Wednesday, 10 August, 2022
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Talking Points

White children likely to be over-diagnosed, over-treated for ADHD – US study

White children are especially likely to be over-diagnosed and over-treated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during elementary school, according to a key finding from our...

Impact of obstetric violence on young doctors learning to deliver babies

South Africa doesn’t yet have any laws that would make obstetric violence a criminal offence, but calls for it to be considered are starting...

‘Dry needling’ and acupuncture: what’s the difference, what’s the evidence?

Physiotherapists are increasingly offering needling therapies in addition to their standard care. Many in private practice now offer dry needling or Western medical acupuncture...

Separating the benefits of nicotine from the harms of smoking

Smoking causes cancer and nicotine improves mood. So guess which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will seek to ban under a sweeping...

Time for drug law reform in SA

South Africa’s system of prohibitory drug laws is a hypocrite, writes Paul-Michael Keichel in Mail & Guardian, and here's the smoking gun. We’re all aware...

Polio virus discovery shows we can't let guard down

British health authorities are urgently investigating a rare polio virus discovery in sewage samples in London, potentially putting the UK's polio-free status at risk...

NHI a case of 'multiple impossibilities'

With no proposed funding model for the multi-billion rand National Health Insurance (NHI) yet on the table, and an endless list of financial burdens...

Re-imagining medicine’s future with the help of digital technology

Will artificial intelligence (AI) mean the end of some health professionals? Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), writes...

Ensuring equitable access to fast-expanding virtual healthcare

Virtual health capabilities are evolving far beyond video consultations with a doctor. They now encompass an array of applications, from bots that screen people...

Diabetes: Why ‘lifestyle disease’ is an unfair label and taking steps to change that

Type 2 diabetes is called a “lifestyle disease” because it can be caused by poor eating habits. But this label doesn’t account for the...

The triple A approach to tackling South Africa’s mental health challenges

One in six South Africans suffered from anxiety, depression, or substance abuse disorders, according to the SA College of Applied Psychology in 2018 in...

Hormone therapy for menopause symptoms: two decades on, the fear of risks persist

Many women still suffer needlessly from menopause symptoms, fearful of risks such as heart disease and cancer because of misrepresentation of data from more...

Rural students could solve South Africa’s doctor dilemma

Actively recruiting medical students from remote areas could be the solution to addressing the imbalance between rural and urban areas, one of the toughest...

Mental illness often wrongly blamed for mass shootings – US psychiatrist

Mental health or psychological conditions are often used to explain mass murders, like the tragic shootings of 19 children and two adults in another...

Why independent healthcare for prisoners is vital – Judge Edwin Cameron

Management of healthcare for prisoners must be shifted from correctional services to the Department of Health so that healthcare professionals can perform their jobs...

IP waivers will stifle medical innovations in SA – IRR

Diluting intellectual property (IP) rights will dis-incentivise medical innovation and divert attention and resources away from the structural reforms that SA should be pursuing....

Is the fifth COVID wave here? This is what the statistics tell us

Judging by the number of new, laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, and using the formula the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) used previously to calculate if a...

Don’t tell anyone that children are dying

Columnist William Saunderson-Meyer unleashes a scathing condemnation of the government’s obfuscation and oblivion regarding the thousands of children dying of malnutrition in South Africa. In...

Political, not legal, threat from US abortion row

If American courts decide to overturn the right to an abortion in the US, it should not have any bearing on South African law...

Is it a common adenovirus suddenly causing fatal liver failure in kids worldwide?

Is a common virus the cause of an unexpected, unusual surge in hepatitis and liver failure in children, which has spread to more than...

Male body image and the potentially deadly pursuit of muscle mass

Even though men might be more reluctant to admit it, they’re plagued by body image concerns just as much as women are, writes Weill...

Venomics: Developing new medicines out of ancient animal poisons

Efforts to tease apart the vast swarm of proteins in venom – a field called venomics – have burgeoned in recent years, leading to...

‘Rage and grief’ as children die of malnutrition, while govt punts NHI that’s likely to fail

It is “completely unacceptable” that the government is busy with the parliamentary processes around National Health Insurance, while children are dying and being hospitalised...

‘Bed blockers’ take up more space than COVID patients in England

The CEO of NHS Providers has revealed that some 20,000 'bed blockers' – medically fit patients ready to be discharged, but with nowhere to...

Too posh to push: Time to end damaging anti-Caesarean stigmas

Caesarean sections are not simply “failures” of vaginal births or a choice made out of cowardice, writes Kate Townshend in The Independent. Women’s reasons...

Why did it take 2 years for WHO to admit that COVID is airborne?

Initially, the World Health Organization stated that SARS-CoV-2 was not transmitted through the air. It took two years to correct its mistake and in...

Abuse of women by healthcare professions demands urgent intervention

For many, pregnancy is known to be an honoured, celebrated and hopeful time in a woman and familyʼs life. For example, for centuries, African...

HASA chief: Medical omissions from Critical Skills List ’incomprehensible’

Omitting medical professionals, including nurses, from the recently released National Critical Skills List is a huge mistake, and is needed to overcome a future...

South Korea’s lesson to the world on how to live with COVID

Despite an astonishing recent spike in infections of the Omicron variant, South Korea, once the flag-bearer for aggressive suppression of COVID-19, is easing restrictions,...

Natural birth obsession is a ‘tragedy’ for many mothers and their babies

While the majority of women in the UK say their births were positive experiences, too many have anguished memories of not being listened to...

The real State of Disaster is SA’s new COVID regulations – Scientists’ Collective

South Africa’s latest draft regulations on COVID-19 are “ill-conceived and misdirected” and “appear oblivious to the new realities of COVID-19, two years into a...

10th World Happiness Report – Global sadness and benevolence both increase

Global benevolence has increased, Finland is the happiest country in the world (and Afghanistan the least happy), while sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are...

How death is handled in SA’s health facilities

There is nothing humans can do about the fact that everyone dies eventually, but there may be room to do better when it comes...

Global forum condemns attempt to gag SA scientists over Ukraine invasion

The South African government’s instruction to scientists at public entities not to comment on the Russia-Ukraine war has caused national and international concern, including...

Madhi: Dump global plan to vaccinate 70% against COVID

When it comes to vaccinating people in middle- and lower-income countries against COVID-19, it’s time for a serious re-think, Prof Shabir Madhi, Dean of...

Dysfunctional provincial health departments make a mockery of the ‘capable state’

One of the great paradoxes in healthcare in South Africa is that, while we have many impressive healthcare experts in the country, most of...

Why Omicron doesnʼt need its own custom COVID vaccine

In South Africa, where as many as 70% to 80% of the population has been infected, and 40% vaccinated, it’s possible many people now...

Crisp: DoH wants ‘less passivity’ from govt departments over vaccinations

While the national Department of Health had not “de-prioritised” the vaccination program, some government departments were “more passive than we’d like”, acting Director-General Nicholas...

Medical school admissions: ‘SAMA slaps on a bandage while avoiding the wound’

The fall-out from comments on CapeTalk by former SA Medical Association chair Dr Angelique Coetzee about medical school entrance requirements has confounded many, writes...

NYT article on prenatal DNA testing full of ‘blunders and inaccuracies’

An article in The New York Times that focused on the supposedly flawed nature of prenatal DNA testing was full of inaccuracies, writes Ellen...