Cape Town – Ascendis Health, the high growth health and care brands group, is to purchase the southern African veterinary operations of Cipla India for R375 million. Cipla Vet (companion animals) and Cipla Agrimed (commercial animals) sell a range of high quality animal medicines. The business was established in 2004 and the sale follows the decision by Cipla India to divest its southern African veterinary operations to focus on human health care only in South Africa. Ascendis Health CEO Dr Karsten Wellner said the Cipla animal health businesses provide an excellent strategic fit with the Ascendis Phyto-Vet division which focuses on animal and plant health products. “The acquisition will enable Ascendis to expand into the attractive veterinary pharma market, with high margin products in strong growth segments. The new business will complement our presence in the pharma industry and Phyto-Vet’s biosciences business, while adding therapeutic products to our portfolio which is an area where Ascendis has not had a strong representation in the past,” he said. Cipla Vet sells through over 1 000 outlets including vet practices, vet shops, equine stores and wholesalers. The business has a strong presence in antibiotics, and endo- and ectoparasiticides, with key brands including Triworm and Petcam. Cipla Agrimed has a leading position in antimicrobials and endectocides in South Africa which are sold mainly through agri-co-operatives, tenders and directly to farmers. Dr Wellner said currently only about 10% of Cipla’s veterinary sales are generated through export into Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Angola. “This provides an excellent opportunity for synergies through Phyto-Vet’s existing African network. The Cipla products will also support Phyto-Vet’s planned expansion into new African markets and the further internationalisation of the business.” Cipla Vet and Cipla Agrimed reported a combined profit after tax of R31 million in the year to March 2016, . . .
There are few things more beneficial to a person’s health than a strong and trusting long-term relationship with one doctor. “Some individuals mistakenly believe that having several doctors, rather than building a solid relationship with just one, will make them healthier,” says Dr Vuyokazi Gqola, Executive: Healthcare Management of Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS). “This logic is flawed because consulting many different doctors, which is sometimes referred to as ‘doctor hopping’, means that none of them have your full medical history and records. When you are ill and seeking a diagnosis from one of several doctors, they are not provided with the full picture of your overall general state of health’’. “If the doctor you visit for a particular illness is not your only doctor, they may not have all in the information they need to make an informed and accurate diagnosis. Your doctor needs to be aware of your family’s medical history, all medicines you may be taking and, preferably, your previous illnesses dating back to childhood,” she explains. According to Dr Gqola, doctor hopping can be extremely dangerous, particularly if the patient does not present all this important information at the start of their appointment. Going through your full medical history may be time consuming, and sometimes patients may forget one or two details that could be vital for a trained medical professional, but may seem unimportant to the patient. “If you routinely stick to one doctor, also known as a family practitioner, they would know if, for example, your blood pressure tends to be lower than average. This could possibly be a physical trait that runs in your family, which your own doctor would recognise as not being a symptom of the illness you are seeking treatment for’’. “However, if you are doctor hopping and consulted a new doctor who did not know this about you, they may base their diagnosis of the illness on the fact that your blood pressure is . . .
You’re feeling ill. You visit the doctor, pick up a script and head to the pharmacy to collect your meds. The person in front of you in the queue just came from the doctor too. And they have the same script. Once you’ve both taken your medication, you’ll feel an equal improvement, right? Wrong. Due to slight genetic variations in your DNA, you might metabolise and process the medication you’re taking differently to the person in front you. The ingredients in the pills you’re taking might stay in your body for three hours longer. They may have much more serious side effects. Or they may have no effect whatsoever. You’d probably never know – except you’d never feel quite right, and could have chronic side effects while taking the medication. But you should learn to live with the side effects, right? Wrong again, fortunately. Most patients put up with frustrating side effects, simply because they think they have to. But with a little more knowledge of their DNA, they could be working with their doctor to find a tailored solution with far higher likelihood of working. And to a large extent, leaving ineffective meds and unwanted side effects behind,. Distinct DNA difference Molecular biologist and founder of DNAlysis Biotechnology, Dr Daniel Meyersfeld, believes most South Africans simply aren’t aware of the various ways their unique DNA affects metabolism of medication. “Many patients don’t respond to the first drug they’re prescribed in the course of treatment. A trial and error approach is frustrating and expensive, so why not use genetic information to streamline the process?” says Meyersfeld. “By conducting a simple genetic test, patients and doctors can now work towards enhancing the safety and efficacy of their treatment and avoiding unpleasant side effects.” Warfarin – the way forward Meyersfeld speaks specifically of Warfarin as a stellar example of prescription that should be tailored to the individual. Warfarin is the anticoagulant of choice . . .
Suaad Majavie and Denise Adriaan were among the UCT Private Academic Hospital staff members who celebrated the facility's 15th anniversary. Suaad and Denise have been with the hospital since it first opened its doors in 2002. The landmark UCT Private Academic Hospital, one of the Cape Town’s most highly respected medical treatment and training facilities, celebrates its 15th anniversary this month. Jacques du Plessis, managing director of the Netcare hospital division, congratulated the facility’s management, staff and the medical professionals practising there on attaining this milestone. According to Du Plessis, UCT Private Academic Hospital (UCTPAH) is today not only one the best known centres for medical care in the Western Cape, but also one of South Africa’s most important specialist training facilities. Du Plessis explains that the 112-bed UCTPAH is a joint venture with the University of Cape Town’s Health Science Faculty, Groote Schuur Hospital with which it shares some facilities, and Netcare. UCTPAH was initially established by the University of Cape Town (UCT) with its business partners, for the purpose of providing a platform for retaining skilled medical staff, enabling training, and providing a service to private patients. “The collaboration by the different institutions has ensured a strong cross pollination of ideas, which has taken forward our knowledge of medicine in South Africa. It has also enabled the hospital to develop strong relationships with the public and teaching sectors, which benefits both private and public patients alike,” he adds. “The concept of the hospital itself has been pioneering and the result is a success story. UCTPAH demonstrates how the private, public and educational sectors can cooperate to not only make quality healthcare more accessible to South Africans, but also contribute to advancing critical medical skills in the country.” UCTPAH general manager, Lieselle Shield, says: “The management, staff and medical . . .
Being diagnosed with cancer is a daunting experience and most patients appreciate all the support they can get to deal with the challenges of diagnosis and treatment. It is for this reason that the cancer support group, Hold my Hand, has been established at Netcare Clinton Hospital in Alberton, Johannesburg. The manager of the oncology centre at Netcare Clinton Hospital, Pogiso Tlholoe, says that in addition to appropriate medical treatment, social and emotional support can greatly assist patients in dealing with the disease and its treatment. “Netcare Clinton Hospital is therefore pleased to partner with support groups such as Hold my Hand, an outstanding initiative which was started at the hospital by cancer survivor, Claire McLoughlin. Through various means, including counselling, the organisation aims to ensure that oncology patients do not feel alone and unsupported,” notes Tlholoe. According to Tlholoe, 4 February was World Cancer Day and the hospital’s oncology centre, together with Hold my Hand and the Cancer Angels Network, commemorated it through a special function held at the facility recently. “The aim of World Cancer Day is to make the public more aware of, and educate them on the scourge of cancer and the causes, signs, symptoms and treatment of all forms of the disease. The early detection and treatment of cancer saves lives, so this is a most worthy cause and one that is fully supported by Netcare Clinton Hospital. “Hold my Hand is a support group for cancer patients by cancer patients, and was established at the hospital to mark World Cancer Day a year ago on 16 February 2016,” explains Tlholoe. “We therefore took the opportunity to commemorate both World Cancer Day and the establishment of this important support group, which has already touched the lives of many oncology patients.” “Claire McLoughlin was a patient at the hospital and felt that there was a great need for a support group for both newly-diagnosed cancer patients as well as those . . .
"Hearing is the soul of knowledge and information of a high order. To be cut off from hearing is to be isolated indeed." Helen Keller The South African Association of Audiologists (SAAA) has planned a number of initiatives for World Hearing Day which includes outreach and awareness programs. The main event is scheduled at the Grace Bible Church in Soweto, where SAAA in association with various sponsors will aim to test the hearing of at least 1000 pensioners. In addition to creating awareness, this event will also attempt to break the current World record for the most hearing tests done on a single 8 hour day, which is currently being held by Australian Hearing who tested 712 individuals on one day during 2015. Prior to this the record was held by South Africa for 494 individuals tested. World Hearing Day is an annual event held on 3 March each year to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world. The theme for World Hearing Day 2017 is ‘Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment‘. This theme highlights the economic impact of hearing loss on the individual and society. It draws attention to the fact that interventions to address hearing loss are cost effective. It places emphasis on the importance of investing financial resources, time and effort to seeking timely hearing care, such as have hearing tested by an audiologist with suitable equipment. Loud noise, ear infections, diabetes, kidney disease, and many other conditions can cause hearing loss that may go undetected for many years, silently interfering with your quality of life without you even realizing it. Importantly, those who have hearing loss can benefit greatly from early identification and suitable, timely interventions. Healthy Hearing- Taken for Granted The importance of healthy hearing is often taken for granted. Hearing empowers us and enriches our lives. Hearing enables us to socialize, work, interact, communicate and even relax. Good hearing also helps . . .
It’s 6:45. You’re hosting dinner at 7. You earnestly asked your partner to be home at 6, and buy cheese for the salad on their way home. You’ve tried to call them – their phone is off. You’re stuck preparing for your guests all alone and don’t know how someone could be so inconsiderate to leave you in this position. Sound familiar? The core symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity – can often be mistaken for a disregard of a partner’s emotions, and lead to unnecessary conflict. Psychiatrist Dr Rykie Liebenberg believes the symptoms of ADHD have a ripple effect on all areas of a relationship. Learning to listen “Partners of individuals with ADHD constantly feel as if they’re not being heard because their requests aren’t fulfilled – whether it’s completing household tasks or meeting their broader emotional needs. They understand this to mean their partner doesn’t care enough and isn’t invested in the relationship,” explains Liebenberg. “In reality, it’s simply the inattentiveness that often goes hand-in-hand with ADHD.” Temper traps A quick temper and high levels of aggression can also make individuals with ADHD appear as if they’re disinvested in the relationship. Liebenberg says untreated ADHD can lead to emotional outbursts and irritability – often in traffic or busy areas like shopping malls – which can lead to arguments. “ADHD-related impulsivity can also pose major challenges for a someone living with a partner with ADHD. The partner is mistakenly seen as irresponsible and uncaring because they spend money that should be reserved for household expenses, walk out of jobs without consulting their family or engage in gambling or extra-marital relationships.” Affecting intimacy The combination of these negative symptoms of ADHD go to the core of a relationship, says Liebenberg, and ultimately affect its basic functioning – right down to intimacy. “If you’re constantly . . .
Research shows only a third of patients are familiar with personalised medicine – and only 11% have broached the topics with their doctor. Considering around 38% of patients with depression, 50% of arthritis patients, 40% of asthma patients and 43% of diabetic patients won’t react to the first treatment they’re prescribed, these statistics are concerning. Experts in the field believe the knowledge gap around personalised medicine – and reluctance of some healthcare professionals to embrace it – is halting the advancement of healthcare systems. What is personalised medicine? Personalised medicine – also known as precision medicine – is an emerging practice of medicine that uses an individual’s genetic profile to guide prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. One of the foundations of personalised medicine is pharmacogenomics: using genetic biomarkers that influence drug response to guide drug therapy decisions for individual patients. Historical approach The lack of knowledge around personalised medicine is largely as a result of the ‘one-dose-fits-all’ approach used to treat diseases throughout history. Medicine has traditionally revolved around ‘standards of care’ – what’s believed to be the most effective treatment for the general population. Often, this is considered to be the most reasonable treatment, but has little to do with the patient specifically. The findings from the Human Genome Project, released in 2003, gave momentum to the personalised medicine movement. The Project revealed the DNA of any two individuals is 99.9% identical. Variations in the 0.1% of a person’s DNA, it was discovered, influence the genes that code for drug-metabolising enzymes or drug transporters. This means a significant portion of the population will each metabolise medications in a unique way to another patient. Small change, big consequences A small genetic variation in genes that control drug-metabolising enzymes also contribute to adverse events . . .
Bloemfontein, South Africa – Feb 09, 2017: Kriel Technology Group (Pty) Ltd (www.ktgroup.co.za) introduces Eyejusters, the First Instantly Adjustable Glasses - which look like normal glasses, to Southern Africa and other SADC countries. The world’s first ever smart glasses with adjustable vision correction that use regular frames will be available from Kriel Technology Group (Pty)Ltd – (www.ktgroup.co.za). British based Eyejusters have created a discreet adjustable eyeDial to allow users to change the lens strength in the same way as binoculars or a microscope, giving wearers near perfect vision, whatever their needs - computer, reading or detailed close-up work. Their classic styles are all crafted using quality materials, in Acetate and Stainless Steel. The glasses are available in various different colours and retail at R1,439.00. All Eyejusters come with a 1 year warranty. Most people need help with close up vision at some point in their lives hence the popularity of ‘ready readers’ (over-the- counter reading glasses). By our mid-forties, we start struggling to see close-up objects such as books, computers and phones. This is caused by an age-related condition called presbyopia, which is part of the natural ageing process of the eye . Our eyes begin to lose elasticity making it harder to switch focus between short and long-distance objects. Reading glasses are not a complete solution for presbyopia as they have a fixed lens, this means that only a small zone is in focus, at a constant distance from the eye. To change this distance, you need a different pair of glasses. Additionally, 'ready readers' have the same strength lens for each eye - many people, however, require different strengths for each eye. With this problem in mind, the creators of Eyejusters invented SlideLensTM, the result of five years of intensive research which means that each lens can be individually focused by the wearer through a small adjustable dial in each side of the . . .
Improving healthcare systems and the delivery of affordable, accessible healthcare services in African countries are key requisites for the optimal growth of the continent’s economies as the health of a nation is intrinsically linked to its potential to thrive and optimise productivity. Although many African countries’ increased focus on strengthening their healthcare systems in recent years has led to significant gains in terms of improving health outcomes, the continent continues to struggle with huge challenges such as underfunding, dire shortages of healthcare professionals and a growing double disease burden that encompasses both communicable diseases (CDs) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). To discuss innovative solutions to address the challenges, with the aim of sharing best practices and experiences, leading healthcare partners from Africa and across the world gathered in Johannesburg from the 1st to the 2nd of December 2016 for the 2nd Future Trends Forum in Africa. Hosted by global pharmaceutical pharmacy company, Novartis, in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch Business School, the Forum was one of a series of Future Trends Forums that have been organised by Novartis since 2008, in collaboration with other healthcare partners in different parts of the world. The main aim of the Future Trends Forum is to bring the leading minds in healthcare together to share best practices and experiences in building healthcare systems in emerging markets. The first Future Trends Forum in Africa was held in March 2015 in Lusaka in Zambia. According to Dr Thomas Kowallik, CEO and Country President of Novartis in South Africa, the building of effective healthcare systems in Africa poses huge opportunities for investors in healthcare in terms of issues such as the establishment of infrastructure, and developing technology and systems to provide effective, affordable and accessible medicines and healthcare services. Discussing Africa’s unique . . .