The African genome is the oldest, and as such, the most diverse in the world. But Africans have largely been under-represented in neurogenetic studies. The University of Cape Town (UCT) Neuroscience Institute is helping to change that through a range of forward-looking, international, collaborative projects on genetics and the nervous system.
In a move set to revolutionise tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment by enabling early detection of infectious cases, molecular diagnostics – the technique used to diagnose and monitor a disease – will be taken out of the laboratory and into the community.
“Here is where you learn to care for your first patient.” This is a lesson human anatomist Professor Graham Louw has given some 7 000 medical students over three decades. And although the setting – the anatomy dissection hall – may seem paradoxical, it makes perfect sense. It’s about dignity and humanity – in life and death.
She is a recipient of the prestigious Discovery Foundation Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship Award, President of the South African Clinician Scientists’ Society, and recently joined the Faculty of Health Sciences in her new role as the head of Global Surgery.
The search for better cancer treatments continues, as current options often cause severe side effects. Less than 5% of experimental anticancer drugs are approved for use in humans, but scientists are bringing new technologies to the quest.
While success may look different to everyone, there is one thing we all need to achieve it: commitment. This was guest speaker Sandras Phiri’s message to graduands during the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences’ second ceremony on Friday, 13 December. A 2012 MBA graduate, Phiri is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Africa Trust Academy.
The potential of genomics research to boost healthcare in Africa could be a game-changer for improving medicine and health outcomes on the continent in future. But it must be done with ethics top of mind.
Unlike adults’ right to health, children’s right to basic health care services is not subject to progressive realisation. Children should therefore be prioritised within the health care system. Yet the state has still not defined an essential package of health care services for children. This makes it difficult to determine what they are entitled to and what the state should be held accountable for.
One in every 31 children in South Africa will die before their fifth birthday. This is a sobering reality as International Human Rights Day was marked on Tuesday, 10 December, and on the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets out the rights that must be realised for children to develop to their full potential.
Epilepsy – a disorder that causes abnormal electrical brain activity leading to recurring seizures – can affect anyone. Although daily medication can treat the condition, doctors are increasingly recommending surgery as a cure for patients who don’t respond to medical treatment. A multidisciplinary team of specialists from the University of Cape Town (UCT) is making sure that more and more patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are cured.