on ARVs, health department figures show.

Jooste says the treatment programme is largely responsible for the the decline in new infections.

The country has committed to pushing the percentage of HIV-infected people who are on treatment and who are virally suppressed to 90% by 2020, as part of what’s been dubbed the United Nation’s “90-90-90 targets”.

https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-0...by-almost-half
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Old July 24th, 2018, 04:33 AM   #170
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5,000 Nigerian doctors in South Africa

The Consul General (CG) of Nigeria in South Africa, Mr. Godwin Adama, has said there were 5,000 Nigerian Medical practitioners working in various teaching, public and private hospitals in South Africa.

The Vice Consul, Information and Culture, Mr David Abraham, said in a statement on Monday in Abuja. Abraham quoting Adama as saying when Nigerian Doctors’ Forum South Africa, led by its Secretary General, Dr Emeka Ugwu, visited him in Johannesburg.

“This shows that virtually every hospital in South Africa has a sizeable number of Nigerian Doctors; and this include teaching, public and private hospitals. “What this means is that Nigerian Doctors and other professionals are constantly adding value to the system and this cannot be over-emphasised.’’

According to him, South Africa is replete with many Nigerian professionals who are contributing to the economic development in both public and private sectors in the country. “Unfortunately, this has been either not reported at all or grossly under-reported.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/07/...outh-africa-2/
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Old July 30th, 2018, 12:20 AM   #171
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Why South Africa needs to discipline the private healthcare industry

‘Brokers direct people to the schemes they are working for, not those which will best meet the needs of the consumer.’

If a service is provided by a company rather than government, this does not automatically mean a market is at work. The point is fairly obvious but has passed many in South Africa by.

Private provision of services is moving into the spotlight in South Africa as the government looks to make the health system more accessible to the poor. One aspect is the Health Market Inquiry, established by the Competition Commission and chaired by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo. It recently released a provisional report recommending more regulation of private health care. It has invited comment on its ideas.

It is absolutely inevitable that whatever proposals it comes up with will be attacked as an assault on the free market in health care. This will ignore the reality – that there is no market in health care in South Africa, at least not one which works in the way in which markets are meant to work.

To get an obvious point out of the way first, markets work only for people who have enough money to take part. So it is true that a healthcare market in South Africa would exclude many people who cannot afford private care. But that is not the only problem with the private healthcare system – another is that even those who are able to join medical schemes do not get the benefits markets are meant to offer.

For markets to work as they are meant to, consumers must be able to make informed choices: they must have both a real right to choose and enough information to make that choice. But information and choice operate weakly in private healthcare and not at all in the private health insurance offered by medical aids.

This places the South African debate about healthcare in perspective. The Competition Commission and the health ministry are not trying to abolish the market, they are trying to make it work. The accurate debate is about whether they are doing it in the best possible way.

...


https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/sout...care-industry/
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Old July 31st, 2018, 05:04 AM   #172
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Finally – urgent new plan to eradicate pit toilets at schools to be unveiled

Two months after the Department of Basic Education was to announce a strategy to fix sanitation in South African schools, private funding has allowed the department to announce a two-year sanitation improvement plan. However, questions about the legitimacy of the data collected remain.

The Department of Basic Education, with the intervention of President Cyril Ramaphosa, is set to announce a plan that includes funding from the private sector to finally eradicate pit toilets at schools in South Africa.

A variety of funders from the private sector have pledged financial support to the government to help fix sanitation countrywide, according to department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga. “Millions of rand” have already been offered, Mhlanga revealed during an exclusive interview with Daily Maverick.

The sanitation plan will have a two-year deadline, by the end of which the department believes they will fix pressing sanitation issues in South African schools.

The plan will be unveiled on 14 August, two months after the department’s initial deadline to urgently develop a new nationwide sanitation improvement strategy.

In March, Ramaphosa gave the department one month to “conduct an audit of all learning facilities with unsafe structures”, and then to present within three months a plan to rectify the problem. The three-month deadline passed on 16 June without a single public statement from either the President or the department.

Ramaphosa’s ultimatum came in the wake of the death of Lumka Mkhethwa, a five-year-old who died at her Eastern Cape school after falling into a pit toilet. Mkhethwa was the second child to die under these tragic circumstances. In 2014, five-year-old Michael Komape drowned in a toilet at his school in Limpopo.

The private funders of the plan are “multinationals, as well as big international and local NGOs”. However, Mhlanga was not able to disclose the funders’ names as the president will reveal the benefactors and the specifics of the sanitation plan on 14 August.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/arti...o-be-unveiled/
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Old August 9th, 2018, 04:15 PM   #173
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Cancer - a disease in the West, a death sentence in Africa | View

Cancer is becoming less of a fatal danger in Western societies. With the disease becoming more prevalent in recent years, there has been a corresponding increase in awareness, prevention, and crucially - treatment. Unfortunately these efforts have been focused on the types of cancers more common in the developed world, leaving a huge blind spot in current research activities. The result of years of neglect is that, perhaps contrary to popular perception, more Africans are killed by non-communicable diseases like cancer, than by poverty.

The West African Ebola epidemic received wall-to-wall coverage for weeks, despite taking 11,000 lives while cancer, by comparison, kills approximately 700,000 Africans each year despite being largely ignored in media comment on African development.

Naeem Khan

Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
The lack of adequate funding for cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa, far from being remedied, appears on the current trajectory to be worsening. The international humanitarian system is under severe financial stress, and blocs such as the EU are currently often preoccupied with internal issues rather than having the luxury of looking outwards.

But there is hope for this widening funding gap to be filled by newly active humanitarian groupings which are motivated by an enduring sense of solidarity for many of those nations worst affected. One of these is the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which acts as a kind of “UN for the Muslim world”, with 57 member states.

The increased focus across the Islamic world on region-specific cancer prevention and treatment was in evidence last week when First Ladies from OIC African Member States met in Burkina Faso. It is natural for women to lead this effort: cancer disproportionately kills women and girls in Africa, with the most common forms of the illness on the continent being cervix and breast cancer.

One of the possible advantages to Muslim-world aid efforts is that they may lack the views inherited by some other donors. Views that, although built on a long legacy of giving, have become somewhat outdated. For example, the 1985 Live Aid concert, which for many was a definitive moment in raising awareness of humanitarian work, was in response to the Ethiopian famine that year. 33 years later, Ethiopia’s requirements are still significant, albeit it very different.

...



http://www.euronews.com/2018/08/08/c...in-africa-view
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Old September 17th, 2018, 10:22 AM   #174
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For Ugandans Who Can’t Find Care at Home, India Is a Destination for Medical Tourism

Some medical devices that help doctors treat cancer aren’t available in Uganda, so people who need treatment look for ways to travel to India. The Ugandan government has proposed legislation to help patients with cancer and other diseases pay for the long journey and the treatments, and small fundraising events like car washes have become more common.

KAMPALA, UGANDA — Even as Harriet K. weaves her car through this capital city’s busy downtown core, her phone consistently alerts her to incoming calls. Her friends are organizing a car wash – a fundraiser for K., who needs 90 million shillings (about $23,900) to travel to India to get treatment for breast cancer at Apollo Hospitals in Bangalore.

K., a literary arts lecturer, has exhausted the treatment options available in Uganda. Her Ugandan oncologist has confirmed that, she says, and told her that her only option now is to go abroad. (K. asked that her full name not be published, because she wants her financial situation to remain private.)

I should have gone to India right away, but the fee was high,” she says. “Now I must go, or it will be too late.

Medical tourism, especially to India, is fast becoming a mainstay for Ugandans with serious illnesses. Ugandan doctors and the hospitals are developing relationships with doctors and medical facilities in India and even offer direct referrals for treatment there.

But for many patients in need of advanced medical care, the expense of going abroad is far beyond what they can afford on their own. Fundraisers, including the car wash that K.’s friends planned, are becoming more common, too.

Uganda still lacks facilities to diagnose many diseases, says Sarah Opendi, the state minister of health.

The country doesn’t even have a positron emission tomography (PET) machine, which determines whether cancer has spread, says Judith Sheena Kyamutetera, the founder and manager of Magnus Medi Tourism, a company that links patients to medical facilities in India.

Kyamutetera understands the challenge of finding good care in Uganda. She struggled to get the treatment she needed after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and ultimately went to India. She created her company two years ago, after she went into remission. Since then, she’s arranged travel for about 20 patients. Most trips cost approximately $18,000, she says.

The nearest PET scan machine that attracts Ugandans is in South Africa, Kyamutetera says, but the cheapest options for treatment are in India.

There are few PET scan machines in Africa, according to data collected by the World Health Organization. In 2013, here were 0.06 machines for every 1 million people in South Africa and 0.02 machines for every 1 million people in Tanzania. Libya had 0.16 machines for every 1 million people that year. Egypt has at least one PET machine in-country.

There are an estimated 108 PET/CT machines in India, according to data from 2015 – that’s about 0.08 machines per 1 million people.

...



https://globalpressjournal.com/afric...ation-medical/
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Old September 18th, 2018, 11:54 AM   #175
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South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ruled that personal use of marijuana is not a criminal offence

In March last year, the Western Cape High Court ruled that personal use of marijuana (that’s Dagga to you and me) should be legal, declaring that bans on the usage of dagga by adults in private homes are unconstitutional. Today, the Constitutional Court has agreed, effectively making the personal possession, cultivation and use of cannabis at home legal – or at the very least, decriminalised.

It gives parliament just two years to change the laws regarding home use of marijuana. The ruling hasn’t however, said how much a person can legally have, and that will be up to parliament.

“The right to privacy is not confined to a home or private dwelling. It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private space,” deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said in the ruling.

The initial ruling by the Western Cape High court still left the legality of it in question, but this ruling now by the constitutional court makes it very clear that it’ll soon be perfectly legal to use marijuana at home.

And honestly? That’s a good thing. By decriminalising weed, it becomes possible for it to become completely legal – which could see job creation, taxation, regulation and other benefits.

https://www.criticalhit.net/lifestyl...minal-offence/
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Old October 5th, 2018, 07:29 AM   #176
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SA becomes the first country to transplant an organ from a living HIV-positive donor



Surgeons from the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre have become the first in the world to transplant a liver from an HIV-positive donor to an HIV-negative child. The life-saving procedure could pave the way for more such transplants in a country with a severe shortage of organ donors.

Historically, people living with HIV have been banned from donating organs because the virus can be transmitted via donated tissue. But a South African mother pleaded with Johannesburg doctors to reconsider. The woman, who is HIV-positive, had watched her baby deteriorate because of a birth defect that restricts blood to the liver — blood can't move in or out of the liver, resulting in it eventually shutting down.

The baby had been waiting for a liver transplant for 180 days.

Had the child's mother not been HIV positive, she would have been a good candidate to transplant a portion of her liver to her child.

“Why are you excluding me just because I’m HIV positive,” transplant surgeon Jean Botha remembers her saying.

“We were under the presumption going into this that the child would develop HIV. That was the ethical debate: We had to balance the benefit of saving the child's life against the risk of [contracting] HIV,” he explained to journalists at a press conference on the historic operation.

https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-1...egative-person
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Old November 10th, 2018, 11:52 PM   #177
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Study finds 'huge' fall in FGM rates among African girls

Rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) have fallen dramatically among girls in Africa in the last two decades, according to new research.

The study, published in BMJ Global Health, cited a "huge and significant decline" among under-14s.

The practice involves removing all or part of a girl or woman's external genitalia, including the ********.

Some societies treat it as a rite of passage, but human rights groups say it is inhumane and physically dangerous.

In the worst cases, victims can haemorrhage to death after they are cut, or die of infections.

Chronic pain, infertility and menstrual problems can also follow, as well as potentially fatal childbirth complications.

Using data from 29 countries and going back to 1990, the report's authors found that the biggest fall in cutting was in East Africa.

The prevalence rate there dropped from 71% of girls under 14 in 1995, to 8% in 2016, the study said.

Some countries with lower rates - including Kenya and Tanzania, where 3-10% of girls endure FGM - helped drive down the overall figure.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46128938
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Old November 12th, 2018, 12:13 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Umoja View Post
For Ugandans Who Can’t Find Care at Home, India Is a Destination for Medical Tourism

Some medical devices that help doctors treat cancer aren’t available in Uganda, so people who need treatment look for ways to travel to India. The Ugandan government has proposed legislation to help patients with cancer and other diseases pay for the long journey and the treatments, and small fundraising events like car washes have become more common.

KAMPALA, UGANDA — Even as Harriet K. weaves her car through this capital city’s busy downtown core, her phone consistently alerts her to incoming calls. Her friends are organizing a car wash – a fundraiser for K., who needs 90 million shillings (about $23,900) to travel to India to get treatment for breast cancer at Apollo Hospitals in Bangalore.

K., a literary arts lecturer, has exhausted the treatment options available in Uganda. Her Ugandan oncologist has confirmed that, she says, and told her that her only option now is to go abroad. (K. asked that her full name not be published, because she wants her financial situation to remain private.)

I should have gone to India right away, but the fee was high,” she says. “Now I must go, or it will be too late.

Medical tourism, especially to India, is fast becoming a mainstay for Ugandans with serious illnesses. Ugandan doctors and the hospitals are developing relationships with doctors and medical facilities in India and even offer direct referrals for treatment there.

But for many patients in need of advanced medical care, the expense of going abroad is far beyond what they can afford on their own. Fundraisers, including the car wash that K.’s friends planned, are becoming more common, too.

Uganda still lacks facilities to diagnose many diseases, says Sarah Opendi, the state minister of health.

The country doesn’t even have a positron emission tomography (PET) machine, which determines whether cancer has spread, says Judith Sheena Kyamutetera, the founder and manager of Magnus Medi Tourism, a company that links patients to medical facilities in India.

Kyamutetera understands the challenge of finding good care in Uganda. She struggled to get the treatment she needed after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and ultimately went to India. She created her company two years ago, after she went into remission. Since then, she’s arranged travel for about 20 patients. Most trips cost approximately $18,000, she says.

The nearest PET scan machine that attracts Ugandans is in South Africa, Kyamutetera says, but the cheapest options for treatment are in India.

There are few PET scan machines in Africa, according to data collected by the World Health Organization. In 2013, here were 0.06 machines for every 1 million people in South Africa and 0.02 machines for every 1 million people in Tanzania. Libya had 0.16 machines for every 1 million people that year. Egypt has at least one PET machine in-country.

There are an estimated 108 PET/CT machines in India, according to data from 2015 – that’s about 0.08 machines per 1 million people.

...



https://globalpressjournal.com/afric...ation-medical/
The nearest PET scan for Ugandan patients is in Nairobi.
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Old November 21st, 2018, 10:59 AM   #179
Umoja
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Big pharma leaves big gaps: drugmakers urged to do more for poor

LONDON (Reuters) - Many of the world’s top drugmakers are not doing enough to provide medicines to poor countries, leaving big gaps in access to treatments in crucial disease areas, including cancer, according to a new report on Tuesday.

The non-profit Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF) found companies overall were doing more than in the past to reach under-served populations, for example by setting lower prices for some drugs and improving transparency surrounding patents.

But many such strategies address only a limited number of diseases and are often confined to just a few countries — principally large emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.

What is more, research into urgently needed medicines for the developing world now relies on just a handful of companies, creating a fragile ecosystem where cutbacks by one player could have a significant impact on future supplies.

In the case of cancer, specific access initiatives are in place for only 5 percent of experimental medicines by the time they reach the market, even though two-thirds of all cancer deaths now occur in low- and middle-income countries.

By contrast, access plans are established for more than half of drugs for infectious or communicable diseases at the time of launch, reflecting a major global drive to improve the rollout of treatments for conditions such as HIV and hepatitis.

...



https://af.reuters.com/article/topNe...CN1NP1NU-OZATP
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Old December 11th, 2018, 05:13 AM   #180
NicSA
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Nigeria is world’s highest producer of HIV-infected babies

A claim that Nigeria is the world’s ‘highest producer of HIV-infected babies’ made by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has been confirmed as accurate.

At the inauguration of a project to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria, Adewole said, “There is absolutely no reason why Nigeria should be a major producer of HIV-infected babies. We contribute about 30 per cent and our goal is elimination. We believe it’s doable.”

Reported by Sun newspaper under the headline, “Nigeria highest producer of HIV-infected babies,” the news raised eyebrows about the veracity of the claim.

According to Africa Check, a fact-checking oufit, Adewole revealed that he was referring to UNAIDS data which showed that in 2016, Nigeria had the highest share (26.9 per cent) of new mother-to-child HIV infections among the organisation’s 23 priority countries.

“This was based on available data at the time, using the existing figures for national HIV prevalence, total population, fertility rates and the actual coverage of antenatal care and HIV services,” he said.

A strategic information advisor at UNAIDS, Gatien Ekanmian, told Africa Check that the organisation uses such data to feed into statistical modelling software.

For 2016, UNAIDS estimated that 37,000 children younger than 15 years of age were newly infected with the virus in Nigeria.

Mozambique followed with 9.6 per cent of new infections (13,000 children) and South Africa with 8.6 per cent, or 12,000 children.

https://punchng.com/factcheck-nigeri...fected-babies/
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