Medical humanities is a well-established field in the UK and USA but an emerging field on the African continent. The BMJ’s Medical Humanities Journal will soon publish the first English-language special issue to deal exclusively with work on and about Medical and Health Humanities (MHH) in Africa.
One of the most remarkable public health successes of the last decade in southern Africa has been the reduction in the number of babies born with HIV. This was achieved through the provision of antiretroviral therapy to pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV. For example, the number of new HIV infections in children in South Africa has come down from a peak of 70 000 in 2003 to 13 000 in 2017.
The Faculty of Health Sciences, under leadership of the Primary Health Care Directorate, and in collaboration with the WCG - Saldanha Bay Health Sub-district, hosted an Open Day at the Vredenburg Hospital on 26 July 2018. This was the second year that this event was held to showcase Health Science professions to G11 and G12 learners in the area.
This year’s 134 long-service awardees for 15, 25, 35 and 45 years have a collective 2 460 years of service and represent a storehouse of institutional memory. Leading the pack with 45 years is Robert Samuels, a senior laboratory assistant in the Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences.
Over 6 million children in South Africa still live below the food poverty line. This means that their families cannot even provide the minimum amount of nutrition needed to survive and thrive. This is just one of the many challenges faced by families in SA.
The results of the PredART trial have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from UCT and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium) have shown that a four-week course of moderate dose prednisone reduced the risk of tuberculosis-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) by 30% in HIV-positive patients.
It’s a baffling and avoidable heart condition that until now has gone mostly undiagnosed because it’s detected too late. Peripartum cardiomyopathy, triggered by a hormone that’s released when breastfeeding starts, affects as many as one in a thousand young mothers and 25% of them will die – unnecessarily. Carte Blanche tells the story of pioneering medical research by Groote Schuur doctors who have discovered a simple and inexpensive treatment.
The conference centre at the SA Medical Research Council (MRC) erupted into cheers and applause on 26 October as colourful balloons were released into the hall to celebrate the official launch of the Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK).
UCT is spearheading a study that could be key to resolving the worldwide challenge of identifying human remains found in the ocean or washed up on the beach, the success of which would bring closure to grieving families.