Health

Trading Women's Health and Rights

Around the world, policymakers and civil society are debating how economic and trade policies shape public health. Trading Women’s Health and Rights adds a new dimension to this debate. The book synthesises research from a variety of disciplines to analyse how the liberalisation of international trade affects reproductive health and rights. It demonstrates how global and national trade policies affect the quality, quantity, and cost of reproductive health services.

District AIDS Council Launched

KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC, Ina Cronje, says that the uMgungundlovu district has the highest prevalence (45.7 percent) of HIV infections among pregnant women countrywide. This means that almost every second pregnant woman in the district is HIV positive.

Cronje, who describes the launch of the uMgungundlovu AIDS Council is timely and part of the coordinated effort acres the different tiers of government, says that, “It is high time we face the HIV/Aids monster head on”.

Pharmacists Urged to Act Against Unsafe Abortions

Ghana Women's Voices has called on pharmacists to help in curbing the high level of unsafe abortions in that country.

The organisation has also encouraged pharmacists to use their medium to educate and direct expectant mothers, who are keen in aborting their pregnancies due to reasons beyond their control, to the right authorities, in order to reduce unsafe abortions.

Health Department Backtracks On HIV Figures

The Department of Health has revised its 2007 HIV figures for pregnant women, after stinging criticism from academics prompted a behind-the-scenes reassessment of its methods for estimating the numbers.

While the development is not explicitly spelt out at yesterday's release of the figures for last year, it nevertheless indicates an increased openness on the government's part about HIV/AIDS.

Newborn Survival Campaign Launched

The Save the Children charity aims to reduce by two-thirds the number of children who die under the age of five in more than 40 countries, including South Africa.

Through its global Newborn Survival Campaign, the charity wants to reduce the nine million child deaths a year from HIV and AIDS, other illnesses, childbirth complications and malnutrition.

In South Africa, 75000 children under five die each year - 260 a day.

About 20000 babies are stillborn and 22000 die before they are a month old.

HIV Prevalence Stabilises Amongst Pregnant Women

HIV prevalence among pregnant women has stabilised at about 29 percent. This is according to health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi.

Releasing the 2008 results of survey antenatal HIV in Pretoria, Motsoaledi points out that, “The prevalence among women aged 25 and above has stabilised at high and unacceptable levels."

He states that the report is a useful tool to observe trends and increase commitment to the implementation of government policies, as well as to provide feedback to healthcare workers.

HIV on the Decline in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's adult HIV prevalence rate is continuing its downward trend, showing a drop from 14.1 percent in 2008 to 13.7 percent in 2009, according to new estimates released by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

The 2009 Antenatal Clinic (ANC) Surveillance Survey, based on blood specimens collected from 7,363 pregnant women anonymously screened at 19 clinic sites throughout the country, estimated that 1.1 million Zimbabweans in a probable population of around 11 million were living with HIV.

South African Therapeutic Community Conference

The Western Cape Therapeutic Community Centre will host the South African Therapeutic Community Conference from 9-11 December 2009 in Cape Town.

Topics at the conference will range from evidence based practices to offender programmes for those who are incarcerated in our prisons.  A variety of both international and local speakers will share what are working and what are simply not working.

Conference objectives
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    Local Funding Needed to Fight HIV

    A Zambian NGO, Reformed Communities (REC) says the continued dependence on donor funding in HIV and AIDS projects could throw the fight against the pandemic in disarray.

    Reformed Communities (REC) coordinator, Deliah Kaweche, says there is a need to source local resources for the fight against HIV andAIDS instead of relying on funding from donors.

    Scientists Discover Antibodies that Disarm HIV

    Scientists have found two powerful new antibodies that disarm HIV, offering fresh clues in the hunt for a vaccine. The antibodies were found in blood samples of volunteers in regions hit hardest by HIV, including South Africa.

    Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV/AIDS Centre at the University of Cape Town, Linda-Gail Bekker, describes the discovery as one small step towards developing a vaccine against HIV infection as scientists still needed to discover how the antibodies work and turn these properties into an effective jab.

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