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News

SA’s rampant gonorrhoea epidemic

02 Mar 2021

 

South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the world, including for gonorrhoea, reported Spotlight (1 March 2021). It is estimated that every year around two million people in the country get infected with the gonorrhoea bacterium, which is likely to be an underestimate because most women don’t show any symptoms.


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SA faces vaccine shortage for winter

02 Mar 2021

Business for SA (B4SA) warned that the country faces a shortage of coronavirus vaccines between April and June.

“While the government has consistently said it has secured enough Covid-19 shots to vaccinate two-thirds of the population, or 40-m people in the next 12 months, it has yet to provide a clear line of sight on the date of arrival of these vaccines in SA,” reported Business Day (2 March 2021).


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‘Significant’ risk to dispensing SA’s unregistered Ivermectin

01 Mar 2021
Medical Brief (24 February 2021) reported that four out of five Ivermectin tablets tested in South Africa had at least one unregistered active pharmaceutical ingredient. According to a small study, published in the SA Medical Journal there are “significant potential safety concerns for patients (and) consequent legal ramifications for the dispenser and/or prescribing doctor”.
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Conduit Capital targets medical malpractice insurance

01 Mar 2021
Conduit Capital, the investment holding company with stakes in insurance and real-estate brokerage, plans to focus on growing its niche health and medical malpractice insurance businesses over the next 12 months, reported Business Day (1 March 2021). 
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Moderna produces Covid-19 shot targeting variant found in SA

01 Mar 2021
Business Day reported on March 1, that US Biotech is preparing for a clinical trial to gauge effectiveness on 501. V2 strain.
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Advanced Health improves SA revenue

01 Mar 2021

Day-hospital operator Advanced Health has grown revenue at its unprofitable SA operations in spite of COVID-19, reported Busines LIVE (26 February 2021). The company, which operates in SA and Australia, reported that its loss from continuing operations fell 72% to R5.6-m in its six months to end-December 2020. Patient numbers in SA decreased by 12% as a result of COVID-19.
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Private sector allowed to procure vaccines from government

26 Feb 2021
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that the private sector will be allowed to procure vaccines from the government and could also provide storage and distribution facilities for COVID-19 vaccines.
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Discovery shares fall after decline in earnings

26 Feb 2021
Discovery’s share price fell by more than 2% on the JSE after reporting a decline of 10% in earnings for the six months to end-December, reported Moneyweb (25 feb 2021).
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Cosatu wants vaccine rollout to be the first step towards NHI

26 Feb 2021
"Labour federation Cosatu has called for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout to be part of the process of the government’s envisaged National Health Insurance (NHI), which will merge public and private healthcare. This implementation is especially relevant for the government’s national procurement of the vaccine according to Cosatu secretary-general Bheki Ntshalintshali.’ - News24 (26 Feb 2021)
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SA accuses states of being pressurised by big pharma

25 Feb 2021
Countries opposing the vaccine patent waiver at the World Trade Organisation are responsible for 60 percent of the globally-administered Covid-19 vaccines, while 130 countries have not received a single dose, South Africa argued at the formal TRIPS Council meeting on Tuesday. Ten countries have so far administered 75 percent of all Covid-19 vaccines, despite a warning from the World Health Organisation’s chief Tedros Ghebreyesus that the longer it would take to suppress the virus, the more time it would have to mutate, reported News24 (24 Feb 2021).
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Health budget slashed by R67.2-bn

25 Feb 2021
In his Budget Speech on Wednesday February 24, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has announced a R67.2-bn cut to the country's health expenditure over the medium-term.
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Discovery Medical Scheme plans merger with Quantum Medical

24 Feb 2021
ccording to a notice on Discovery’s website Discovery Health Medical Scheme plans to merge with Quantum Medical Aid Society on April 1, 2021.
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‘Health Minister’s ‘family friend’ pocket Covid-19 cash via contracts’

24 Feb 2021

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s long-time personal spokesperson and his former private secretary allegedly pocketed Covid-19 cash as paid consultants for a shadowy contractor appointed by the Department of Health, reported Pieter-Louis Myburgh in Daily Maverick (24 Feb 2021) The company, Digital Vibes, has secured DoH contracts worth more than
R82-m for work related to the pandemic.


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WHO to pay compensation for Covax-19 vaccine side effects under Covax scheme

23 Feb 2021
Reuters reported (22 Feb) that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has agreed a no-fault compensation plan for claims of serious side effects in people in 92 poorer countries due to get COVID-19 vaccines via the Covax sharing scheme.
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COVID-19: The big wave is coming

09 Jun 2020

“It is only a matter of time before the rest of South Africa reaches the surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases currently being experienced in the Western Cape, experts warn,” reported City Press (7 June 2020).


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