NHLS unsure where to send bill, suspends services

Results for HIV monitoring and cervical cancer screening disrupted due to service interruptions Billing errors and lack of payment have been blamed for the National Health Laboratory Service’s (NHLS) recent suspension of services to some Gauteng clinics.Results for HIV monitoring and cervical cancer screening disrupted due to service interruptions. A 31 July NHLS memo circulated to health facilities warned that clinics that were not on a Gauteng Department of Health list of clinics able to charge lab services to the province would have their NHLS services terminated that same day….more



Tshwane clinics share medicines amid stock outs

pharma-drugsClinics in Soshanguve outside Pretoria are helping each other to solve recurring problems in drug orders from the regional pharmacy. Health workers at Maria Rantho, KT Motubatse and other Soshanguve clinics are complaining that incorrectly filled orders from the regional pharmacy have forced clinics to share medicines among themselves. A health worker* at Maria Rantho Clinic claims that incorrectly filled orders have become a recurring problem and have resulted in shortages at clinics…..more

How Ebola challenges the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative

A Cameroonian friend shares a conversation between two of his fellow nationals in an airport. One of them remarks that he is not feeling too well. The immediate, and hysterical, reaction of the other is that he must have Ebola. “Maybe you’ve been infected with Ebola from those Lagos passengers at the arrival hall,” my friends recounts one of them saying. On Twitter, a Kenyan user notes that passengers on flights from Entebbe to Nairobi are not being screened for Ebola. The checks are inconsistent, he notes, meaning the disease can be brought in to the nation via Uganda…..more


Health Minister Launches MomConnect in Pretoria


The Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, launched an innovation in mobile health technology in Pretoria, MomConnect. MomConnect provides personalised, unique antenatal and postnatal SMS reminders for expectant and new mothers in English, isiZulu and SeSotho. The messages are sent to the mother throughout her pregnancy and postnatally, until her infant is 18 months old. The Baby’s progress is tracked through the Integrated Electronic Patient Record System (IePRS), a medical record system known as Bookwise.

At the launch, the minister expressed that maternal and child health is not the sole responsibility of mothers, but that fathers need to play a more involved role in the wellbeing of their children. The lauch represents a continued commitment by the National Department of Health to provide services to vulnerable populations in addressing the current quadruple burden of disease. 

For more information about MomConnect, click here

Ghent University on place 70 in Shanghai ranking

Shabir Moosa is registered for a PhD at Ghent University.He hopes colleagues at Wits will not deprecate a PhD from Ghent. Ghent University rises from place 85 to 70 in the recently published Shanghai ranking, an impressive increase. Again Ghent University has the highest score of all Belgian universities in this world ranking of universities….more.  Wits is quite happy to be ranked 201-300 in this list.

The key to a successful PhD thesis? Write in your own voice

In the last couple of months of completing my law thesis I found myself struggling to put things into the simplest terms. All the ideas I had been researching and writing about were coming together like the pieces of a puzzle, but I kept wanting to re-explain everything in great detail in every chapter, and sometimes even within a chapter. The word count was growing every day, but my arguments and conclusions weren’t necessarily getting any clearer….more

South Africans ‘gatvol’ with politicians: Wits vice-chancellor

South Africa’s “out of control” public violence will transform into a revolution if inequality isn’t dealt with now. This is according to Wits University vice-chancellor Professor Adam Habib, who added that the Marikana tragedy, which saw the loss of 34 miners’ lives during a violent unprotected strike exactly two years ago, was the “most dramatic manifestation” of public violence and inequality….more and more

Hatred of others flourishing in Gauteng

Gauteng residents are satisfied with their quality of life but want foreigners out of South Africa and are hostile towards people of other races and homosexuals. This was revealed in a survey by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, a partnership between the SA Local Government Association, the provincial government and the universities of Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand…..more




 Although earthquakes/tremors do not commonly occur in most parts of South Africa, it is still considered necessary to take note of the below guidelines regarding what to do if an earthquake, severe tremor (or tremor as recently happened) should occur:


  • Stay calm and kneel or sit on the floor (before the tremors knock you down). This position protects you from falling and allows you to still move around if necessary.
  • Crawl under a large sturdy object (such as a strong table or desk) to avoid being struck by falling debris from the roof/ceiling/walls/windows. Cover your head/neck with your arms/hands.
  • Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.
  • If there is nothing sturdy to crawl under then position yourself at an interior wall near the centre of the building. Interior walls are less likely to collapse than outer / exterior walls.
  • Stay away from windows, mirrors, loose standing cupboards, shelves, light fixtures and ceiling fans (i.e. anything that could fall on you).
  • Stay inside until the tremors and shaking stops and until it is considered safe to go outside.
  • Use the stairs to evacuate from a building (not the elevator/lift) and only evacuate when it is considered safe to do so. Do not exit a building during the tremors/shaking.
  • Be aware that the power may go out and sprinkler systems or fire alarms may be activated. 


  • Stay calm and move away from exterior walls of buildings to avoid being struck by falling debris from collapsing walls, windows and roof tiles/sheeting.
  • Move away from power cables, trees and structures that may collapse and fall on you.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the tremors/shaking stops while covering your head and neck with your arms and hands. 


  • Stay calm and stop the vehicle as quickly but as safely as possible.
  • Do not stop next to buildings and large trees or under bridges and overhead power lines.
  • If considered safe to do so, stay in the vehicle.
  • Proceed cautiously after the earthquake has stopped avoiding damaged roads/bridges. 


  • Stay calm and do not disturb unstable structures which may cause further collapse.
  • Try not to inhale dust by covering your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • If possible, shout or tap on a pipe, wall or any other object so rescuers can locate you.

Jonathan De Villiers


Gauteng residents don’t trust government: Survey

Residents of Gauteng are happy with service delivery but have no faith and trust in the people elected to lead them, a survey released on Thursday found. “People just don’t want efficient government, they want a clean and transparent government that is approachable,” Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) executive director Professor David Everatt said…..1 2 3 4

Working with Traditional Healers in Chiawelo


Chiawelo has an active community of traditional healers. A group of more than 20 healers, belonging to the Traditional Healers Organisation (THO), meet weekly in the community to discuss problem and support each other. The THO, an international organisation representing the rights of healers across Southern Africa, advocate for a strict code of conduct in order to “assure the values, quality of treatment, efficacy, safety and ethical standards of member practitioners” (For more info, see here).

Chiawelo Community Practice (CCP) has met a number of times with this group of healers to introduce them to the practice and to develop a working relationship. The healers explained that in the past, they have had a difficult relationship with the exiting public service as many of their clients have been discouraged by clinic staff from using their services. As a starting point, CCP has stressed an open door policy where healers are encouraged to send problem patients to the practice.

Future plans are afoot for a collaborative research project with this group of healers to model an effective means of linking the two healing systems.

Obama declares first US-Africa summit an ‘extraordinary event’

WASHINGTON — The first summit between the US and nearly all African countries broke parts of the usual mould for such events, and was declared an overall success on Thursday. US President Barack Obama, the host and probably the world’s biggest individual draw card, called it an “extraordinary event” when the curtain came down on the three days on Wednesday night, when Washington’s poshest hotels and key government buildings were temporarily but heavily African….more

Job creation heads five-year strategy

THE government has released its priorities for the next five years — the first of three phases of bringing policy in line with the National Development Plan — which includes reducing unemployment to 14%. The Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2014-19, which sets out government’s priorities over the next five years, was released by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe on Thursday….more

Immigrants flock to Hillbrow Clinic for healthcare

The Hillbow Clinic is inundated with Zimbabwean women who want to give birth in South Africa, staff told newly appointed Deputy Health Minister Joe Paahla and Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu yesterday. The clinic’s Dr Sibongile Ntuli said many of the women arrived fully dilated and ready to give birth. “When they are ready to deliver, we cannot send them away to other health facilities, so they get stuck here and we deliver their babies,” said Ntuli, who added that 90 percent of the clinic’s pregnant women were non-South Africans…..more