Working Together for an AIDS-free Future for Girls and Women

Working Together for an AIDS-free Future for Girls and Women

Ten countries – Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – account for nearly half of all the new HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally in 2014. Girls and young women account for 71 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. This must change. The DREAMS initiative aims to help girls develop into Determined   Resilient   Empowered   AIDS-free   Mentored and   Safe women. Many adolescent girls and young women lack a full range of opportunities and are too often devalued leading them to be seen as unworthy of investment or protection. Social isolation, economic disadvantage, discriminatory cultural norms, orphanhood, gender-based violence, and school drop-out all contribute to girls’ vulnerability to HIV. We wish to ensure an AIDS-free future for adolescent girls and young women. DREAMS will build upon existing evidence-based approaches and infuse additional resources and innovative approaches to better meet the needs of adolescent girls and young women. Read more...
Research Working Group – GSA want to eliminate

Research Working Group – GSA want to eliminate

The Research Working Group of the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance (GSA) convened for two days to agree how to apply operational research to enhance efforts to eliminate schistosomiasis. On 14 June 2016, leading experts in the control and elimination of schistosomiasis from around the world gathered in Shanghai to advance the World Health Organization’s goal of worldwide elimination of the disease. However, 50 years after elimination, we will still have gynaecological disease and HIV susceptibility. The two-day meeting brought together health specialists to discuss such topics as new drugs, mapping the transmission of the disease and alternative control...
FGS introduced to gynaecologists

FGS introduced to gynaecologists

The WHO Pocket Atlas for Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) was launched at the Congress for South African Society for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SASOG 2016). The South African Centre for Disease Control was represented by Dr Patrick Hlungwani. Furthermore, Dr Lester Chitsulo, parasitologist and former WHO leader for Bilharzia work presided over the launch together with gynaecologists from several countries. From left to right: Gynaecologist Francis Hyera, University of Limpopo, Department of Public Health Medicine, South Africa. Gynaecologist Roland Eddie Mhlanga, Mpumalanga Provincial Specialist Obstetrics and Gynaecology,  South Africa. Dr Lester Chitsulo, Malawi. Gynaecologist Bellington Vwalika, University Teaching Hospital, Zambia. Professional Nurse Deon Bezuidehout, Clinical Research, Merck, South Africa. Gynaecologist Motshedisi Sebitloane, Nelson Mandela School of Medicine,University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Dr Eyrun F Kjetland, Research Fellow, Nelson Mandela School of Medicine/Norwegian Centre for Imported and Tropical Diseases. Mr Patrick Hlungwane, Communicable Disease Control, National Department of Health, South Africa. Gynaecologist Sibone Mocumbi, Maputo Central Hospital,...
Global Launch at SASOG

Global Launch at SASOG

At the Congress for South African Society for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – there will be a global launch of the WHO Pocket Atlas for Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS). Statement: Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) is recognised as a gynaecological complication of schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) affecting approximately 150 million females globally. There are no point-of-care laboratory tests for diagnosis. Key to diagnosis is visualization of the lesions by a trained health professional. Visualisation is enhanced with a digital camera and screen, or with a colposcope if available. Different forms of lesions include grainy sandy patches, homogeneous yellow sandy patches, rubbery papules and abnormal blood vessels. This pocket atlas aims to assist clinicians to recognise the lesions and manage the patients. Administration of Praziquantel (single dose) prevents new lesions and morbidity. This is supported by the World Health Assembly Resolution 54.19 which calls for “treatment of clinical cases and groups at high risk of morbidity, such as women and children”. The working group recommends that all health workers in schistosomiasis endemic areas who are attending to females should consider the diagnosis of female genital schistosomiasis. There is a biological plausibility of a link between FGS and the acquisition of HIV and HPV. A comprehensive history should be taken to identify other cases at risk, girls especially, and suspected cases should be treated with...
PhD in Female Genital Schistosomias

PhD in Female Genital Schistosomias

The examiners of Dr Pavitra Pillay’s PhD thesis wrote: “I am highly impressed with the excellent quality…. this work is of vital importance for South Africa and should be heard by anybody interested cervical cancer”.  “The studies have been well planned and the candidate has done very nice and solid scientific work.” In her thesis Dr Pillay has shown how schistosomiasis can be a potential risk factor for the acquisition cervical squamous cell atypia and HIV. It is recommended that regular mass drug administration for schistosomiasis is implemented and public health interventions raising awareness of cervical cancer are instituted targeting young women and men in endemic populations. Title: “Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) is a potential risk factor for squamous cell atypia and HIV among young women from schistosomiasis endemic populations” PhD registered: University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa Main supervisor: Professor Myra Taylor, UKZN Co-supervisors: Dr Eyrun F Kjetland, Oslo University Hospital, Norway/UKZN and Professor Lisette van Lieshout, Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands Other supervisor: Professor Borghild Roald, University of Oslo, Norway  ...
Soil Transmitted Helminths (STHs) to be treated in National School Deworming Programme

Soil Transmitted Helminths (STHs) to be treated in National School Deworming Programme

South African Broadcasting Corporation:  The Departments of Basic Education, Health and Social Development have today officially launched the national school de-worming programme [for STHs with Mebendazole] at the Zimasa Primary school in Langa. The programme forms part of the integrated school health programme and will focus on health, education and the regular de-worming of children. The programme will be rolled out nationally to all Grade R to 7 learners in quintile one to three primary schools. The Department of Basic Education has partnered with the World Health Organisation and has secured seven million de-worming tablets that will be distributed to the children. Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga, says the schools chosen are all part of the departments pro-poor programme. Motshekga was joined by various stake-holders on a walkabout to the nurses’ rooms where the de-worming tablets and other  vaccines will be administered.   Five hard facts: Soil transmitted helminths (STHs) in South Africa constitute the worms A. lumbrocoides, T. trichiura, and hookworm. They cause tiredness and stomach problems. Further, these worms and have been found to contribute to cycle of poverty. Repeated treatment is necessary to curb the reinfections The school deworming programme will not treat Bilharzia which is the second most important parasite after Malaria in terms of public health impact in the world. Quintile 1-3 (of five in total) are the poorest schools in South Africa. These schools also have a school feeding programme. Mebendazole is the only the second best choice treatment for these STHs. For T. trichiura Albendazole should be given.   Literature Berge ST, Kabatereine NB, Gundersen SG, et al.; Generic praziquantel in South Africa: The necessity for policy change to avail cheap, safe...