"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 . . .
The non-profit distributors of reusable sanitary pads, Project Dignity, has heaped praise on the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education for the launch of its recent initiative which provides sanitary pads to thousands of high school learners. In a circular distributed by the department, the project is outlined whereby Grade 4 to 12 learners in 2 992 schools throughout the province will receive packs of sanitary pads. All relevant learners from these schools, situated in impoverished areas, will receive a new pack of sanitary pads every month. It states: “The initiative seeks to reduce the drop-out rate of girl learners caused by missing out on school, due to not being able to afford sanitary pads.” Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads and its non-profit extension, Project Dignity, congratulated the Department of Basic Education on this forward-thinking project which shares Project Dignity’s vision of empowering young women through education. “It is so heartening to learn that the provincial Department of Education has identified this life-changing need of so many South African learners,” said Barnes. “We really applaud them for embarking on this bold initiative which is certain to positively affect the lives of these women. We hope the next step will be to invest in reusable sanitary pads which will prove more cost-effective, freeing up the Department of Education to channel funds into other priority areas. The reusable pads are also more beneficial for our fragile environment.” In 2012 Barnes established Subz Pants and Pads, a reusable sanitary pad which attaches to a specially-designed cotton panty. The product is completely environmentally friendly, easy to use and can be reused after washing for up to five years, depending on product care. Through Project Dignity, in collaboration with corporates, thousands of packs of Subz Pants and Pads have been distributed to schools across the country in an effort to prevent school absenteeism. One . . .
Addressing food scarcity, job creation, and poverty in Urban areas is our goal. We have been establishing organic vegetable gardens in and around Port Elizabeth for the past ten years. In the drive to Grow your Own we are ready to roll out Community Gardens along plans and designs which have been developed and tested. Our aim is to provide interested gardeners and farmers with the infrastructure to develop self sustainable areas to produce natural tasty food with a high nutrient value on an on going basis. Our approach is fully organic, using natural earth processes and local resources, in a simple basic way. The outcome is to feed the hungry, produce healthy communities, offer job opportunities, develop self esteem, independence and pride (building a nation). We need to become aware of where our food comes from, how it is produced, what additional substances it contains and what the nutritional value is. Nobody else is concerned about the quality of our food, as long as it sells. The quality of our lives now and in the future, is largely determined by what we take in through our mouths. Nothing we eat just passes through, it either builds us up or causes damage. The price of food is increasing at an alarming rate. The more a household can grow at home and supplement the food budget the greater the saving and the healthier the family. The priority in starting a garden is to get the soil right. The soil along the coast is mostly poor for growing vegetables. A good soil mix (black bush soil mixed with red bush soil and manure) needs to be brought in and mixed with a good compost in a ratio of approximately 1:3. To save on quantity, the soil can be placed in either box planters or a trench beds. The vegetables need to grow in a fairly sunny area and must be protected from the wind. Establish a reliable source of water with rainwater tanks or recycled grey water. Once seeds or seedlings reach a reasonably sturdy stage a mulch of dry grass placed around . . .
Global waste-management group, Averda, further invests in the South African market with the acquisition of Solid Waste Technologies (SWT), a healthcare medical waste company with over 20 years’ experience. The acquisition of SWT alongside SharpMed, acquired in 2016, makes Averda one of the largest and most comprehensive end-to-end healthcare waste management business in South Africa. Averda South Africa’s Managing Director, Johan van den Berg, said SWT will form an integral part of Averda’s waste management operations in South Africa aimed at offering a complete turnkey solution in healthcare waste management. “As part of a global group, Averda South Africa is aligned with world class standards and systems that brings to market a differentiated service based on credibility, compliance, reporting and sustainability,” says van den Berg. “We’ve recently invested R250-million in the construction of a state-of-the-art hazardous waste landfill site in Vlakfontein which will support our integrated operations through our strategic acquisitions of SWT and SharpMed.” Eugene Barnard, Averda’s Healthcare Head, says South Africa is on par with global standards for operating and designing hazardous landfills and medical waste treatment facilities, and in meeting regulatory requirements and compliance. “This acquisition boosts our footprint in the medical waste sector and will deliver a consistent and reliable service, world class management systems and procedures, the latest waste tracking technology and traceability, and state-of-the-art medical and hazardous waste technology and disposal facilities.” “Our fully integrated waste management solution draws on Averda’s global expertise, experience and strong track record,” says Barnard. “We employ the best people where we operate, and we draw on global expertise to enable skills transfer. We operate state-of-the-art vehicles and utilise leading software, processes, and systems. The successful delivery of a . . .
Johannesburg, January 24, 2017 - Can a 28-year-old pharmacist in rural Mpumalanga help revolutionise healthcare access in South Africa and globally? Johannes Mangane’s PillDrop entry to the Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge (Sandoz HACk) has made it to the finals – a huge accolade given that only 6 out of 150 global entries have made it this far. His solution? An ‘Uber’ opportunity to revolutionise access to chronic medication in South Africa and globally. Your comments, questions and thoughts online at: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/healthcare-access/feedback/johannes-mangane-s-idea for PillDrop can help to bring this solution to life. Says Carel Meintjes, Commercial Excellence Head at Sandoz in South Africa: “Two billion people worldwide currently cannot access the medicines they need. In South Africa, a lack of infrastructure, especially in remote rural areas, is a huge challenge we are well aware of. While there are largescale initiatives by industry stakeholders that try to tackle these challenges, they need to be supported by community-led change, driven by innovative small-scale solutions that can make a big difference. This is why Sandoz HACk was born.” “PillDrop was developed by Johannes in response to his experience of serving one of the most vulnerable communities in our country. It uses mobile technology, a strong theme of the 2016/17 Sandoz HACk challenge, to address key weaknesses in local healthcare access. If he wins this challenge, his proposed solution can, without doubt, be applied locally and eventually globally to immense benefit,” says Meintjes. PillDrop - a mobile platform - Says Mangane: “In South Africa, being on chronic medication can mean long lines, expensive trips to distant medical centers and clinics, and sometimes unfilled prescriptions due to medicine shortages. The cost to patients is high – it can mean a day or more of lost work time, high travel costs, and exposure to secondary infections. The solution I . . .
Local flooring company Polyflor SA was once again in the privileged position to assist Carte Blanche with their “Making a Difference” campaign by donating a 780 m2 vinyl floor for use in the creation of an Infant High Care Ward at the Sebokeng Hospital. According to Tandy Coleman, CEO of Polyflor SA, this was the 8th year that the company has been involved in this campaign which aims to equip and renovate Paediatric Operating Theatres, ICUs and High Care Wards in selected state academic hospitals throughout South Africa. “Supplying hospitals and healthcare facilities with top quality and specialist vinyl flooring solutions is one of our areas of expertise. For this reason we were very excited to partner with the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust the first time they approached us for a corporate sponsorship many years ago. We saw it as an ideal opportunity to give something back to the community and to help make a lasting and tangible difference where it was most needed,” Tandy says. Carte Blanche is South Africa's longest running investigative journalism television programme. Eight years ago, it launched its “Making a Difference Trust”, which has since then raised well over R115 million for assisting paediatric units in government hospitals across the country. Academic hospitals are intentionally targeted as beneficiaries to ensure that future doctors can be trained at these facilities that serve large numbers of the uninsured paediatric population. The Sebokeng hospital is an 800 bed, peri-urban, regional hospital situated in Sedibeng (south of Johannesburg) that historically served a population of well over 1 million inhabitants. In recent years, the hospital has had to adjust to the growing demands of a rapidly increasing population, as job seekers move to the area in the hope of finding employment. High mortality is a challenge facing the hospital on a daily basis, as the residents of the Sedibeng District continue to face diseases such HIV and . . .