Protesters run riot in Kliptown over unpopular ANC council candidate

With just five days to go before the local government elections start with special votes‚ residents of Kliptown in Soweto took to the streets on Wednesday to express their unhappiness about a councillor candidate put forward by the ANC.

The ANC had announced Pamela Sibanyoni as its candidate for councillor in ward 19, Soweto, but some residents were insisting on their own candidate, said ANC Johannesburg spokesperson Jolidee Matongo.

“We are very clear: If people are standing in the path of the ANC towards victory‚ those comrades have defined themselves as the enemy of the ANC‚” he said. …more


A tragedy waiting to happen

2135819157Johannesburg – One by one they pen their accounts, which read like multiple tragedies waiting to happen. “At 34 weeks pregnant and doing a 24-hour shift, I drew blood on one of the last patients I was seeing. “Exhausted, I sustained a needle-stick injury of a high-risk HIV patient. “The stress, the ARVs and everything that went with it could have easily been avoided if I was not already seeing double after working such long hours.” Signed, anonymous.

The next reads: “I was involved in a motor vehicle accident (the only accident I have ever had) when I was post call in my community service year…..more

Not bigger router but fleet of smaller ones now the way to go

IN EVERY home, some poor soul is responsible for keeping the internet running. The job is a lot like voodoo: Netflix conked out? Unplug the router, then plug it in again. Wi-Fi dead zone in the far room? Give those antennas a wiggle.

So I’ve got big news for you home tech-support personnel: You can stop faking it now. A significant overhaul of the router, that blinking box of frustration that beams wireless internet, is making Wi-Fi much, much better at covering an entire home. It’ll just cost you much, much more.

This next-generation Wi-Fi isn’t about bigger routers — it’s about deploying a fleet of smaller ones. Routers struggle with long distances and interference, but can work great in teams. So in large or hard-to-network homes, the new idea is to put an access point upstairs, downstairs and in that troublesome side room. They link to each other wirelessly, forming a “mesh” that spreads internet around the house like butter on a hot bagel. Not long ago, a really, really good Wi-Fi router cost $200. Now these mesh systems cost $350 and up, way up. Are those prices worth it? Ask yourself this: How much would you pay not to have to worry about Wi-Fi anymore? When a home mesh system called Eero debuted last February, I liked it so much I bought a set of three for myself — for a budget-busting $500….more

WHO Report: Health Workforce in India

See this new WHO report on the health workforce in India.

Below are five of the key findings, highlighted in the Preface:

(i) At the national level the density of doctors of all types (allopathic, ayurvedic, unani and homeopathic) in 2001 was 80 doctors per 100,000 of the population and the density of nurses was 61 per 100,000. The comparable figures for China were 148 for doctors and 103 for nurses. In both countries the densities were higher in urban areas than rural areas, but in India the density in urban areas was 4 times the rural, whereas in China it was twice the rural density. What this showed was that in the matter of health personnel we were less well endowed than China, which is not entirely surprising considering that China had a much higher per capita GDP, but such resources as we had were more unequally distributed between urban and rural areas.

(ii) Many individuals claiming to be doctors in their occupation did not have the requisite professional qualifications. Almost one third of those calling themselves doctors were educated only up to secondary school. The lack of medical qualifications was particularly high in rural areas. Whereas 58% of the doctors in urban areas had a medical degree, only 19% of those in rural areas had such a qualification.

(iii) The lack of trained health professionals was obviously a major constraint on our ability to achieve health delivery in a short period. To reach the Chinese level of density of doctors we would need an additional 700,000 doctors but the capacity of our medical universities at the time was limited to producing only 30,000 doctors per year. It has increased since then, but hardly to the level which would allow early closing of the gap. I also pointed out that all doctors do not need to have an MBBS degree. In China, many doctors hold only three-year medical diplomas and much of our need could also be met through paramedicals. However, there was strong opposition from the medical profession to allow “unqualified persons” to practice as doctors in any public facility. There has been some change since then, with some states recognizing three-year licentiate diplomas and thus allowing these persons to serve in public clinics and hospitals.

(iv) There was enormous variation in density across states. The density of doctors in Chandigarh (a city which is a Union Territory) was ten times that in the worst state, Meghalaya. The doctor density in Punjab, one of the upper income states, was 2.6 times higher than in Bihar, which is one of the poorest states.

(v) One of the interesting findings in the study was that the percentage of female doctors who had medical degrees was much higher than male doctors. I took the liberty of drawing the Prime Minister’s attention to an interesting inference from this fact: viz. if one was somewhere in India with no personal knowledge of individuals but in need of a doctor, one would do better in a probabilistic sense by going to a woman doctor!

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA:  

Rural grannies walk for health

In a remote rural village, community leaders are educating the elderly about how to stay healthy. More than 80 grannies from Makuya village, near Niani in Limpopo participated in a recent fun walk which was organised by the local community leaders to educate the elderly about how to fight diabetes and high blood pressure. During the walk, the senior citizens were not only encouraged to exercise but to eat healthily in order for them to stay fit and live long….more