New robotics system offers doctors greater precision and saves time ZEISS has announced the launch of its new Robotic Visualization System™, KINEVO® 900, which is designed to deliver more functionality than any other surgical microscope today. The KINEVO® 900 incorporates 100 innovations and combines optical and digital visualization modalities. It offers the unique Micro-Inspection Tool (QEVO) and impressive Surgeon-Controlled Robotics. By combining the Surgeon-Controlled Robotics with its new navigation interface, medical practitioners will be able to minimise time-consuming efforts in approaching challenging neurosurgical pathologies; perform automated positioning to pre-defined anatomical landmarks based on pre-operative data planning and approach deep-seated pathologies in cranial surgery, brain stem or skull base tumour removals. ZEISS Profit Centre Manager Medical Technology, Grant Froneman says the KINEVO® 900 offers doctors even greater certainty in a virtually disruption-free workflow. “The Surgeon-Controlled Robotics deliver a complete new level of precise positioning, enabling intelligent positioning functions and reducing manual hassle. Importantly, it helps practitioners to focus on what matters most: their treatment.” The system’s new PointLock functionality allows users to focus on and move around a structure to visualise the targeted anatomy. In addition, the Surgeon-Controlled Robotics minimise collateral system vibrations, thereby enabling active vibration dampening and ensuring rock-solid stability. Froneman says the system also allows for efficient workflow by storing identified regions of concern in its intelligent PositionMemory. “These can be recalled and visualised at the same magnification, working distance and focus.” CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Confusion continues to surround legislation regarding e-cigarettes and vaping. But, as more organisations publish findings regarding the use of vaping to reduce tobacco smoking and its health risks, so the regulatory tide is beginning to turn, says South Africa's Vapour Product Association (VPA). The irony surrounding the categorisation of e-cigarettes and vaping is that both electronic devices and vapours-which contain varying levels of nicotine - are treated as tobacco products, although they contain no tobacco at all. “In fact,” says Kabir Kaleechurn, Director of the VPA, “the two smoking processes are different. Tobacco smoking relies on burning of tobacco, the cause of all cigarette-smoking health risks while vaping relies on a gentle heating process to deliver its nicotine. It is probably the word ‘cigarette' used for both products that is causing legislative confusion,” he says. "In many countries, the legislation places e-cigarettes in the same category as tobacco. In South Africa, e-cigarettes are not covered by the Tobacco Products Control Act, or by the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act. It seems that the act of combustion and smoke preclude e-cigarettes being regarded as cigarettes. They also do not fall under the Medicines Act as they are marketed solely for recreational purposes." Whilst e-cigarettes and vaping presently fall into the gap between smoking and medicinal legislation in South Africa, there have been calls locally for it to be classified under both sets of legislation. Protagonists for this viewpoint feel that it should be regarded as a medical treatment, with ‘other’ consumption falling under the Tobacco Act because it ‘should be regarded as a health risk like all tobacco products’. In the VPA's view, this is contradictory. Authorities internationally are stating that vaping is reducing smoking by active tobacco smokers. Vaping is also weaning people off tobacco smoking by still offering the hit experienced by . . .
Engen Petroleum is taking their annual Driver Wellness programme to Kokstad in the KwaZulu Natal, offering free health screenings for truck drivers passing through Kokstad. As part of this initiative, all truck drivers are invited to receive voluntary health screenings at Engen Kokstad Truck Stop, on the Main Road, Kokstad on the 10th November from 10:00 – 17:00. Engen Driver Wellness is a mobile health awareness initiative run by Thubelihle Occupational Health & Wellness. The initiative which has impacted positively on the country’s bulk truck driver operators has continued to increase driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores over the years. Over a seven month period, running from April to the middle of November, the programme will reach 21 sites in five provinces. Running for its sixth year, Engen Driver Wellness continues to bring health to the front seat for truck drivers by providing them with free health screenings. Operated nationwide at Engen Truck Stops and retail service stations, drivers are offered free voluntary screenings in mobile clinics. These are conducted by qualified nurses and councillors where blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, tuberculosis, BMI (Body Mass Index) and HIV/AIDS are tested. Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane says that the main aim of this initiative is to improve health through awareness. “Education helps to remind drivers and our employees why their health is important and how life choices impact on their well-being. Ultimately this increases their health, safety and productivity.” “There has been a marked increase in the amount of individuals using the services we provide which is a clear indication that this intervention is making a difference to the wellbeing of drivers and will ultimately lead to a healthier industry,” adds Nduvane. As testing is voluntary, the incremental acceptance of health management as a path to longevity and wellbeing . . .
“I can’t do that – I’ve got sore knees!” Knee pain can really cramp a workout, but the best thing for most forms of knee pain is, you guessed it, exercise! This is because you can target the muscles around the knee to offer it more support. But, if you have poor form, or are doing the wrong exercises in the first place, you’re going to send yourself limping back to the bench in no time at all. Springbok Physio and BODYTEC® City Bowl client, Rene Naylor, introduced Springbok captain Jean de Villiers to BODYTEC® Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) in order to maintain his muscle strength during the recovery of his knee injury. Ems is a training method which has been used for decades globally in medical and rehabilitation fields, and has seen significant growth of late as a toning, strengthening and fitness tool as well as an aid to overcoming back pain and knee injuries. The Harvard Medical School says: “The proper balance of strength in the muscles can hold the joint in the most functional and least painful position. With any knee, the first muscles to lose strength are the largest antigravity muscles, the quadriceps and gluteals, so an exercise plan for any injury is likely to focus on these.” Furthermore, strong quadriceps can take over the shock-absorbing role usually played by the meniscus or cartilage in the knee. Check in with your BODYTEC® trainer what will work for your particular situation, but you can get the ball rolling with these exercises to do at home: Don’t do: full squats Do: Partial squats Standing in front of a chair in the squat position, lower yourself towards the chair. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes. Don’t do: lunges Do: step-ups Standing on front of a step, step up onto it (right foot first). Tap your left foot on the top of the step, and then lower. As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle. Repeat with the left foot. Don’t do: leg curls Do: calf raises Using a chair or wall for balance, . . .
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, absolute levels of hunger and poverty are the most dramatic issues when it comes to addressing inequality, which in turn is a threat to economic growth. The fact that 3.2 million of South Africa’s children go to school hungry each day serves as a strident call to the nation that achieving one of the cornerstones of our democracy - social equality - will continue to pose a severe challenge unless the cycles of hunger and poverty are addressed. Research indicates that children who are not adequately nourished risk failing to reach their developmental potential, including socio-emotional abilities that are strongly linked to academic achievement and economic productivity. In South Africa, the poorest 40% of the population, which includes a staggering 4 million children under the age of 6 years old, are 2.8 times more likely to suffer the long-term effects of malnutrition compared to those living in the richest 10% of our homes. Poor health and education go hand in hand, and childhood malnutrition can ultimately limit job prospects and reduce future earnings by at least 20%. KFC Public Affairs Director for Africa, Thabisa Mkhwanazi, says that the evidence of how hunger can affect a child’s social well being is significant, and concerning in terms of its potential long-term affect. The social side effects of hunger in children include feelings of anxiety, low self-esteem and even depression. Mkhwanazi says, “Childhood is a critical period for social and neurocognitive development, which are linked to improved health and success in adulthood. From a young age, hungry children already begin displaying signs of poor social interaction with their peers, compared to children who are not hungry. Hungry children appear to be far more reserved, and don’t play as other children play. Conversely, children who don’t worry about food are more confident and better adjusted than their hungry . . .
The recent donation of 500 packs of the reusable sanitary towel, Subz Pants and Pads, to high school pupils at Marikana Combined School in Marikana, the mining town based in North West province, will make a profound difference to these young women. Sponsored by ChromTech, a chrome beneficiation company which operates in the area, the 500 packs consist of nine pads and three accompanying cotton panties, which will last the recipient three to five years if cared for correctly. “ChromTech is committed to uplifting the communities in which it operates which is why this particular school was chosen,” explained Stephen Baird, financial manager of ChromTech. “With our team made up of engineers, we originally considered reviewing upgrades and or additions to necessary school infrastructure, but I was alerted to the need for sanitary towels in disadvantaged communities after hearing a radio discussion on the topic.” Stephen Baird and staff started researching the issue and were astounded to discover the impact a lack of sanitary towels was having on the lives of young women. From hygiene-related problems to school absenteeism, the lack of such a fundamental item needed by every female was crippling. For many young women, an entire week of school was forfeited monthly, detrimentally affecting their educational opportunities. “Although this is not something we’d considered before, when we realised the impact the lack of such a basic item could have on a girl’s future, we felt this was the cause to support,” explained Stephen Baird. “We wanted to assist as many high school girls as possible for the duration of their schooling career, but disposable sanitary towels are prohibitively expensive and storage space would prove a problem.” This is when ChromTech discovered Subz Pants and Pads, an incredibly durable, reusable sanitary pad and accompanying clip-on panty that is both financially and environmentally beneficial. Developed, designed and manufactured by . . .
PRETORIA – Intercare is proud to be a top three finalist of the 2016/2017 Ask Afrika Orange Index® customer service benchmark, as measured in the Private Hospitals Industry. The Ask Afrika Orange Index® is the largest and most widely referenced service excellence benchmark in South Africa. It was launched in 2001, and has a tracking history of service in South Africa for the past 16 years. “This nomination is a wonderful affirmation that our efforts to always put our patients first are paying off,” said Dr Hendrik Hanekom, CEO of Intercare. “Creating a great healthcare experience altogether has always been our vision.” Intercare Day Hospitals offer an alternative to acute care facilities for surgeries not requiring an overnight hospital stay. “This highlights Intercare’s desire to always provide innovative value-based healthcare solutions,” he added. At Intercare, surgical services prioritize patient safety and comfort, utilizing the latest techniques and technology. This approach accelerates the healing process by getting patients home and back into comfortable surroundings, as quickly as possible. Intercare’s Sub-Acute and Rehabilitation Hospitals focuses on the treatment and rehabilitation of patients who have a determined treatment plan and do not require any intensive diagnostic or invasive procedures. An outcomes based approach is followed and a multi-disciplinary team is appointed for each patient to ensure maximum recovery and functionality. To demonstrate a commitment to service excellence, Intercare Medical & Dental Centers offer longer operating hours during the week and are open on weekends and public holidays, making it more accessible and convenient for families and working professionals. A variety of healthcare services are available under one roof - saving the patient time, money and effort. The winners of the Ask Afrika Orange Index®, will be announced at the awards ceremony which will take place at The Venue, Melrose Arch on . . .
Pink Lady® apples together with Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, the largest exporter of South African apples and pears into more than 104 countries, hosted their eighth annual Crafts for Cancer workshop on Saturday, 14 October 2017 at Vrede en Lust Wine Estate. Every year this event is held to raise funds for the Tygerberg Hospital’s Breast Clinic Transport Fund, which has now been expanded to include nutritional support for the disadvantaged patients at Tygerberg Hospital’s Breast Clinic. At the biggest ever Crafts for Cancer event, 120 ladies participated this year resulting in R41 0000 being raised for The Fund, on Sunday there was also a trail run at Vrede en Lust, resulting in an additional R30 000 raised. This means that over 400 additional ladies will benefit from The Fund. The Transport Fund was started for the Breast Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital in 2010. The need for this fund was identified and initiated by a dedicated social worker at the Breast Clinic. The Transport Fund Initiative kicked off with a donation of R25,000 from the Head of the Breast Clinic, Professor Apffelstaedt and what started as a small-scale initiative to assist one patient in need, has since grown to a fully-fledged fund that has helped countless women and continues to grow. Professor Apffelstaedt noted that there are approximately 550 new breast cancer patients at Tygerberg Hospital every year, and because of the money raised for The Fund, not one of them misses their treatment due to not being able to afford to travel to the hospital. 70% of women diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the Breast Clinic of Tygerberg Hospital are in the low-income bracket, and whilst the government covers the treatment costs, their transport costs to and from the hospital for regular radiotherapy sessions often become a barrier to entry. Radiotherapy sessions last for either 16 or 25 days and the transport costs for these patients are often too high. “I am so proud of every woman that attended our . . .
The present ‘puritan’ approach to defeating the health risks posed by tobacco smoking should be abandoned by anti-smoking lobbyists and regulators in favour of a pragmatic approach which recognises that alternatives like vaping are up to 95% less harmful, and have the potential to meaningfully reduce the toll on the health of tobacco smokers around the globe. So says Prof Daniel Malan – an ex-smoker and director of the Stellenbosch University-based Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa, in a report entitled ‘Where there’s no smoke, is there still fire? ethical aspects of tobacco harm reduction, published by the Africa Harm Reduction Alliance (AHRA). The report suggests that reducing the harm inherent in smoking should be recognised as a strategy in the fight against the well-documented health risks faced by smokers. Tobacco smoking, says the report, still takes up to five million lives globally every year, and sees government earnings by taxes dwarfed by the US $ 1.0 trillion loss to global economies through premature death of workers, lost production and costs of healthcare. Against these facts must be measured the debatable success of international bids like the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), that was launched by the World Health Organisation in 2005. Legally binding on 180 countries and focusing on the production, sale, distribution, advertising and taxation of tobacco the FCTC, in addition to other measures, should see the incidence of smoking reduce globally from 22.1% in 2010 to 18.95 in 2025 - a reduction of only 3.5% (according to the WHO). “The simple concept of reducing harm can make a contribution to a much more comprehensive approach to tobacco control. Including both scientific and legal components, the objective is simply to reduce the potential harm by decreasing the risks attached to using tobacco or nicotine. Cigarette substitutes such as vaping and smokeless tobacco are examples,” says Prof Malan. Confusing the . . .
Thinking Pink – To show their support, create awareness and remember loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium together with its operators, Mandela Bay Development Agency is supporting the month-long Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .