Saturday, 22 January, 2022

FOCUS: POLICY & LAW

Gender Commission joins opposition to mandatory vaccination policies

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The South African Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has warned against “trampling on human rights” with mandatory vaccinations and “harsh sanctions” against employees and students, writes MedicalBrief. And as yet another university (Free State) announced a compulsory vaccination policy, the SA Union of Students warned of protests when the academic year resumes and an array of legal challenges have been launched. The trade union Solidarity this week announced a four court application against mandatory vaccinations, while the newly-formed Universities Alliance...

FOCUS: FROM THE FRONTLINES

China’s bid for Zero Covid: Economic pain, rights abuses and data manipulation

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As the Beijing Winter Olympics approaches, with the announcement that tickets will not be sold due to the “grave and complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic”, China’s policy of Zero COVID has come under scrutiny, writes MedicalBrief. Harsh lockdowns of entire cities are causing economic problems, human rights abuses, and the claimed  manipulation of medical data. In Forbes, George Calhoun of the Stevens Institute of Technology in the United States writes that surging Omicron variant has penetrated China’s firewall...

FOCUS: HARM REDUCTION

Switch to heated tobacco from cigarettes may reduce toxic exposure – Cochrane Review

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There is moderate‐certainty evidence that people who switched from cigarettes to heated tobacco had lower levels of exposure to harmful chemicals  and very low- to moderate- certainty evidence of higher exposure to toxins than those who stopped using tobacco altogether, found a study published in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Heated tobacco products are often marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but questions remain about their effects on cigarette smoking and health, write Harry Tattan-Birch and Jamie Brown...

FOCUS: CORONAVIRUS

Reverse zoonoses in COVID-infected lions and pumas at Gauteng zoo

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Reverse zoonotic COVID-19 transmission from asymptomatic animal handlers at a Gauteng zoo not only posed a risk to endangered big cats kept in captivity but entailed the risk of new variants emerging in other animal reservoirs and these variants being transmitted back to humans, found a University of Pretoria study. Since the pandemic began, minks infected with the coronavirus in Denmark have been culled and Hong Kong said this week that 2,000 small animals, including hamsters, would be culled...

DESMOND TUTU HEALTH FOUNDATION - VACANCY

DESMOND TUTU HEALTH FOUNDATION - VACANCY

SENIOR RESEARCH PROJECT MANAGER

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SENIOR RESEARCH PROJECT MANAGER (5-year fixed-term contract)

East London, Eastern Cape Province

Desmond Tutu Health Foundation

DESMOND TUTU HEALTH FOUNDATION - VACANCY

ADOLESCENT SOCIO-BEHAVIOURAL PROGRAMMES LEAD

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ADOLESCENT SOCIO-BEHAVIOURAL PROGRAMMES LEAD (3-year fixed-term contract)

Head Office; Woodstock

Desmond Tutu Health Foundation

DESMOND TUTU HEALTH FOUNDATION - VACANCY

PHARMACIST

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PHARMACIST (permanent)

Masiphumelele

Desmond Tutu Health Foundation

CORONAVIRUS WATCH

Vaccines provide ongoing prevention of hospitalisation and death – Large US study

All three COVID-19 vaccines had durable effectiveness in reducing the risks of hospitalisation and death, found a US analysis of 10.6m people. The study found...

Maternal COVID infection increases preterm/low birth/stillbirth rate in unvaccinated women

Unvaccinated pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to have poor birth outcomes, including preterm birth, small for gestational age, low birth weight, and...

COVID in late pregnancy linked to more complications – University of Edinburgh

A University of Edinburgh study has revealed that women who have COVID-19 towards the end of their pregnancy are vulnerable to birth-related complications, and...

Cannabinoids in hemp prevent coronavirus from entering human cells – Oregon State

Cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp, have the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells, found research by Oregon State University. Findings...

SA-German study shows boosters protect but unlikely to prevent Omicron

A study by South African and German scientists has provided the first evidence in the world that even three vaccine doses might not be...

SA cohort study shows reduced chance of death or severe illness with Omicron

Unvaccinated people infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus may be less prone to severe illness and requiring hospital care or dying than was...

Stress, anxiety and depression may increase risk of COVID-19 infection – Prospective cohort study

A British study has found that people who experienced increased stress, anxiety and depression at the start of the pandemic, were at greater risk...

Casirivimab-imdevimab reduces symptomatic COVID-19 in phase 3 trial

A phase 3 clinical trial published in JAMA has found that only 29,0% of 314 asymptomatic COVID-19–infected people living with an infected household member...

NEWS UPDATE

Strict new vaccine law and hefty penalties approved by French government

Franceʼs parliament approved a law on Sunday (16 January) that will exclude unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports arenas and other venues, in government...

Warnings of ‘catastrophe’ as 80,000 unvaccinated NHS workers face dismissal

More than 80,000 unvaccinated “patient-facing” staff —about 6% of the NHS’s workforce — face dismissal at the end of March if not vaccinated by...

Monthly fines for unvaccinated over-60 Greeks

Greece has imposed a vaccine mandate for people 60 and older as a spike in infections exerts pressure on local hospitals, where most of...

Ethiopia pulls support for Ghebreyesus for second WHO term

Ethiopia’s government has said it will not support the re-election of Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus for his second term as DG of the World Health...

WHO condemns attacks on Sudanese doctors and medical staff

Dozens of Sudanese doctors have demonstrated in Khartoum, protesting attacks by security forces against medical personnel and doctors during pro-democracy rallies opposed to the...

NEWS RELEASES

Ethiopia: Still no responsibility for murder of three Doctors Without Borders staff

Six months after the murder of three members of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the full circumstances of, and responsibility for, their killing remains unclear, reports...

SAHPRA nod for GESlabs manufacture of cannabinoid pharmaceutical ingredients

After two years of design, build, inspection, and collaboration, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has licenced GESLabs to manufacture cannabinoid active...

MEDICO-LEGAL

Hearing loss: Burden of proof on employer, not on the employee

A man who was medically boarded with hearing damage from being exposed to loud noise during his 39 years of work on the mines...

'Take-home' COVID: US firms fear precedent-setting court ruling

As COVID-19 cases surge in the United States, businesses say they fear a California court ruling has increased the chances of companies being sued...

UK surgeon struck off roll after ‘trademarking’ transplanted livers

An “arrogant” UK surgeon who got caught branding his initials on the transplant livers of his patients using an argon beam burner, has been...

No inspections or process followed, says ex-Life Esidimeni official

There were no proper procedures followed in the transfer of mental health patients from Life Esidimeni to inadequate NGOs, according to the sixth witness...

US inmates launch lawsuit after Ivermectin 'experiment' by prison medical staff

A lawsuit has been launched by a group of inmates at Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas, US, who say the jail’s medical staff...

SA business expects rise in court action on vaccine mandates in 2022

An escalation in legal action regarding mandatory vaccines is expected by South African business this year, which anticipates a rise in resistance from staff...

US Supreme Court says no to Biden's vaccine-or-test policy for big companies

America’s Supreme Court has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies, but has given the green light...

Malawi High Court dismisses mandatory vaccine challenge by civil society group

A High Court in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe has dismissed an application by a civil society group aimed at stopping the government from implementing mandatory...

SA’s compulsory DNA sampling legislation ‘should also apply to convicted criminals’

While the proclamation of legislation to enforce compulsory DNA sampling of alleged offenders takes effect on 1 February, activists have said the same should...

Nurse in Italy caught faking shots, ditching vaccine, to enable fraudulent health passes

Italian police have arrested a nurse on charges that he faked giving coronavirus vaccinations to at least 45 people so they could get a...

Jailed US drug company boss barred for life, ordered to repay $64m

American Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical company executive who ordered dramatic price hikes of a lifesaving medicine, has been barred from the industry for...

SOME RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

CARDIOLOGY

Sudden Cardiac Death and sex: Rare but not just an old man thing

A review of almost 7,000 comprehensive autopsies over 26 years in England showed that sex rarely triggered Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) and more women...

NEUROLOGY

Epstein-Barr virus may be leading cause of Multiple Sclerosis – Harvard cohort study

Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a progressive disease that affects 2.8m people worldwide and for which there is no definitive cure, may be caused by infection...

NUTRITION

More olive oil, less butter, reduces risk of CVD mortality – large Harvard analysis

Consuming more than 7g (>1/2 tablespoon) of olive oil daily has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, neurodegenerative...

PHARMACOLOGY

Pharmacotherapy more effective than lifestyle change for weight loss – Systematic review

Of all the available medications for treatment of overweight and obesity, phentermine–topiramate and GLP-1 receptor agonists proved the best drugs, found a systematic review...

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