Why so many people still die from Aids-related illnesses despite more people being on treatment

Twenty years ago antiretroviral medicines for HIV were a rare luxury in South Africa. Exorbitant costs and president Thabo Mbeki’s government fierce government opposition against providing antiretroviral treatment (ART) kept it out of the public sector. Those were terrible days. Many lives were lost. By Dr Gilles Van Cutsem Today, one of the main challenges in the fight against Aids is the lack of availability of diagnostics and drugs that can help save lives of people suffering from advanced HIV; who are very vulnerable to deadly opportunistic infections such as…

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Patents Could Impact Negatively on Zim’s Access to COVID-19 Treatment

DOZENS of coronavirus vaccines are currently under development as the world races towards getting a vaccine that could rescue the world from the prevailing misery. To date, more than 150 coronavirus vaccines are in development across the world—and hopes are high to bring one to market in record time to ease the global crisis. By Michael Gwarisa The World Health Organization is also coordinating global efforts to develop a vaccine, with an eye toward delivering two billion doses by the end of 2021. However, in the midst of all these…

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COVID-19: Women and girls face greater dangers during COVID-19 pandemic

Community Health Worker Lydia Ganda conducting community awareness activities in Boitekong township in Rustenburg. Photographer: Siyathuthuka Media

THE COVID-19 pandemic is having potentially catastrophic secondary impacts on the health of women and girls around the world. Decisions made at every level of the response to the pandemic are resulting in women being further cut off from sexual and reproductive health services, threatening sharp rises in maternal and neonatal mortality. Women and girls are often denied care outright or face dangerous delays getting the services they need. The impacts of misguided policies and barriers to care are especially severe in places with weak or overburdened health systems—including many…

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DRC Battling Deadliest Measles Outbreak

THE Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC) is fighting what could described as the deadliest measles outbreak, the worst since the 2011/2012 outbreak. By Michael Gwarisa The outbreak comes in the midst of an equally deadly health crisis in the form of Ebola which has claimed hundreds of lives since last year. Karel Janssens, Head of Mission of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the DRC said there was need to scale up assistance efforts in affected regions. While a rapid and adapted response is critical to limiting the impact of measles…

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770K People Died of AIDS Globally in 2018

A total of 770 000 people died of AIDS in 2019 according to latest statistics released in the UNAIDS Global Aids Update today in Eshowe South Africa. By Michael Gwairsa Responding to the statistics, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders said  the annual number of deaths due to AIDS has declined only minimally since 2014 and such a catastrophe could be avoided through timely use of effective diagnostic tools and medicines to treat HIV/AIDS and  prevent most deaths. While an additional 2 million people are reported on antiretroviral therapy (ART), more…

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How Early Cervical Cancer Diagnosis Saved Gutu Woman’s Life

HiCERVICAL cancer has become one of the leading causes of death in women in the 21st century. According to Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) statistics, cervical cancer kills not less than 2000 women annually in Zimbabwe. HealthTimes Repoter Unlike other diseases which attack the elderly and the advanced in age, new trends show that cervical cancer is fast becoming a huge burden among young girls owing to a plethora of factors chief among them being early sexual debut, inserting foreign objects in the privates among a host of…

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MSF Pilots New ART Dispensing Model In Mwenezi

MEDECINS Sans Frontiers in Zimbabwe (MSF), has launched a new system of administering Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) drugs in Mwenezi, Masvingo in a bid to increase ART adherence, amidst indications that many ART clients were now defaulting on their medications due to the long distance and inaccessibility of health facilities. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Sovelela, Mwenezi The new ART administering method dubbed Out of Facility Community ART Distribution (OFCAD),  is an outreach strategy whereby patients no longer need to visit a health care facility to access ART but rather the…

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Expensive Drug Resistant TB Drugs Derail Treatment Efforts

People with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) continue to be deprived of today’s best-possible treatment in part because of high drug prices, according to a new report—DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope— released today by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health in The Hague.   MSF called, in particular, on US pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to cut the price of the newer TB drug bedaquiline in half, so more lives can be Sed aved. In August 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended expanding…

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Five Barriers To Ending TB According To MSF

This World Tuberculosis Day (March 24), Doctors Without Borders (MSF) profiles five key strategies on which government and donors should focus their finances and efforts in order to end the deadly TB epidemic. BY MSF TB is curable, but there are numerous challenges that exist at every level of TB diagnosis and care – not only in South Africa, but around the world, where one person dies every 18 seconds from TB. Below are the five barriers to effective TB treatment Barrier 1: Stigma exacerbates the TB epidemic, which is already commonly…

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Barriers Preventing Adolescents From accessing SRH services In Zim

In Zimbabwe, a host of barriers are preventing adolescents, defined as aged 10 to 19 years, from accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services safely and confidentially without the consent of their parents. HealthTimes Reporter Without free and informative access to health services that include contraceptives, treatment for sexually transmitted infections and condoms, national studies show that rates of adolescent pregnancy and HIV are increasing, while knowledge levels around sexual health are declining.  One study revealed that Zimbabwe has the highest teenage fertility rate in sub-Saharan Africa with one in…

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