A pharmacist-driven antibiotic stewardship programme running at 47 Netcare hospitals across South Africa has demonstrated that a meaningful reduction in antibiotic usage can be achieved through a number of basic interventions. The achievements of the programme were highlighted in a research paper recently published in Lancet Infectious Diseases on behalf of the Netcare multi-disciplinary antimicrobial stewardship teams. According to the authors, who included Dr Adrian Brink, Professor Guy Richards, Dr Dena van den Bergh and other local and international academic collaborators, the programme achieved an 18% reduction in the consumption of antibiotics by in-hospital patients at these Netcare hospitals. “We are tremendously excited about the outcomes of this programme, the results are highly significant for antibiotic stewardship in this country, and have already caught the attention of the international medical fraternity,” says Van den Bergh, who is Netcare’s director of quality leadership. “The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is considered to be one of the most urgent health risks both locally and internationally. While the study was conducted within our private hospital group and did not include public sector facilities, it does show that it is possible to achieve much greater control of antibiotic usage in a setting with limited infectious diseases specialists,” Van den Bergh explains. The antibiotic stewardship (ABS) programme, a coordinated programme designed to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics, and on which the results were based, was conducted at the Netcare facilities between October 2009 and September 2014. The programme initially involved pharmacists in monitoring the use of antibiotics across intensive care units and thereafter in general medical and surgical wards. It aimed to achieve at least a 10% reduction in antimicrobial consumption and to introduce an effective ABS programme to the hospitals within the Netcare group . . .
The female pelvic floor is not often a source of conversation but, for the 1200 urogynaecologists from all over the world who will be meeting in Cape Town in August, it is an area to which they have devoted their working lives. “There is a huge burden of disease among women in Africa terms of incontinence due to damage of the pelvic floor, especially during unsupervised childbirth,” said Dr Peter de Jong, a Cape Town urogynaecologist who is the Africa representative on the board of the International Urogynaecological Association (IUGA) and one of the organisers of the conference. “Women are being crippled, but there is little being done about it,” he said. “In most countries in Africa if there are one or two urogynaecological specialists that is a lot. That is why it is so important that this conference is being held in Africa for the first time.” The female pelvic floor is a complex combination of muscles and ligaments that does far more than just support the pelvic organs. Women are predisposed to pelvic organ prolapse and faecal and urinary incontinence and this is exacerbated by childbirth, menopause and ageing. “If men got pregnant, things would be different,” was De Jong’s wry comment. “But female problems are not prioritised in developing countries right now, and these problems are just going untreated. We are hoping that by highlighting the issue at a major international conference like IUGA 2016, we will begin to see the political will that is needed for the change to happen.” Change happens as the general public becomes more aware of the issues, so it is with this in mind that IUGA2016 will also play host to a special Women’s Forum which will be open to the public. Admission will be free. This event, which will be held on Monday August 1, the day before the congress opens, will see four top urogynaecological specialists discussing the following topics: Does caesarean delivery protect your pelvic floor? Does vaginal birth cause sexual . . .
Pharma Dynamics is a leader among all the pharmaceutical companies in South Africa. Efficient and quality products have made them the most trusted name in generic pharmaceuticals. Pharma Dynamics, driven by their passion, has evolved to become the most prescribed and effective brand. They are the first choice among many patients and healthcare practitioners in South Africa. Why choose Pharma Dynamics: Pharma Dynamics provides the best health care to people of South Africa. Pharma Dynamics has alliance with global manufacturing partners. All the manufacturing partners are regulated and approved by regulatory authorities both South African and international. They invest in research and development to ensure that advanced generic formulations are developed. Providing best quality treatment at an affordable cost is the vision of Pharma Dynamics. They make sure that the quality is not compromised when products are provided at affordable prices. Pharma Dynamics works hard to improve the overall health of patients. Patients don’t have to pay any extra cost if they buy products from Pharma Dynamics. They are zealous about healthcare. Patient health is most important to Pharma Dynamics. They are committed to providing the best innovation in their products with a team of highly skilled scientists and pharmacists. They provide a wide range of over the counter medications. Apart from self medications, Pharma Dynamics is dedicated in providing critical care products and antibiotics that is used in intensive care settings. Pharma Dynamics believes that the first step to good health is to learn more about health. Medical conditions can be managed better, if one has proper knowledge about diseases. Pharma Dynamics provides easy to understand information and latest updates about diseases and health issues under their holistic health care approach initiative. Pharma Dynamics knows that a healthy heart is the key to a healthy life. They offer wide range of . . .
When it comes to incontinence, the bottom line is that one in four women and one in eight men is incontinent – and they aren’t all elderly! World Continence Week 2016, which will be held from June 20-26, aims to show that incontinence (when your bladder or bowel accidently leaks) is a widespread, yet treatable, condition that can be prevented, cured or positively managed. Although conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes, spina bifida, arthritis, multiple pregnancies and prostate disease increase the likelihood of incontinence, things that can be managed - being overweight, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, poor hydration and bad posture – also multiply the risks. Because it all comes down to good, and often simple, lifestyle changes, this year’s theme is “Improve your bottom line”. The focus is on encouraging people to adopt healthy bladder and bowel habits to prevent and improve incontinence. TENA, a global leader in the supply of purpose-designed incontinence products for light and heavy bladder weakness – has come up with 5 simple healthy ways to ensure a healthy ‘bottom line’: Eat to ensure you are regular: Eat a healthy diet high in healthy fibre - wholemeal bread instead of high-fibre white bread, high-fibre breakfast cereals, at least two pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables per day. Maintain a healthy body weight: Remember excess weight puts unnecessary strain on the muscles of the pelvic floor. Drink well: To prevent constipation and bladder irritation, drink 6–8 glasses of fluid per day. The colour of your urine is a good guide to whether you are drinking enough. It should be pale yellow. Dark yellow means you have not had enough fluid. Exercise: Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes in order to maintain a healthy body weight and keep your bowels regular (prevent constipation). Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with daily pelvic floor exercises. Practice good toilet habits: . . .
(Cape Town) – Michelle Ludwig, Director and senior green building consultant from Ludwig Design Consulting, has earned the WELL Accredited Professional (WELL APTM) credential through the International WELL Building InstituteTM (IWBITM), placing her among a group of leading professionals who are dedicated to supporting human health and well-being in the built environment and among the first APs in Africa. The WELL AP credential is the new, leading credential signifying advanced knowledge of health and well-being in the built environment and specialization in the WELL Building StandardTM (WELL). The WELL Building Standard is the first building standard to focus exclusively on the health and wellness of the people in buildings. WELL is an evidence and performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact human health and well-being in the built environment, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. “South Africa is becoming a global leader in green buildings and in a relatively short time we have become good at delivering resource efficient and certified buildings,“ says Ludwig. “Now it is time to turn our focus towards another valuable resource - our human capital, that is also prioritizing the health and well-being of building occupants. The WELL Building Standard is a good tool as a framework for this journey.” Ludwig Design Consulting provides guidance, education, and certification management for the design of health and wellness to meet the WELL Building Standard, in addition to a suite of other green building rating tools (Green Star SA, LEED, Living Building Challenge, EDGE), that complement each other and focus on broader building environmental and performance aspects. WELL APs have successfully passed the WELL AP exam, an assessment based on the expertise of leading practitioners in the field of design, health and wellness in the built environment. Developed using GBCI’s rigorous test . . .
It is safer to stick to statins while experts debate reliability of new research: Bold claims that statin medications may have little positive impact on the heart health of people over 60 have stimulated lively debate among cardiovascular researchers and doctors. A recent study published in BMJ Open medical journal and led by Dr Uffe Ravnskov of the University of Lund, Sweden, argues that high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol are not linked to higher rates of death from cardiovascular diseases in people older than 60 years of age. “Essentially, the study argues that people over 60 with high LDL cholesterol levels do not benefit from taking statins, a commonly prescribed medication category that reduce the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol your body produces,” explains Dr Jacques Snyman, director of product development at Agility Health. “As Agility Health, we are concerned that some members of the public may read about the claims advanced by this study and decide to stop taking their cholesterol medicines without consulting a medical professional. We would like to caution against this; conflicting studies are published all the time, and this is just a single study that has had its methodology called into question.” The body itself produces LDL cholesterol, and statins work by inhibiting the enzyme that is involved in the formation of this dangerous type of cholesterol. “A number of studies have, indeed, implied that high cholesterol alone is not a firm predictor of heart disease. However, in combination with other risk factors – such as smoking, being overweight or a genetic predisposition to heart disease – high cholesterol levels are a cause for concern,” Dr Snyman explains. “Excessive cholesterol in the blood tends to cause a build up of cholesterol plaque in the arteries. As a consequence, the arteries get narrower and narrower, and this residue causes the hardening of arteries. If the plaque build up ruptures, your blood’s natural . . .
He challenges South Africans to follow his example this World Blood Donor Day: Ninety-year-old Maurice Creswick has donated 413 pints, or 195.4 litres, of blood since he first began this lifesaving habit in 1944 at the age of 18. He has been recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest regular blood donor and to mark World Blood Donor Day, 14 June, Mr Creswick threw down the gauntlet to other South Africans. Asked what motivates him to keep donating blood, the sprightly nonagenarian says: “It is because I can do so much for so many people with such little effort.” On Wednesday, Mr Creswick visited Netcare Milpark Hospital as part of his campaign to encourage South Africans to donate blood. “Mr Creswick is an inspiration to us all, showing how a single person can potentially touch the lives of so many others simply through regular blood donation,” says Netcare Milpark Hospital’s trauma programme manager, Rene Grobler. Netcare Milpark Hospital, which has an accredited level 1 trauma unit, has extended a blood donation challenge of its own to Netcare Union, Netcare Garden City, Netcare Sunninghill, Netcare Unitas and Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial hospitals. “The idea is to encourage as many staff, patients, visitors and other members of the public as possible to do their bit for our country through donating blood. At Netcare Milpark Hospital, we are lucky enough to have Mr Creswick, a world champion and true blood donation veteran, who will be cheering on our efforts,” Grobler explains. This year’s World Blood Donor Day is commemorated under the theme “Blood connects us all”. As one pint of blood can potentially save up to three lives, according to the International Red Cross, Mr Creswick could have touched up to 1 239 lives through his blood donation over the years. “This is a truly patriotic gesture, demonstrating a level of social consciousness from which many of us in the younger generations can learn a lot,” she . . .
KWAZULU-NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG, 10 June 2016 – The Cascades Lifestyle Centre is pulling out all the stops for well-known NPO ‘The COWS’ as its Pietermaritzburg’s venue to hold the 2016 ‘100 Miles of Nowhere’ annual cyclethon to raise funds for their CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, happening on 24th of June 2016. Says Lynda Lees, Consultant to Cascades Lifestyle Centre, “Cascades Lifestyle Centre is very happy to support this important COWS initiative for the CHOC foundation. We encourage Martizburg residents and cyclists to come out in full force to the centre on the 24th June from 2pm to support this international challenge. Many of our retailers are supporting this initiative.” Supported by Cadence Cycling Performance Centres around the country, the Pietermaritzburg Cadence Performance Centre, which recently moved into the Cascades Centre Business Park (Nedbank building), is supplying the Cascades Centre with 20 of their new stationary bikes and monitoring equipment. This year, the cyclethon of 100 miles (160km) aims to raise R250 000 for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, and is open to everyone. The distance can be completed as a team of one cyclist, two or four cyclists. However the team is made up, the distance must be completed on the Cadence Performance Centre stationary bikes. Says Tessa Hesse, Manager of the Pietermaritzburg Cadence Performance Centre, “The 100 Miles of Nowhere Challenge is a great event that we’re proud to be supporting. We will be transporting 20 of our new stationary bikes and equipment to the Cascades Centre ready for set up and cycling. It’s a fun, family-orientated event that the whole community gets behind, and we want to thank the Cascades Centre for hosting the event.” As part of the fundraiser, cyclists pay an entry fee donation of R1 000 for a solo rider, R600 per rider for teams of two, and R350 per rider for teams of four, and are also encouraged to get their friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them per km or . . .
June 2016 - Nutritional Therapist, Author, Researcher and Speaker, Sally-Ann Creed, has developed a range of activated nuts and seeds for the South African market – almonds, Brazil and pecan nuts as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Initially they are available at selected Dis-Chem stores in the Western Cape, as of mid June 2016, then rolling out to stores countrywide. They will also reach the market in time for her upcoming book launches during 2016. Activated nuts and seeds, the term used in the food and health industry, particularly in whole food and Paleo circles, describes the soaking and dehydrating technique to remove the phytates, anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors from nuts and seeds. The products also taste lighter, crispier, are easier to digest and are significantly more nutritious. Often these inhibitory factors cause extreme digestive distress and intolerance in some individuals, in others it is merely a feeling of considerable discomfort – such as bloating and lethargy. The anti-nutrients, bind nutrients preventing absorption of extremely important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, manganese and many others. By activating nuts and seeds, the enzyme inhibitors are neutralised, thereby preventing uncomfortable side effects. Beneficial enzymes are retained if the drying process is undertaken at less than 50 degrees C, which then make these nutrients and healthy fats bioavailable to the body instead of binding them. Minerals are all-important to good health. Zinc & magnesium are responsible for over 300 important enzymatic processes in the body including immunity – constant binding of these minerals may lead to a host of deficiency symptoms, which could significantly impact good health. Iron is bound by phytic acid, needed to make red blood cells. Soaking and dehydrating raw nuts and seeds also creates an end result similar to roasted nuts, but without the added vegetable oils or high temperature roasting that can . . .
#GWD #ISAYYES Saturday 11 June, 2016 is the day to celebrate Global Wellness Day with Four Seasons The Westcliff Johannesburg. #GWD #ISAYYES Guests are invited to a day of wellness and pampering that is proudly South African at a cost of R1, 950.00 per person. The day will commence at 08:30 with a rooftop yoga session by Yoga Works, complimented by DJ Steven Heyman at the Après Spa rooftop lounge, which overlooks the largest urban forest in the world. This will be followed by a 60 minute balancing body treatment and 30 minute express facial by Terres d’Afrique, the local certified organic range. The treatments will be followed by a delicious complimentary health lunch at our very own Westcliff Deli using local ingredients where our Chefs will introduce new ways of incorporating fresh herbs into your daily diet as well as how to grow to your very own herb garden. The day will end with a complimentary interactive tea ceremony by the owner and founder of Yswara, the world's largest collection of Africa teas, who will present the new brand of tea, which boasts proudly South African ingredients, AKRAFO Comments, Spa Director, Julanda Marais: “The Global Wellness Day is celebrated annually worldwide at every Four Seasons property. It’s a great way to discover the latest health and wellness trends, therapies, gain great nutritional advice and interact with the experts such as Yoga Works, Terres d’Afrique and Yswara, who will join us on the day.” To end off the day, guest authors Anna Trapido and Mpho Tshukudu will give an interactive talk on wellness and diet and the use of indigenous herbs, plants, vegetables and fruits. For reservations for the Global Wellness Day contact: http://www.fourseasonsevents.co.za/product/global-wellness-day-spa-yoga-package/ CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .