Novartis, SA Department of Science and Technology and South African Medical Research Council to collaborate on enhanced research capabilities and innovative R&D Cape Town, May 25, 2017 – Novartis has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to formalise Novartis’ ongoing investment in developing South African research capabilities, scientific cooperation and collaboration for capacity building and innovation. The MoU, a public private partnership (PPP), aims to establish a framework for potential cooperation between the parties. This will allow for joint research programs in selected communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCD), improve South African patients’ access to innovative medicines and build up the research & development capabilities and ecosystem in South Africa and broader Africa. The MoU with the DST and SAMRC demonstrates the parties’ commitment to research and development (R&D) which will position South Africa as an innovative hub for Africa. Novartis has long collaborated with the South African government and public and private sector institutions to improve healthcare delivery and support scientific research, clinical trial and capability and capacity building in its field. Novartis South Africa Country President, Dr Thomas Kowallik, notes that the company has made significant investment in the area of R&D within the South African healthcare and pharmaceutical space in recent years and is firmly committed to continue to do so. “As a global leader in R&D employing 20 000 scientists worldwide and investing $US9 billion in R&D every year, this ongoing collaboration has the potential to lead to breakthrough innovations stemming from South Africa. Innovation will attract further investment with positive outcomes for the economy. We live in an era of innovation with a lot of opportunities, jobs and . . .
Growing evidence shows sleep disorders are more common in individuals with ADHD. Sleep and ADHD are related as different regions of the brain interact and overlap for attention, sleep and functioning. Inadequate sleep can negatively affect the way adults think, function and behave. The question remains whether ADHD itself leads to difficulty sleeping or whether individuals with ADHD are more susceptible to external environmental factors that affect sleeping patterns. The sleep challenge Adults with ADHD often have what’s known as ‘bedtime resistance’. They struggle to settle down in the evening and interruptions during bedtime routines are more difficult to overcome. Sleeping problems in people with ADHD can be a result of co-existing conditions like depression and anxiety, for example. Stimulants (which keep you alert) found in caffeine and some ADHD medications can contribute to sleep disorders in adults with ADHD. Drug and alcohol abuse problems (which can be common in adults with untreated ADHD) are also a consideration. Why you’re always tired Common sleep disorders in adults with ADHD include restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder that causes the irresistible urge to move the legs to relieve an uncomfortable sensation, especially at night. RLS is one of the most frequent sleep disorders in individuals with ADHD. Insomnia, another common ADHD-related sleeping disorder, makes it difficult to fall asleep and the individual often wakes up feeling tired. Adults with ADHD often mismatch sleep-pattern timing or have a delayed sleep-phase disorder, where sleeping and waking up occurs later than normal. Sleep disorders lead to disrupted sleep and impaired functioning as mood and energy levels are affected. Sleep disorder or ADHD? Sleep disorders can disguise ADHD diagnosis. What’s thought to be insomnia or sleep apnea could, in fact, be linked to ADHD. Consult with a doctor to find a solution and an accurate . . .
• This World Hypertension Day, Novartis warns of unhealthy habits that raise your blood pressure Johannesburg, 17 May, 2017 – The old adage ‘take it with a pinch of salt’ is meant to be a positive one – implying that a pinch of salt is of little consequence. But for those with high blood pressure and chronic heart conditions, that pinch of salt could be enough to push your daily salt intake into dangerous territory. Dr Thomas Kowallik, CEO and Country President of Novartis South Africa, says excessive salt intake is one of several factors increasing the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). “World Hypertension Day on 17 May seeks to raise awareness of the health risks associated with hypertension, and the steps people can take to lower their risks of developing hypertension.” According to the International Society of Hypertension, hypertension is the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and was named 'the number one killer' by the World Health Organization (WHO) in The World Health Report in 2002. People with hypertension have a four times higher risk of stroke and twice the risk of myocardial infarction (a heart attack) of those with normal blood pressure, says the Society. Lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity, a salt-rich diet with highly processed and fatty foods, and alcohol and tobacco use, are cited as reasons for the rapid increase in the number of people with hypertension worldwide1. “South Africans have unacceptably high levels of hypertension, with up to 30% of adults known to be hypertensive2. High salt consumption is a key driver of hypertension, and there is strong evidence to indicate that South Africans consume up to 2-3 times the recommended daily allowance of 5 g,” says Kowallik. “Salt from processed food makes up as much as 75% of total salt intake in high-income countries3. South Africans tend to follow international trends to include unhealthy processed foods in their diet, and on top of that, they season . . .
Medici, the app that is revolutionising the doctor-patient relationship, is now available in South Africa and will continue to expand into the rest of Africa. The next-generation secure messaging app enables users to communicate virtually with medical providers via text, call or video, anytime, anywhere. First launched in the U.S., the app hosts an array of practitioners including family physicians, paediatricians, dermatologists, dentists, mental health providers, nutritionists, dieticians and even veterinarians, providing a more convenient and modernised method of consultation to suit all healthcare needs. Users on Medici will receive a consultation receipt so that patients are able to claim back from their Medical Aid provider. Patients who aren't covered by a Medical Aid will also benefit from the app as a result of the consultation fee being significantly lower than traditional examinations. Medici Africa has partnered with Dr Michael Mol and Hello Doctor, already servicing over 400 000 patients in SA today with their own panel of doctors. This partnership will create an integrated link between the two apps, allowing patients on Hello Doctor to consult with their own doctor via Medici and vice versa. Choosing a doctor is a very personal decision, which is what makes Medici so unique. Patients can speak to their existing family physician, who already has access to their full medical history and receive medical advice quickly and effectively. This innovation in healthcare technology is changing the face of healthcare and the way doctors and patients communicate. "South Africa gave me one of the most incredible foundations for life that I could have ever hoped for,” says Clinton Phillips, founder and CEO of Medici, founder of 2nd.MD, and former chiropractor and rugby player from South Africa. “Launching Medici in Africa is an incredible honour, it will change millions of lives and bring access to high-quality healthcare to patients and providers . . .
Nursing is a profession like no other. From nursing students learning the basics of clinical nursing care to those nurses pursuing highly specialised fields of healthcare, this is a vocation that requires dedication, resilience, acute attention to detail, and a life-long passion for learning. “This International Nurses’ Day, 12 May 2017, Netcare salutes the women and men who wear their uniforms with pride, as well as the students who aspire to take up this influential role in future,” says Shannon Nell, director of nursing and nursing education at Netcare. “Nurses fulfil a vital role in society, which extends beyond their working hours in a healthcare facility. When we see a nurse’s uniform, it speaks of knowledge in the service of care and a professional efficiency that is reassuring in times of illness or crisis. “All of our nurses, from the highly experienced and specialised to those who are just starting out in the profession, have one distinction in common: each chose to apply their minds and their lives to the pursuit of excellence in caring for others,” she adds. “Through studying and working in this demanding area of healthcare service delivery, these exceptional individuals know that ‘care’ is as much a science as it is an art. To all Netcare nurses, thank you all for the contribution you make each day for your patients, your respective teams, and for upholding Netcare’s unique approach to care.” Sister Metse Maphula, who is studying towards a post-basic qualification in critical care at Netcare Education’s Gauteng South West campus in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, says that the knowledge and skills she and her classmates are attaining are equipping them to make a positive difference not only in the course of their official duties, but also at community level. “Every day you get to help someone and make a positive difference in that person’s life. We can offer a lot of help to people in our community, our family members and, of course, our . . .
Introducing PURE O2, South Africa's 1st Inhaled Supplement. PURE O2 was launched 5 months ago and is locally manufactured. It is Supplemental Oxygen in a can, that is inhaled. Worldwide Supplemental Oxygen is used by Professional Athletes to amplify their performance and improve recovery times. In 2012 the Ban on Inhaled Supplemental Oxygen was uplifted by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA). What is PURE O2? PureO2 is canned, recreational oxygen that is inhaled. It is a portable lightweight solution that allows for easy access and use. It contains *95% pure enriched Oxygen, delivered at nearly 4 times the concentration of everyday air. Pure O2 has no calories, sugars, caffeine or stimulants and is natural. Why an Oxygen Supplement? 1. IMPROVES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE During intense workouts, the body requires large amounts of energy. Its primary source of energy is in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). The production of ATP is much greater in the presence of oxygen. By supplementing ones oxygen intake during an intense workout or a series of muscle burning moves, ATP production is increased. This results in the athlete being able to push harder for longer. Increased Reps using heavier weights allows gains in Muscle size and strength, naturally. 2. MENTAL FOCUS When muscles are under extreme strain, they use large amounts of oxygen, depleting the bodies overall oxygen levels. This can leave the mind unfocused or dazed. Supplemental oxygen helps raise oxygen levels under these circumstances improving focus and clarity. It also calms the mind when experiencing anxiety or stress. 3. MUSCLE RECOVERY Supplemental oxygen is known to reduce recovery time between intense sets. Lactic Acid build up occurs when energy is needed at a faster rate than oxygen can be supplied. Supplementing Oxygen intake therefore slows down the build-up of lactic acid which leads to quicker recovery times. Who would use PURE O2? Supplemental oxygen is widely used by the . . .
“Hello Kiwi” is making headway to bring Greek kiwi fruit to South Africa Participants in the European Union’s Hello Kiwi programme are further building on relationships with key players in the South African market in order to export kiwi fruit grown in Europe to South Africa with the aim of Greek kiwi’s to be sold in major retail stores. “Hello Kiwi” exhibited at the Food and Hospitality Exhibition (HOSTEX) this year which was held at the Gallagher convention centre. They also held a convention for stakeholders and the media where the Greek Kiwi Producers Association discussed the importance of this trade relationship with South Africa and discussed the regulations with the Fresh Produce Imports Association. His Excellency the Greek Ambassador Mr. Eleftherios Kouvaritakis from the Johannesburg Embassy commented, “Greek kiwi fruits are exported to more than 50 countries worldwide. In South Africa we have witnessed a significant increase of Greek kiwi fruit exports in most recent years. From a mere 700.000 ZAR total value, to a peak of 10 million ZAR.” “According to preliminary estimations, for 2017, the cultivated kiwi fruit hectares' were more than 85,000 with a total expected production of 205,000 tones. Up till April 2017, 105,000 tones had already been exported,” said Kouvaritakis. Agronomist Katri Katerina stated a vitally important aspect, “Greek kiwis are free of pesticide residues, as cultivation in Greece does not require their use.” “Kiwis fruits contain some of the highest concentration of vitamin C. In addition they contain some of the highest natural levels of digestive enzymes that enable protein assimilation. An important aspect is that kiwi seeds are an excellent source of fibre. ” said Nutritionist Nicci Robertson. The newest variety of Kiwi Fruit on the market is the Kiwi Gold, “Yellow or Gold kiwi fruit are regarded as nutritionally superior due to higher levels of vitamin C, E and potassium - improving iron absorption. Yellow . . .
A hyperbaric oxygen therapy service, the only such private facility in the Western Cape, was recently opened at the Tokai Medicross and is available to treat a range of medical conditions, the Medicross group announced today. Dr Jonathan Rosenthal, a medical practitioner who specialises in hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and heads up the new facility at Tokai Medicross, says that while hyperbaric chamber treatments are commonly known as being used for the emergency treatment of decompression sickness (the bends), a potential danger of scuba diving, it has a greater and well-established role in the therapy of a number of other conditions where reduced tissue oxygenation is the underlying pathology. “While the centre is certainly available to treat divers who suffer the misfortune of decompression sickness, the great majority of our work involves the treatment of other medical conditions such as serious infections and wounds resulting from diabetes or radiation injury,” adds Dr Rosenthal, who holds post-graduate qualifications in diving and underwater medicine. Dr Rosenthal explains that HBOT involves the patient breathing 100% pure oxygen in a chamber where the atmospheric pressure can be increased under regulated conditions. This enables blood oxygen levels to be temporarily raised to massively increased levels to support healing of problems underpinned by low tissue oxygenation, thereby promoting healing and assisting in combatting infection. “Oxygen is normally transported throughout the body by red blood cells only. With HBOT, we can dissolve oxygen directly into the blood plasma thereby enabling the oxygen to reach areas where circulation is diminished or blocked as a result of injury or disease,” he points out. “This increase in the oxygen levels in the blood speeds up cell repair, assists the body to fight off certain bacterial infections, reduces swelling and stimulates new blood vessels to develop in areas where tissue is damaged.” “In . . .
In the last decade, advances in science have made it possible to diagnose and treat illness with greater precision than ever before. Simple, accessible genetic testing, like mygeneRx, has given healthcare practitioners the power to maximise effectiveness and minimise side effects of medicine. This is changing the world of healthcare – but not everyone knows how. Here’s what you need to know about genetics and personalised medicine: What is pharmacogenomics? For a long time, medicine revolved around the best way to treat the masses – doctors prescribe the same medication to treat people with a similar condition. Pharmacogenomics promotes a more personalised approach. Pharmacogenomics harnesses genetics to predict an individual’s response to medication, leading to more effective treatment. Although there’s a long way to go in relying entirely on DNA to make medical decisions, this is a rapidly evolving field that already can provide a wealth of useful information. It’s a more effective way to practice medicine than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Why are genes important in treatment? Small variations in our DNA make us unique. These variations determine how proteins and enzymes are made, which in turn lead to specific enzymes working faster or slower. This impacts how medication is metabolised in the body. In certain patients, a higher or lower dosage of medication is needed, or alternative medication is better suited. Statins, for example, which are commonly prescribed to help lower cholesterol, vary in effectiveness depending on DNA. For some, they don’t work at all and instead yield negative side effects. If a doctor understands a patient’s DNA, they can avoid prescribing a drug that won’t contribute to a quick recovery. What medications can I test for? The responsiveness of more than 150 medications across cardiovascular, pain, gastrointestinal and psychiatric medications can be made more accurate through genetic tests. How advanced are . . .
A breast cancer diagnosis is a life-changing experience and it is common for individuals to feel overwhelmed at the journey that lies ahead of them. Supporting and assisting patients every step of the way and guiding them through their individual treatment process therefore form a meaningful part of the comprehensive and multidisciplinary service offered at the Netcare Milpark Breast Care Centre of Excellence. “As far as I am aware, the Netcare Milpark Breast Care Centre of Excellence is the only centre that has a fully qualified nurse navigator,” says patient navigator Krupa Parekh-Padia, who recently completed her Breast Patient Navigator Certification Examination in the United States with flying colours, earning her CN-BN credentials. “It is a first for South Africa; having a navigation team under myself trained in looking after all aspects of a patient’s care, from pre-diagnosis [radiology navigation] through treatment to survivorship,” says the 27-year-old, who recently returned to South Africa. Parekh-Padia was born in South Africa but grew up and studied in Southern California.” “Since this is an emerging discipline, I often have to explain my role, which is essentially to stand by patients as their advocate, and help them to navigate through the various medical disciplines and healthcare providers during the treatment process. This prevents the patient from expending unnecessary energy that could be better focused on getting well again,” Parekh-Padia explains. “I track the patient from diagnosis through treatment to recovery, ensuring a smooth transition from one phase of treatment to the next, serving as the point of communication between the patient and the various medical professionals who play a role in their treatment.” The Netcare Milpark Breast Care Centre of Excellence, established by renowned specialist surgeon and breast disease specialist, Professor Carol-Ann Benn, in association with Netcare, has recently become the only such . . .