Skin bleaching in Africa: An ‘addiction’ with risks

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Dr. Isima Sobande was in medical school when she first heard of mothers who bleached the skin of their babies. She dismissed it as an urban myth. But it wasn’t long before she saw it with her own eyes. At a health centre in Lagos, a mother brought in a two-month-old infant who was crying in pain. “He had very large boils all over his body,” the soft-spoken 27-year-old Nigerian told AFP. “It seemed like they weren’t normal.” The baby’s mother explained that she had mixed a steroid cream with…

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19% of African medicines fake or dicey‚ say pharmacists

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One in five medicines in Africa is sub-standard or fake‚ say US scientists. In southern Africa‚ Malawi has the most medicines commonly sold in sub-standard or falsified condition‚ according to pharmacists from the University of North Carolina. South Africa’s problem is relatively small‚ they reported on Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open‚ after analysing 96 previous studies of falsified and substandard medicines in 63 low-income and middle-income countries. In much of the developing world‚ more than 13% of essential medicines that satisfy people’s priority health care needs are problematic‚…

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US govt avails $360 million for Aids fight

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THE United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) has set aside more than $360 million for programmes to support key populations in the implementation of HIV intervention efforts. The development follows the 2018 Intentional Aids Conference held in Amsterdam, Netherlands which saw the launch of a number of programmes to speed up HIV prevention amongst various societal groups. The PEPFAR’s fact sheet has revealed that the $360 million injection would go a long way in bridging the gaps in access to primary health services by high risk populations.…

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More than 20 000 patients harmed in Gauteng hospitals

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Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has confirmed that more than 20 000 patients have been harmed due to negligence in the space of two-and-a-half years at state hospitals in Gauteng. Ramokgopa quoted the figure in a written response to questions posed in the Gauteng Legislature by DA MPL Jack Bloom. When patients are harmed unintentionally‚ by an act of commission or omission rather than their underlying illness or condition‚ the incidents are recorded as “Serious Adverse Events”. There have been 20 417 of these incidents in the province since 2016‚…

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Pandemic ‘could wipe out 900 million people,’ experts warn

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A chilling simulation has revealed just how easily a new pathogen could wipe out a huge slice of the world’s population – up to 900 million people. Researchers at John Hopkins University simulated the spread of a new illness – a new type of parainfluenza, known as Clade X. The simulation was designed so the pathogen wasn’t markedly more dangerous than real illnesses such as SARS – and illustrates the tightrope governments tread in responding to such illnesses. American politicians played out the scenario – which was built to be…

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Schoolgirl, 14, to undergo surgery after living with two extra arms and half-formed fingers from her parasitic twin dangling from her stomach – and she even cuts its nails

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A schoolgirl is finally getting surgery to remove the two extra arms and half-formed fingers from the parasitic twin dangling from her torso removed. Veronica Cominguez, 14, who lives in Iligan City in the Philippines, was born with two limbs and an oblong-shaped growth on her chest and stomach. The extra parts – belonging to a parasitic twin who did not develop properly – have grown with her. She even cleans her ‘twin’ and cuts its fingernails. But Veronica is now set to live a normal life after locals raised…

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Prince Harry urges end to ‘deadly stigma’ of HIV to reduce infections in young people

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Prince Harry has urged an end to the stigma around HIV in a bid to reduce infections among young people. The number of new transmissions among people aged 10-19 is rising across the globe, despite there being progress in the very young and adults. The Duke of Sussex has in recent years followed in the footsteps of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales – a pioneer in the fight against Aids – by raising awareness about HIV/Aids and encouraging people to get tested and know their HIV status. Harry and…

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HIV shows an increase among youth

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Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has blamed parents for the high HIV infection levels among young people, saying he was criticised when he tried to distribute condoms to schools in 2012 as part of an HIV/Aids awareness drive. The Human Sciences Research Council’s SA National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey for 2017 released in Pretoria yesterday found that the rate of infection stood at 7.9% in the 15-24 age category. According to Professor Khangelani Zuma, executive director of the Hast research programme at the HSRC, the figure consistently declined…

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Mum had ‘no idea she was pregnant’ when she gave birth to twins on the toilet

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This young mum had no idea she was pregnant when she gave birth to twins all by herself in the middle of night. Beth Bamford, 21, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said she was still having her periods and put her weight gain down to ‘fat’. So it was quite the surprise when Beth, who already has two children aged 3 and 2, gave birth to 5lb 10oz daughter Willow. She had woken up thinking she needed the toilet on February 21 and was in the bathroom when the unexpected happened. Her…

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Male birth control pill passes a safety test

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Men didn’t have worrying side effects from the prototype contraceptive A once-daily capsule safely suppressed reproductive hormones in men, making it an appealing candidate for a male birth control pill, according to a small study. After about a month of treatment, a new prototype pill called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, had reduced levels of hormones including testosterone that are necessary for sperm production. During that time, none of the 83 men who completed the treatment suffered troubling symptoms that can arise with a dramatic drop in testosterone, researchers reported March…

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