Category archives for: Health

South Africa: Antiretrovirals for Pupils After Being Injected at School

Photo: Lisa Baird/Pixabay

(file photo).

At least 28 Gauteng school pupils had to receive urgent antiretroviral treatment as a precaution after three grade 4 pupils pricked them with syringes last week, the Gauteng department of education said on Wednesday.

“The Gauteng department of education can confirm that a grade 4 learner brought syringes on Friday, 15 September 2017, and she and two friends allegedly started injecting fellow learners,” said department spokesperson Steve Mabona.

He said the parents were contacted and told to rush their children who attend a school in Kempton Park for urgent medical attention.

“As a precautionary measure, medication was administered to learners ie ARVs or Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

“Unfortunately, some learners reacted negatively to medication by vomiting, while others experienced running stomach,” said Mabona.

He said the needles belonged to a family member of a grade 4 learner who is using them for hormonal reasons.

“We can also confirm that the syringes were sent to the laboratory for tests. A process to conduct counselling to all affected learners has commenced and will continue until the reintegration of learners to the school is concluded.”

The children accused of injecting the pupils face a disciplinary process, and the owner of the syringes faces a police investigation.

“This is indeed an unfortunate incident to occur in a schooling environment; we call upon parents to always be cautious on things that might be detrimental to children lives,” said Mabona.

Source: News24

South Africa

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South Africa: Bogus Doctor Held for Fraud

A bogus doctor was arrested in Soweto for allegedly issuing fake medical certificates to motorists seeking to apply for public drivers’ permits.

The woman was arrested on Tuesday after law enforcement agents from the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit, the Hawks, the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, the Medicines Control Council and Home Affairs raided her surgery.

Medicines, patient files and government documents were confiscated during the arrest.

“The arrest brings to five the number of bogus doctors arrested in Gauteng in four weeks as part of Operation Recall.

“The doctors are all originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and use the practice number of a local doctor to conduct their business,” the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said in a statement.

Investigations by RTMC have revealed that there are more than 32 000 unlawfully issued public drivers’ permits.

“Holders of these documents are believed to be on the roads driving busses, trucks and taxis. These people are placing the lives of other road users at risk as they might not be medically fit to be driving vehicles,” RTMC said.

These documents will be cancelled as soon as investigations have been completed.

Members of the public are advised to contact the RTMC on 0861 400 800 to report traffic related corruption and fraud.

South Africa

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Tanzania: Fake Drugs Hold Back Health Delivery Efforts

By Abdallah Msuya in Zanzibar

THE presence of substandard and counterfeit products and limited access to affordable and quality medicines continue to be a major challenge to universal health coverage in low and middle-income countries, including Tanzania.

This was a shared concern by health experts from the European Union (EU) and the coalition of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations and WHO, who have convened in Zanzibar to take stock of the progress made by a joint five-year programme to strengthen pharmaceutical systems and access to quality medicines in 15 ACP countries.

Speaking on the opening day, the delegates highlighted a myriad of health challenges relating to access to quality medicines, while stressing the significance of tackling them in order to achieve the objective of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ensure functional and strengthened health systems.

EU representative, Mr Gregoire Lacoin, in his remarks noted that access to affordable and quality medicines remains a major challenge in health policy for a number of countries, most notably developing nations.

” … limited availability … high prices and the significant share of false, substandard or counterfeit products and the associated health threat that they represent, is still a reality. Strengthened medicines control structures and regulatory bodies are needed to improve this situation,” charged Mr Lacoin.

He added: “… these challenges must be addressed comprehensively … through long term and sustainable engagement, in order to achieve the objective of UHC and ensure functional and strengthened health systems,” he added.

The EU representative pointed to adequate funding, policies on training and retaining human resources for health and access to quality and affordable products, as areas that should be given priority to improve the situation.

Dr Ghirmay Andemichael, Liaison Officer at WHO suboffice in Zanzibar said that to achieve universal health coverage countries need to ensure there is access to quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

“Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages will require strong national pharmaceutical systems in governance and accountability, innovation, manufacturing and trade, pricing and affordability, quality assurance and responsible use of medicines,” noted Dr Andemichael.

According to WHO, Barriers to accessing quality medicines in African countries are tied to resource constraints in the health sector, insufficient skilled staff, weak implementation of pharmaceutical policies and poorly managed supply chains.

The WHO Liaison officer, Mr Andemichael, said to address the challenges, a stronger partnership and collaboration is required with commitment for human and financial resources from government, private sector and development partners.

He added that the national medicines policy should ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential medicines that are efficacious and of good quality and are physically and financially accessible to all and which are used rationally.

On her part, the guest of honour, Ms Asha Ali Abdullah, the Isles Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, acknowledged the need to strengthen health systems by increasing budgets and putting into consideration the well-being of health practitioners.

“A good health system requires a robust financing mechanism, a well trained and adequately paid workforce, reliable information on which to base decisions and policies, well maintained facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies as well as appropriate governance and service delivery,” said Ms Asha.

She said the EU/ACP/ WHO Renewed Partnership which is coming to an end, has been a key partner in addressing challenges within the pharmaceutical sector in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

“Zanzibar being an Island and 100 per cent depending on importation of medicines and medical supplies, it is very prone to substandard, falsified and counterfeit as well as unregistered medicines and health products circulating in the market,” noted Ms Asha.

The EU/ACP/WHO Renewed Partnership was established in 2012 with 10 million euros seed funding to contribute to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and UHC.

Under the leadership of Ministries of Health, the 15 ACP countries benefit from WHO’s strategic, technical and monitoring support to increase access to quality essential medicines by strengthening their pharmaceutical systems.

Nigeria: Helping the Visually Impaired

By John Shiklam

John Shiklam writes that a non-governmental organisation, Knowledge for the Blind Initiative, is helping in addressing the challenges of visually impaired persons in Kaduna

It was a day of joy for the virtually impaired when a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Knowledge for the Blind Initiative (KBI), visited their Kano Road residences in the heart of Kaduna metropolis.

Known as “Gidan Nakasasu” (house of the disabled), the place is a squalid environment where hundreds of destitutes, including lepers, the virtually impaired, the crippled and their children live under horrible conditions.

The camp is erected with corrugated iron sheets that have now become rusted, as shelter for them and their ever increasing population of children whose future seem very bleak as they cannot afford to send them to school.

The KBI main objective is to improve the living conditions of the virtually impaired by providing them with the requisite knowledge.

The NGO had visited the centre to educate the virtually impaired on personal hygiene. Though the target was virtually impaired people residing at the camp, but others at the camp also joined at the roundtable discussion aimed at providing them with basic health tips for environmental and personal hygiene.

Executive director of the KBI, Andrew Gani-Ikilama, said virtually impaired people face more challenges than other people with other forms of disability when it comes to health issues as they cannot see.

Mrs. Safia Ahmadu who spoke on the need for clean environment during the discussions, said clean surrounding promotes good health and urged them to keep their environment clean to avoid outbreak of disease.

She urged them to ensure that all wastes are put into dustbin as well as ensure that pots and utensils are not left lying about after cooking as this could attract rodents, thereby causing viruses that could lead to unhealthy situations.

She further advised them to clean gutters and avoid cooking where there is trash can or stagnant water as well as clean the surroundings of their dwindling places every day.

Also in her own presentation, Dr. Salamatu Akor enumerated tips for oral health which can promote good health, emphasising on the need for brushing the teeth twice daily with toothpaste or salt, in a situation where toothpaste is unaffordable.

She advised against smoking cigarettes and urged them to go for a regular dental check up. The need for regularly bath was also stressed, while men are to keep their hair short and women to plait or braid and comb.

Similarly they were told to ensure that finger nails, excess hair under the armpit and pubic area are trimmed while under wears and beddings are to be washed regularly.

At the end of the talks, they were all presented with some basic items including tooth brushes, toothpaste and soap to start off with the new knowledge gained on personal hygiene.

Ikilama said the KBI said was determined to improve on their lives through education and skills acquisition.

“What we have done today is to help our brothers and sisters to acquire knowledge that they can use to improve their lives. There is power in knowledge and today we focused on personal, oral and environmental hygiene. Our focus is to give knowledge for quality life. That is our target,” he said.

Speaking further, he expressed the hope that the virtually impaired will have the knowledge and the skills that will empower them to improve on their living condition.

He frowned at the filthy environment and the decaying structures that accommodate the destitutes, describing it as unfortunate.

He called on the government and public spirited individuals and organisations to come to the aide of the destitutes.

He disclosed that in the last three years, his organisation had reached out to 10,000 virtually impaired people with different activities.

“I am totally not happy with the environment which the blind and other physically challenged people live in.

“I personally will not live in this kind of buildings, but we are starting with what we can. We hope to impact positively on the environment and the buildings which they live in, giving available resources. We are looking up to a day when these people would be settled in their own homes, in a community and not secluded and excluded from the mainstream community,” he said.

According to him, working for the virtually impaired is a lifetime calling which he promised his late father who was virtually impaired from childhood and who he co-founded the KBI with.

“My father, the late Dr. Bitrus Gani-Ikilama who co-founded KBI was blind when he was a child and he made me promise that I will continue to help the blind,” he said.

Leaders of the virtually impaired, the crippled and lepers who were present during the enlightenment campaign expressed gratitude to Ikilama and his team for showing concern about their plight.

While lamenting the deplorable condition of the centre, they called on the government and wealthy individuals to help rehabilitate the centre as well assist in educating their children by building a school in the centre.

Ikilama, the founder of the KBI was the first blind child in Nigeria to be enrolled in primary school at the School for Blind Children in Gindiri, Plateau State in 1955. He was also the first blind boy to attend the Boys’ Secondary School in Gindiri. He was not born blind, he became blind at the age of five after contracting measles.

After his secondary education, Gani-Ikilama attended the School of Physiotherapy, Royal National Institute for the Blind in the United Kingdom.

He returned to Nigeria after completing his studies and practiced at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) in 1967, rising to the position of Head of the Department of Physiotherapy before he retired.

He was instrumental in the formation of ‘Tape Recording Services for the Blind’ in 1976, an initiative which was very successful and afforded blind people the opportunity to be educated.

In 1979, the organisation expanded its services to provide Braille production, guidance and counseling, consultancy, and later on vocational training. With the expansion, the name was changed to Hope for the Blind Foundation.

Over the years, the KBI has built a reputation for delivering crucial support and vital services to persons who have gone virtually impaired and their families.

These services include, Braille transcription and library, counseling, books on cassette, orientation and mobility training, craft skills training, scholarships, training and research through Hope Institute of Development and Research, and provision of medical and social care.

Andrew, a 1991 graduate of ABU, Zaria took over from his late father as the executive director of the KBI in 2001 and since then, he has been making every effort to keep the promise he made to his late father.

His experience as a stock broker and associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management has been quite useful in taking the foundation to higher heights, although funding has been a challenge.

Recently, the initiative assisted 30 people to recover their sights from cataract through surgery.

The surgeries carried out at National Eye Centre, Kaduna in collaboration with Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, sponsored by the organisation and its partners who are committed to reducing blindness. Rehabilitation services are also provided for those that have gone virtually impaired.

Sudan: Sudan, Tunisia Discuss Health Cooperation

Khartoum — The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Issam El-Deen Mohamed Abdulla discussed with the visiting Tunisian delegation led by the head of the majority bloc in the Tunisian Parliament, Dr. Rieda Sharaf El-Deen in the presence of the Secretary-General of the National Council for Drugs and Toxicology Dr. Al-Zein Al-Fahal, aspects of health cooperation especially in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing, training of health personnel in both countries and investment in medical tourism.

The meeting discussed the ongoing arrangements for the operation of Al-Zahra’a factory for intravenous solutions with the cooperation of the Republic of Tunisia and the Sudanese Armed Forces where the Sudan’s Ministry of Health approved operation of the factory to contribute to the national industry, realize pharmaceutical abundance and encourage cooperation and investment between Sudan and Tunisia.

The head of the Tunisian delegation stressed his country’s interest in consolidating and strengthening health cooperation with Sudan, and adherence to the Sudanese laws and regulations of the health work and investment in health fields according to the need and the directives set by the Government of Sudan, indicating his support to the distinguished relations between the two countries.

Sudan

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South Africa: Euthanasia Back in the Courts As Doctor Fights for the Right to Die

Photo: Premium Times

Hospital Ward.

By Rebecca Davis

The right of terminally ill individuals to end their life when, and how, they choose has been a battle fought before South Africa’s courts in recent years. An application launched at the South Gauteng High Court has now brought the issue into the spotlight once more. At the heart of the matter: a Johannesburg doctor and patient duo arguing for the right to undergo physician-assisted euthanasia lawfully.

For years, Johannesburg doctor Sue Walter helped to ease the pain of terminally ill patients nearing the end of their lives. Walter, a palliative specialist who previously served as a director of Hospice Houghton, founded the 11 Angels Foundation to assist terminally ill patients to explore every possible treatment.

And then Walter was diagnosed with a terminal illness herself.

Court papers lodged at the South Gauteng High Court in late August record that Walter, 43, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a form of blood cancer – in February 2017. Now she is approaching the courts to ask for legal permission to end not just her own life, but also that of patient Diethelm Harck.

Harck, 68, who is retired, was diagnosed with motor neuron disease – the condition which…

South Africa

Man Rearrested After Shooting Same Person Twice

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South Africa: Euthanasia Back in Courts As Doctor Fights for Right to Die

Photo: Premium Times

Hospital Ward.

By Rebecca Davis

The right of terminally ill individuals to end their life when, and how, they choose has been a battle fought before South Africa’s courts in recent years. An application launched at the South Gauteng High Court has now brought the issue into the spotlight once more. At the heart of the matter: a Johannesburg doctor and patient duo arguing for the right to undergo physician-assisted euthanasia lawfully.

For years, Johannesburg doctor Sue Walter helped to ease the pain of terminally ill patients nearing the end of their lives. Walter, a palliative specialist who previously served as a director of Hospice Houghton, founded the 11 Angels Foundation to assist terminally ill patients to explore every possible treatment.

And then Walter was diagnosed with a terminal illness herself.

Court papers lodged at the South Gauteng High Court in late August record that Walter, 43, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a form of blood cancer – in February 2017. Now she is approaching the courts to ask for legal permission to end not just her own life, but also that of patient Diethelm Harck.

Harck, 68, who is retired, was diagnosed with motor neuron disease – the condition which…

South Africa

Man Rearrested After Shooting Same Person Twice

A man is expected to appear at the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday after he was rearrested for shooting the… Read more »

Uganda: 100,000 Girls At Risk of Genital Mutilation – UNFPA Official

By Joyce Chemitai

Kapchorwa — An estimated 100,000 girls in Sebei and Karamoja sub-regions are at risk of undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country has warned.

Mr Alain Sibenaler, the UNFPA country representative, said during a marathon at Kapchorwa Boma Grounds at the weekend that all stakeholders should join hands and end the vice that exposes women to many side effects of clitoris mutilation.

“We need to do more to secure the future and provide safety for more than 100,000 girls in Sebei and Karamoja whose lives are threatened by the possibility of FGM,” Mr Sibenaler said.

Globally, the World Health organisation estimates that more than 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated”

Uganda banned FGM in 2009 punishing a person convicted of the practice up to 10 years in jail among other sentences.

This has, however, not completely eliminated the practice.

Mr Sibenaler noted that although achievements have been made in the fight against the deeply rooted cultural practice through sensitisation and access to education, a lot still wants to make the vice history.

“Even as we count our achievements, we need to reaffirm our commitment to go the extra mile to eradicate FGM completely by addressing the bottlenecks that predispose women and girls to this practice,” he added.

The Archbishop of Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, said since the inception of the anti-FGM marathon in 2015 as a community mobilisation tool, more than 15 communities have totally abandoned the practice in the three Sebei districts.

He said Sabiny elders should seek alternatives to FGM as a rite of passage but urged them to preserve other positive cultures.

Uganda

Women Murders – Another Body Found in Garden

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South Africa: The Campaign Against Killer Radio Waves

opinionBy Ivo Vegter

Some people steadfastly believe that radio waves from cellphone towers, electrical wires and microwave ovens, make them sick. They cite symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, muscle pain and nausea. Some say they cause cancer. And all those people are wrong.

I am Mary’s favourite sceptic. Mary wants me to investigate why hundreds of people in her city are getting sick while a major mobile operator is erecting cellphone towers without going through the proper processes, one of which is 100m from her home.

Mary isn’t her real name, of course. I protect my sources, especially when they reveal dangerous information that the government is hiding from the people, or might be embarrassed by my findings.

It is true that I am sceptical, and that I don’t trust governments. I don’t know whether the mobile operator in question did follow the correct processes, or did bribe city officials to get away with it, but I would not be shocked to learn this was true. However, I also know a little science, and science tells us that the more cellphone towers there are in your area, the less exposed you will be to the radio frequencies on which mobile phones communicate. Does…

South Africa

Euthanasia Back in the Courts As Doctor Fights for the Right to Die

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Rwanda: Spanish Oncologists to Train Local Health Professionals in Cervical Cancer Prevention

By Hudson Kuteesa

More than 88 health professionals from 45 institutions in the country have started training in cervical cancer prevention.

Organised by King Faisal Hospital, Kigali, the training, conducted by Spanish oncologists, opened on Monday and will run through to December. It is administered online by specialists from the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), a specialised cancer institution based in Catalunya.

The local professionals being trained under the programme include doctors, medical specialists, public health professionals, nurses, health planners, health programme managers, researchers and educators.

They will, among others, be tipped on the impact of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection on other cancers and benign disease, HPV vaccines currently available and their effectiveness and safety, factors to be considered in the introduction of HPV vaccination, and the effective methods of primary prevention.

Other areas include the different cervical cancer screening methods, and the impact of HPV infection in special populations, for example in pregnant women, immunosuppressed people, among others.

In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Andrea Malet, the corporate social responsibility manager at Oshen Health Care, said the training is meant to keep health professionals up-to-date with the advances in their profession.

“The objective of this course is to keep updated medical professionals involved in preventing and treating cervical cancer in the latest procedures,” she said.

A specific virtual classroom in cervical cancer prevention, run online by the Spanish oncologists, has been created for professionals involved in this area of healthcare where they will have free access to the e-Learning platform.

This is the second edition of the training after one in 2016 that was dedicated to the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Rwanda.

It lasted two months.

According to the final evaluation of the trainees in the first training, 96 per cent said the content of the course is relevant to their work and practice techniques, and all of them recommended the course to other professionals.

Up to 92 per cent of the participants rated the course as good or excellent.

Through its e-Learning programme, “e-Oncologia,” the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) offers a consolidated teaching methodology of virtual training grouped into 5 programmes, 80 courses that have been translated into seven languages, with more 17,000 participants in all continents.

E-Oncology is the ICO portal specialising in ongoing training for every area of oncology, and is the first online teaching project devoted solely to provide training in this area of healthcare.

Its main goal is to create virtual spaces where specialists in training, practicing doctors and non-specialist professionals can learn about cancer.

According to the ICO Information Centre of HPV, Rwanda has an estimated 3.5 million women who are at risk of developing cervical cancer – the most common type of cancer in women between the ages 15 and 44.

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