Today’s launch of a medical aid product, SelfNET, that provides comprehensive medical care from R1,020-00 per month is a ground breaking move towards making private healthcare more accessible to South Africans. Co-ordinated and managed by Selfmed Medical Scheme, SelfNET is specifically and strategically structured to provide quality care at an affordable price. The SelfNET product provides national comprehensive hospital cover in respect of Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs), chronic and day-to-day cover through the extensive CareCross Health Network. Says Christo Becker, Principal Officer at Selfmed: “Every measure possible was taken to ensure that the cost of the product remains contained. In line with this, the plan is contracted with cost effective individual Service Providers whilst not compromising on quality of care. Selfmed Medical Scheme entered into negotiations with CareCross Health to bring a sustainable, affordable option to market that does not compromise healthcare benefits. The name SelfNET refers to the fact that the product is a networked plan – a consideration that is vastly outweighed by the benefits it offers.” According to an article in the Mail & Guardian on 12 December 2014, “South Africa’s health department says only 16% of its 52-million citizens have access to medical schemes. The country only has private health insurance schemes, of which the high premiums sometimes take up as much as 14% of members’ salaries.” Says Becker: “Health coverage is a major financial challenge. A 2009 study in the Health Affairs journal found that one in every three households in Africa has to borrow money or sell their possessions to pay for health expenses. It is imperative that we work towards providing access to healthcare to as many individuals as possible. We also aim to provide access to preventative healthcare through this option. A philosophy that is not yet entrenched in South Africans as access to healthcare, in the past, remained . . .
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Newly appointed Executive Director set to pursue the much needed vision of supporting developing countries to take leadership in fighting the diseases that affect them the most. Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), December 10, 2014 – The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Board of the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) jointly announced today that Dr Solomon Nwaka has accepted the position of Executive Director of ANDI and has officially assumed the leadership of the organization now hosted by UNOPS in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). “We are excited to have Dr Nwaka join UNOPS as the Executive Director of ANDI,” said Bamidele Ilebani, Director of UNOPS Ethiopia Operational Hub. “His doggedness and interpersonal skills made the transition of ANDI to Africa under the administrative framework of UNOPS possible. On behalf of the UNOPS Executive Director, I wish Solomon well in his new position.” "This is a very important milestone,” added Dr Tshinko Ilunga, Vice-Chair of the ANDI Board. “The Board is pleased to have Solomon continue the work he started.” Prior to joining UNOPS, Dr Nwaka served as the acting Executive Director of ANDI, and headed different R&D units at the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR), such as Drug Discovery Research for Infectious Tropical Diseases, and Innovation for Product Development in Developing Countries. It is during his tenure at WHO that he championed the idea of regional innovation networks for health product R&D which resulted in the establishment of ANDI, the China Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (China NDI) and the ASEAN NDI. These initiatives and his earlier work in establishing global networks for drug discovery exemplify novel open-innovation models for tackling diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries. “Solomon is a leading global health expert and his . . .
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Pan-African organization and leading Egyptian research institution join forces to address the health challenges of the continent. Cairo (Egypt), December 11, 2014 – ANDI and ASRT announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in supporting health innovation in Africa through joint projects, training and fellowships for African scientists. The initiative covers health systems strengthening, research and development for health technologies, manufacturing, and regulatory issues as well as maintenance of research and medical equipment. “ANDI is a very important initiative for Africa and for the whole world,” stated Prof. Mahmoud Sakr, President of ASRT. “We are committed to a closer collaboration with ANDI including the hosting of ANDI North-African hub in Egypt, and we would like to see more African and international agencies join forces with ANDI to address the health challenges of the continent.” Under the MoU, ASRT and ANDI shall collaborate in the implementation of agreed African-wide capacity building programmes strengthening health technology related research and development, training initiatives and technology transfer in Africa. “This initiative is a demonstration of ownership and support for ANDI activities by ASRT,” highlighted Dr Solomon Nwaka, Executive Director of ANDI. “ANDI looks forward to broadening partnerships to advance health innovation in Africa.” The first programme under this initiative shall start as early as February 2015. It will focus on the evaluation, registration and commercialization of a novel diagnostic kit developed at the Theodor Bilharz Institute (TBRI) in Egypt. The diagnostic kit supports the surveillance, control, and elimination in schistosomiasis infection as well as monitoring of cure. TBRI is an ANDI Centre of Excellence in health innovation dedicated to research on schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease causing high morbidity in several . . .
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 10, 2014 – Samsung Electronics South Africa has invested significantly into the medical sector, with the aim of using the latest in technological innovation to assist in delivering transformational change in the health sector in Africa. Through its Health and Medical Equipment portfolio, Samsung has developed market-leading solutions in areas including Digital Radiology, Ultrasound and IVD (in-vitro diagnostics), to help address some of the significant health challenges that face the medical industry. The constitution of the World Health Organisation states that: “The right to health includes access to timely, acceptable and affordable healthcare of appropriate quality.” Yet Africa faces some of the most challenging health scenarios in the world. In South Africa alone, infant mortality is high, life expectancy short and the limitations of healthcare under scrutiny.* The World Bank also reports that more than 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa are residing in rural areas, while in South Africa only 20% of the population has access to private medical insurance schemes, leaving 80% reliant on public healthcare facilities**. With a vast rural population that may have to travel more than 200km to receive medical attention, mobile solutions developed by Samsung present a viable way to bring quality healthcare to those who do not have access. Samsung’s goal is to deliver the highest quality of personalised care to patients and that means faster assessments, improved experiences and minimised patient movement. For the medical practitioner, these advancements offer them the flexibility and functionality they need to perform to the highest standards and collaborate effectively. For the healthcare provider, increased mobility also ensures convenience in patient care, both inside and outside their facilities. “Samsung is committed to finding solutions that change lives and shift expectations and this is reflected in our . . .
Your liver is one of your most important organs and is essential for your everyday health, it performs over 500 vital functions in your body. In fact, we can survive just two days if it shuts down; therefore daily protection of it should be a priority. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a term used to describe the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. NAFLD occurs when your liver has trouble breaking down fats, causing lipids to build up in your liver tissue. The lipid built-up may affect the way the liver functions. Your liver performs over 500 vital functions in your body; therefore daily protection of it should be a priority. “Damage to this vital organ can be caused by numerous conditions and lifestyle factors, including but not limited to; obesity, type 2 diabetes and medications like corticosteroids,” this is according to pharmacist and spokesperson for Essentiale Extreme, Alta Janse van Rensburg A recent article in the SA Medical Journal confirms non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in 87% of the people screened at the Gastroenterology and Hepatology unit at Tygerberg Hospital and at the Louis Leipoldt and Durbanville Medi-Clinics. The study was conducted amongst 233 overweight/ obese patients who attended these clinics. Janse van Rensburg offers some expert tips for knowing when you are at risk and how to give your liver the care it needs to continue functioning: How do I know I am at risk of NAFLD? There are many lifestyle factors, diseases and conditions which may increase your risk of NAFLD, but quite simply you are at greater risk the older you are, if you are overweight or obese, suffer from insulin resistance or diabetes, use chronic medicines like corticosteroids, have high cholesterol or suffer with sleep apnea. What are the symptoms? NAFLD usually causes no signs or symptoms. When symptoms do show themselves they may include fatigue and pain in the upper right abdomen. If you have . . .
Sanofi Consumer Health has launched Essentiale Extreme, an improved formulation with 300mg of Essential Phospholipids (EPLs) per capsule - the building blocks of cellular membranes. The EPLs in Essentiale Extreme improves liver cell membrane regeneration and helps to support vital functions of the liver. The “work-horse” liver cells that is responsible for most of the metabolism, occurs on the liver cell membranes, therefore making the cell membranes a vital part of liver function. According to Alta Janse van Rensburg, a pharmacist and facilitator for the S. Buys Academy, your liver is one of the hardest working organs in your body; it has more than 500 different functions. In fact, we can survive just one to two days if it shuts down. She explains, “It is your body’s engine, pantry, refinery, food processor, garbage disposal and ‘guardian angel’; it detoxifies everything you eat, breathe and absorb through your skin; it converts the food you eat into energy; it helps to regulate blood clotting, stores vitamins, minerals and sugars and regulates cholesterol and fat stores; it produces bile that helps you digest your food and absorb important nutrients; it neutralises and destroys harmful substances, including alcohol; it helps you resist infection, and filters bacteria from your blood.” “Your lifestyle often leads to reduced liver function. A supplement used in combination with healthy life choices, e.g. limiting alcohol and/or fatty food intake, may assist to replenish what your lifestyle takes away from your body – especially the liver” . “Essentiale Extreme contains 300 mg of Essential Phospholipids (EPLs) per capsule. EPLs help to improve liver cell membrane regeneration and stabilisation and therefore improve liver function.” EPLs have been cited as one of the most important support nutrients for the liver. When liver cells are damaged, their cell membranes lose phospholipids. EPLs can also be found in food products such as soybeans, egg yolk, . . .
Recently, The South African National Blood Service appealed to all citizens to donate blood ahead of the festive season. The national communications manager, Vanessa Raju said, “blood stocks take a dive during the months of November to January as many people go on holiday and do not have time to donate.” In an attempt to get involved and improve the situation, Dotcom Holdings has hosted a total number of four blood drives in which through marketing and word of mouth has attracted more than 200 interested donors in 2014. According to SANBS, blood is collected from unpaid volunteer donors and processed into components for transfusion. The donors are screened for health risks and tested for diseases on every donation. Testing has included Nucleic acid testing (NAT) since 2005, which directly detects the virus instead of waiting for the body to develop an antibody. The test shortens but does not eliminate the window period. Collections take place at fixed sites; however SANBS also collects blood on mobile drives at community locations and can also be hosted on company work premises for people who are unable to go to the locations provided. Our company blood drives are hosted in Dotcom’s training room from 9h00 to 15h00 every three months. Employee supervisors allow each department a certain amount of time off to donate and recuperate after to avoid any side effects. Since inception employees throughout the Redefine Towers in Durban have been supporting this initiative and Dotcom and SANBS are grateful for all the support received this year. However, we have noticed that a vast majority of people do not donate blood and found that the reason is due to a lack of information about the risks. So, whenever the company hosts a blood drive, a lot of time is put into marketing as well as explaining the whole process of becoming a blood donor to eliminate anxiety and misinformation. Here’s how it works According to SANBS, The process of giving blood involves . . .
Most South African medical aid providers do not offer coverage for cosmetic procedures (both surgical and non-surgical). With bank loans being difficult and time consuming to obtain, MediFin - a specialised financial services provider that provides solutions for the consumer - is at the forefront of responding to challenging conditions in the healthcare market. Surgical and non-surgical procedures have become increasingly difficult to attain for many South Africans. With surgical procedures for breast reduction or enhancement ranging between R 30 000 and R 60 000, cosmetic specialist Dr Nerina Wilkinson says: “Many patients have difficulty in financially planning for breast surgery and some patients consult me for many years before they can afford the procedure.” MediFin provides patients with a great solution, giving them the option of “realizing their dreams and having their surgical procedure done” now, by offering financial solutions that provide patients with easy payment terms and conditions. Trained as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr Nerina Wilkinson developed a passion for cosmetic surgical procedures that strive for natural looking results while enhancing physical appearance. Her surgery includes cosmetic surgery for all areas of the body, inlcuding well-known procedures such as liposuction and tummy tucks. However, breast surgical procedures are what she enjoys the most. “Because I am a female plastic surgeon I am able to connect with my patients and I understand their concerns and expectations. All forms of breast surgery (be it enlarging, reducing or lifting) can transform a patient’s confidence affecting every aspect of their lives. I love being a part of that transformation experience.” Breast surgery can be for cosmetic or re-constructive reasons particularly after mastectomy surgery. In the case of surgery for breast cancer patients, a new breast can be reconstructed by using silicone breast implants. More complicated micro-surgical . . .
A relaxing escape to restore mind-body balance [JOHANNESBURG, 24 October 2014] – Nestled in the leafy suburb of Saxonwold, Johannesburg, The EQuilibrium Centre for Wellbeing is a beautiful, new facility ideally suited to calming the stresses and strains of modern living. Founder Salochanee Reddy, in pursuit of a more authentic and balanced life, took a sabbatical from the high energy events and conference management business, to pursue teacher certifications at the Chopra Center University. Based in California, USA, the centre was founded by world renowned spiritual leader and author of more than 80 bestselling books, Dr Deepak Chopra. Reddy’s sought-after certifications in Perfect Health Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Primordial Sound Meditation, make her the country’s first South African-born Chopra certified instructor among just under 1000 worldwide. “In addressing my personal challenges of stress management, emotional difficulties and weight management, I found the most important influence was the realisation that I am totally accountable and responsible for all my actions and wellbeing on a daily basis,” she reveals. “I found it challenging to find a place where emphasis is placed on total wellbeing at one facility for mind, body, soul and emotional balancing without any stigmas, dogmas and judgement,” she adds. Tranquil Suburbia Launched in October 2014, the EQuilbrium Centre is a tranquil haven that is steadily becoming a place of healing and restoration from urbanised living. It houses EQuilibrium Yoga and Pilates Studio, EQ Natural Day Spa and a venue catering for special workshops, retreats or corporate wellbeing packages. Each facility is tailored to target all-round physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness. The centre’s signature Perfect Health Workshop sees Reddy join forces with renowned integrated medical practitioner, Dr Ela Manga, to blend the healing arts of the East with the best of modern Western Medicine. Based on the . . .
The annual Kids for Kids initiative kicks off for the fifth successive year this November, Sea Harvest will donate the money raised to the Children’s Hospital Trust, fundraiser for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and paediatric healthcare in the Western Cape. During the four-month campaign, running from November 2014 to February 2015, a portion of the sales of every crumbed Sea Harvest product sold will be donated to the Children’s Hospital Trust. Sea Harvest has pledged R300 000 this year. Sea Harvest is South Africa’s leading black-empowered commercial fishing company that provides local, sustainably caught Cape Hake. Since 2010 Sea Harvest’s Kids for Kids Initiative has donated more than R1million to the Trust for various projects at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, including a Surgical Skills Training Centre, a General Medical Ward, a new Medical Imaging Complex, and a Childsafe Research and Educational Centre. “Kids love our crumbed products,” said Sea Harvest CFO John Paul de Freitas, “by donating money from the sales of these products to the Children’s Hospital Trust, kids are literally helping other kids.” De Freitas said this year’s funds would go towards funding a Weekend Waiting List Initiative at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where the long waiting list for non-critical surgeries is tackled on Saturdays. The Children’s Hospital Trust CEO, Louise Driver, said: “We are delighted to once again be the beneficiary of such a worthy campaign. Thanks to donors, like Sea Harvest, we are able to not only fund much-needed building projects, but also equipment needs, research, training and in this case, actual surgeries. This enables us to maintain the Hospital’s reputable status as a state-of-the-art child health institution that impacts on the healthcare of children in Africa and globally.” According to Dr Anita Parbhoo, Medical Manager at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, the Hospital’s excellent national and international . . .