Some might say it’s too good to be true. Does cannabis really fight brain cancer? Research of the past two decades suggests that it does.
Some might think that it’s too good to be true. Does cannabis really kill brain cancer cells? Clinical trials on humans are awaiting results, but recent research gives hope. Scientists have been testing THC as a natural tumor-killer for nearly two decades. Their findings will take you by surprise.
Cannabis and brain cancer
A group of Spanish researchers has been searching for cannabis-based cancer treatments for nearly two decades. The team is from the Complutense University of Madrid. Thus far, some of their experiments have been nothing short of miraculous.
The team, led by Professors Guillermo Velasco and Manuel Guzman, are testing cannabinoid treatment’s ability to kill glioma cells. Gliomas make up 80% of all malignant brain cancers. In fact, it’s one of the most aggressive forms of cancer ou Continue reading…
Women who have been forced to go without their usual birth control shot are now facing the consequences of months-long shortages. For many women in Rustenburg’s Bojanala Platinum District, Kgaladi Mphahlele is the first person they see after an abortion.
And one of the things they speak about is how to avoid seeing each other again.
Mphahlele works for the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) and manages their termination of pregnancy programme in North West. There, he counsels women who have had abortions about ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the future by using contraception.
But for most of last year, Mphahlele couldn’t give women much of anything to avoid falling pregnant again — there were no contraceptives in the five clinics he manages.
Under South African law, a person can terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason for up to 12 weeks. A woman can also request an abortion between 13 and 20 weeks o Continue reading…
The Cannabis Expo, a trade and consumer exhibition dedicated to the cannabis industry, is set be held at Sun Exhibits at GrandWest in Cape Town from 4 to 7 April.
Headlined by multinational healthcare group, Go Life International, the Cape Town event follows the official launch of The Cannabis Expo in Pretoria last year.
According to the organisers, this is the largest exhibition of its kind on the African continent, and due to a number of reasons – including SA’s liberal laws, geographic climate, population demographics, and the wide array of cultures – the country is “expected to become one of the largest cannabis industry marketplaces in the world”.
The Cannabis Expo Cape Town includes an exhibitor hall, networking and entertainment spaces. It also features as a convention stage and workshop hosting local and international experts from across the industry every half-hour throughout the expo.
The Special Investigating Unit says it is actively targeting fraudsters in the private healthcare sector.
Fraud, waste and abuse is costing the private healthcare system more than R22-billion, and if you submit false claims, you could face more than just being terminated from your scheme, the Council for Medical Schemes warned at its summit on fraud this week.
The event comes after deputy president David Mabuza announced at the Presidential Health Summit that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) would be honing in on the healthcare sector.
“We want independent investigations that are turned around quickly and submit and identify findings appropriately,” Mabuza said at the October gathering.
The CMS estimates that fraud, abuse or waste accounts for about 15% of the R160-billion in claims that medical aids pay out annually.
The head of the SIU, advocate Andy Mothibi, said the body is working with the National Prosecuting Authority to help ensure tha Continue reading…
Directives recently issued by the national and Gauteng health departments requiring foreign nationals to pay in full for healthcare at public facilities weren’t only a threat to public health, they may have been downright illegal.
Walk into a public hospital, and you may be asked to fill out a form stating just how much you earn. That’s because many services in the public sector are billed for on a sliding scale based on a means test: You pay what you can for the treatment you need. At least in theory.
In mid-January, a national health department circular reportedly instructed clinics and hospitals to begin billing foreign nationals the full rate for public health services. Low-income refugees, the memo said, would be the sole exception and would be means tested, Business Day reported.
Only Gauteng passed these instructions onto its clinics and hospitals, specifying that all non-South Africans other than documented refugees should be charged full fees for Continue reading…
Money’s tight for everyone – whether you have a medical scheme, a hospital plan, or nothing. Here’s how to get the necessary treatment without breaking the bank.
Money’s tight for most people at the moment. Everyone’s cutting corners and cutting down on things that are thought not to be essential.
And what’s more medical schemes in SA are said to be five times more expensive than elsewhere in the world, when purchasing power is taken into consideration.
The cost of private medical care has been higher than the normal inflation rate for the last few years. A comprehensive medical scheme just for yourself could easily put you back between 10% and 20% of your income every month. Many people are scaling down to a hospital plan to save money, and many others are simply doing without a medical scheme of any kind – and hoping for the best.
“Your medical needs should be considered first and foremost,” says Johan van Tonder, independent medical scheme researcher. “I Continue reading…
Mrs Kerns had been vomiting uncontrollably for three days by the time she eventually made her way to seek medical assistance.
On December 5 at 16:00 *Mrs Gracie Kerns arrived with her daughter, *Mrs Susan Coombs at Witbank Provincial Hospital.
Mrs Kerns had been vomiting uncontrollably for three days by the time she eventually made her way to seek medical assistance.
An ambulance had to be called to transport Mrs Kerns to the hospital due to her frailty.
Nearly exactly 12 hours after Mrs Kerns had arrived at Witbank Provincial Hospital, at approximately 04:00, she was finally able to see a doctor.
“The ambulance that took her to hospital was in a terrible state,” Mrs Coombs, Mrs Kerns’s daughter, explained; “the doors didn’t close. They’d apparently been kicked off of their hinges by a previous patient. The stretcher was also problematic as it wasn’t very manoeuvrable and lead to us having to shuffle my mother around the house to get her to Continue reading…
“No jobs, no vote,” shouted disgruntled nurses who marched to the provincial health department in Pietermaritzburg.
Hundreds of nurses carried placards and handed over a memorandum demanding that unemployed nurses be employed by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. Nurses from the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) were part of the march.
The marchers said there were 15,000 unemployed nurses in KZN and 40,000 vacancies for nurses nationwide, according to a “study”.
But when GroundUp asked the provincial chairperson of HOSPERSA, Thamsanqa Zondi, the source of these figures, he said the figures were estimates and should not be used by the media. He said the union did not have a copy of the study.
Last year nurses marched three times demanding that the health department prioritise their demands.
United Nurses Forum president Bhekithemba Gumbi said nothing had changed. Quoting the same figures, he said there was Continue reading…
Life St George’s Hospital in Port Elizabeth has launched an internal investigation after the grandson of one of its patients posted photos of his grandfather soaked in urine and blood with “not one nurse to help him”.
This was despite the hospital knowing the elderly man needed 24-hour care for which he was signed up for, Jason Gordon wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
His grandfather was blind and suffered from dementia.
“This is not the first time I have visited him after work to find something wrong. The first time they had inserted his drip incorrectly. It took more than 3 days for the swelling to go down,” Gordon wrote.
“This is not the kind of care I would expect when you pay so much for medical aid; this kind of thing should not be acceptable in any state or private hospital. You would expect people in the medical profession to be compassionate and want to make sure their patients are comfortable, not leaving them in an embarrassing and unhealthy s Continue reading…
A US digital medicine company called Proteus makes ‘smart pills’ embedded with sensors that tell your doctor when you’ve taken your medication. The pills also track activity levels.
Backed by big name investors like Novartis, Proteus debuted the first medication made with the technology – a form of the depression and schizophrenia drug Abilify – in 2017.
Now, Proteus is expanding into cancer.
Still, the research on whether the pills actually help patients take their medications when they should remains somewhat unclear.
Would a notification from your doctor as soon as you forget to take your medication help keep you on track?
A digital medicine company called Proteus is betting the answer is yes.
The Silicon Valley-based company makes what have been called “smart pills”: essentially, versions of regular medications embedded with a tiny sensor that can be tracked by a patch worn on a patient’s stomach.
It’s the age of austerity and it’s bad news for doctors, nurses and patients alike — unless the state can do more with less.
Almost 200 posts for doctors and specialists remain unfilled at Gauteng’s four academic hospitals — and many of these posts are likely to remain empty, the health department says.
Gauteng hospitals can only fill half of its critical medical staff vacancies — positions that normally go to doctors, specialists and nurses, Gauteng health department deputy director general for clinical services Richard Lebethe says.
Hospitals were first informed about this via an April circular sent to hospitals.
The head of psychiatry at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Wendy Friedlander, says medical officers are feeling the strain of almost 80 vacant posts.
“Doctors [now] have a much greater doctor to patient ratio. If you have more patients, what you can give in terms of time, facilities and resources to each patient is much Continue reading…
If you step on a tack, neurons in your brain will register two things: that there’s a piercing physical sensation in your foot, and that it’s not pleasant. Now, a team of scientists at Stanford University has identified a bundle of brain cells in mice responsible for the latter – that is, the negative emotions of pain.
Pain research has traditionally focused on the neurons and molecules at the frontline of pain perception — the cells in nerves that process stings, cuts, burns and the like — and ultimately convey a physical threat message. What Dr Grégory Scherrer, assistant professor of anesthesiology and of neurosurgery, and Dr Mark Schnitzer, associate professor of biology and of applied physics, are studying goes one step further. “We’re looking at what the brain makes of that information,” Scherrer said. “While painful stimuli are detected by nerves, this information doesn’t mean anything emotionally until it reaches the brain, so we set out to find Continue reading…
At any given time, there are around 4,300 people waiting for organ donations in South Africa. These patients usually need new livers, kidneys, lungs or hearts. But organ donors are in very short supply.
This isn’t unique to South Africa. Many countries around the world are unable to meet the demand for donor organs. There are a few exceptions, though. One example is Norway, where a surplus of deceased donor livers has been reported.
So what explains South Africa’s organ donor shortage?
Religious and cultural beliefs play a role, because they influence the decisions people make about the remains of their loved ones. Sometimes families prefer that a relative’s body remain whole and intact; in other cases it’s considered important to bury a person within a certain time frame. But attributing the shortages to these factors alone grossly oversimplifies the issue, as research has shown.
The psychiatric profession should play a greater role in advocating for patients’ rights and improving management of mental health in the public sector after a series of recent tragedies that highlighted the neglect of mental healthcare in South Africa.
Professor Bonga Chiliza, incoming South African Society of Psychiatrists (Sasop) president, says the deaths of 144 patients in the now-notorious Life Esidimeni tragedy; allegations of abuse and human rights violations at the Tower Psychiatric Hospital in the Eastern Cape; and the suicide of UCT Health Sciences Dean Prof Bongani Mayosi following his battle with depression all point to need for better management of public sector psychiatry
Therefore, the organisation will ramp up its lobbying for mental healthcare to be allocated an equitable share of the national health budget. Chiliza says Sasop would also be doing more to encourage medical students to specialise in psychiatry, in order to grow the numbers of qual Continue reading…
Portable medical technology makes it possible to take primary healthcare to low-income populations that frequently have a disproportionate burden of ill health.
It allows mobile clinics and screening days to take healthcare services to schools and local communities that would ordinarily not have access.
Instead of expecting patients to travel to static clinics, they can be screened and diagnosed on the spot and receive preventive healthcare where they are, rather than incurring travel costs or having to take time off work. ”The South African medical environment is still in the early stages of adopting mobile solutions to preventive screening and healthcare.
“Screening for common health issues like loss of hearing or vision helps to avoid a heavier cost burden on constrained healthcare resources once the diagnosed conditions worsen,” says Dr Dirk Koekemoer, founder and CEO of eMoyo. “But this approach, when effectively managed through a collaboration betwe Continue reading…