How to Use Your Asthma Inhaler

To use an MDI:

  1. Shake the inhaler well before use (3 or 4 shakes)
  2. Remove the cap
  3. Breathe out, away from your inhaler
  4. Bring the inhaler to your mouth. Place it in your mouth between your teeth and close you mouth around it.
  5. Start to breathe in slowly. Press the top of you inhaler once and keep breathing in slowly until you have taken a full breath.
  6. Remove the inhaler from your mouth, and hold your breath for about 10 seconds, then breathe out.

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Land reform is ‘captured’

South Africa’s increasingly business-orientated land reform programme has opened the door for “elite capture” with businesses – often white owned and multinational – becoming the real winners, while black “beneficiaries” languish without any formal rights to the land.

New research indicates President Jacob Zuma’s renewed promises to do away with the “willing seller, willing buyer” principle this year – something first promised at the 2005 National Land Summit – obscure the enormous problems that crop up once the state owns the land……more


Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Although it’s common, accurate information about acne can be scarce. This can make it difficult to get clearer skin. The information on this site can help you understand acne and how to successfully treat it.

Why treat acne?

Myths about acne are as common as the skin problem. One common myth is that you have to let acne run its course.

Dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice.

Here’s why:

  • Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears.
  • Treating acne often boosts a person’s self-esteem.
  • Many effective treatments are available.

More women getting acne

Not just teens have acne. A growing number of women have acne in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Dermatologists are not sure why this is happening. But dermatologists understand that adult acne can be particularly frustrating. ….more

Nigerian doctors reduced to surgery by candlelight

Some doctors in Nigeria use candlelight to perform operations due to the dearth of funding for the sector, a medical practitioner told a Senate panel during a public hearing on the 2017 budget.

Business Day quotes Benjamin Anyele, chair, Health Sector Reform Coalition, as saying: “It has gotten so bad that Nigerians are running mental without knowing, nurses use candlelight to assist in carrying out operations.” Arguing for increased funding for the health sector, Anyele decried the dearth of funding for primary healthcare centres in Nigeria, saying “it portends grave danger for national development.”

The report says Nigeria’s 2017 budget allocated N252.87bn ($79.77bn) for recurrent and N51bn ($160.8m) capital expenditure representing a mere 4.1% of the entire budget. This allocation falls short of the 15% agreed by AU countries in the 2001 Abuja Health declaration…..more

Esidimeni victims found in pile of unclaimed bodies

National director-general of Health Precious Matsoso this week personally intervened with a large police contingent to secure access to a Pretoria ‘private mortuary’ where relatives of the Life Esidemeni tragedy had had to scrabble through piled up bodies to find their family.

According to a Health-e News report,  Phumzile and Zandile Mashego had found the body of their brother – an ex-patient from Life Esidimeni – in a pile along with other unclaimed bodies in a rundown building in Atteridgeville.

They say the place looked as if it was once a butchery, but it is now registered as a private mortuary with the Tshwane municipality. “After we heard that Solly had passed away, we were told that he was at the funeral home called ‘Put U 2 Rest’ but his body was not there,” said Phumzile. “They directed us to this place that looked like old butchery.”….more

New Report Outlines Actions to Leverage Islamic Finance for Development

The World Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank published the first Global Report on Islamic Finance, which details the prospects for the global Islamic finance industry and its potential to help reduce worldwide income inequality, enhance sharing prosperity, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Subtitled “A Catalyst for Shared Prosperity?”, the report provides an overview of trends in Islamic finance, identifies major challenges hindering the industry’s growth, and recommends policy interventions to leverage Islamic finance for promoting shared prosperity.

Islamic finance advocates for just fair and equitable distribution of income and wealth. With a strong link to the real economy as well as risk-sharing financing, Islamic finance can help improve the stability of the financial sector. It can also bring into the formal financial system people who are currently excluded from it due to cultural or religious reasons. Unlike conventional finance, Islamic finance is based on risk-sharing and asset-based financing. By making people direct holders of real assets in the real sector of the economy, it reduces their aversion to risk…..more

Budget in a nutshell: tax hikes hit South Africans’ pockets hard

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has announced hard-hitting increases in personal income tax of R16.5bn for 2017-18, as economic growth stutters and revenue collection falls short of expectations.

These increases are part of a total R28bn package of tax hikes.

Tax revenue has deteriorated by a further R7bn since the medium-term budget policy statement in October and is now forecast to be R30.4bn lower than the 2016-17 budget estimate, indicating a deterioration in economic growth and tax buoyancy.

This is the largest underperformance since the 2009 recession and Gordhan told journalists at a media briefing ahead of his budget speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday that he was concerned about the state of revenue collection in the country and had been engaging with senior management of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) about this.

In his speech the minister warned SA was “at a crossroads” and “tough choices” had had to be made….more

HIV Basics

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. No effective cure exists for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. Some groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of many factors, including their sex partners, their risk behaviors, and where they live. This section will give you basic information about HIV, such as how it’s transmitted, how you can prevent it, and how to get tested for HIV. ….more

EXPOSED: The Guptas and the ‘box of gems’

Six days after the Gupta family infamously “fled” South Africa last year on a late-night flight, a second Gupta plane tried to leave with a box believed to have been full of diamonds.

On April 13, a Gupta business jet with tail number ZS-AKG was preparing to depart Fireblade Aviation’s VVIP (very, very important person) terminal at OR Tambo International Airport when X-ray scanners picked up something suspicious inside a suitcase belonging to the departing party.

In the suitcase was a box containing what looked like stones – more precisely, diamonds.

When Fireblade security asked to see what was inside, a Gupta security staffer refused, took the bag from the counter and left.

This version of events was provided by three independent sources – two close to Fireblade and one a senior member of South Africa’s security establishment.

The latter claimed the principal passenger was one of the three Gupta brothers…..more

Trump’s Alt-Right coming to SA

The country has emerged as a primary target in the White House’s global offensive against Western liberal culture, writes Shannon Ebrahim. The Trump administration is targeting South Africa as a destination in need of its Alt-Right ideology. If Trump decides to send South African Joel Pollak, the editor-at-large of Breitbart news as the new US Ambassador to South Africa, then the agenda of the White House in South Africa is clear.The primary reason to send one of Trump’s most valuable ideological weapons to South Africa would be the perceived need to overturn a ruling party which is a pillar in the world of progressive left wing and inclusive politics. The goal would be for one of Breitbart’s foremost ideologists – Joel Pollak – to lay the foundations for a right wing party in South Africa to take power at the next elections, which could eventually buy into Trump’s far right worldview. ….more

‘The status quo in Joburg is not good enough’

About 17 000 jobs have been created in Joburg in the fourth quarter of 2016.

This was revealed in the StatsSA Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), released earlier this week.

City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said that whilst the progress in the city’s employment figures is welcomed, “we cannot afford to be complacent as there are still over 800 000 unemployed residents in our city and it is essential that job creation remains the top priority of my administration.”

Said the mayor: “The status quo is simply not good enough. Our residents who continue to suffer the effects of sluggish economic growth will not be satisfied with marginal gains – particularly the city’s youth and nor should we. When the residents of this city voted for change, they demanded an administration that would release the full potential of this city,” he said.

Joburg has set itself the task of attaining minimum of 5% economic growth and reducing unemployment to under 20% by 2021…..more

Who is a CHW?

Who is a CHW? . But at the same time I want add another question Who is CHV (Community Health Volunteer)?.

When I look at the functional roles of these two I see a lot of differences. For example;

1. Uganda: VHTs are volunteers; midwives, nurse, enrolled nurse etc are CHWs

2. Ethiopia; WDA are volunteers; HEWs are CHWs

3. Nepal : FCHVs are volunteers; VHWs, MCHWs are CHWs

4. Ghana: CHV are volunteers: midwives, nurse, enrolled nurses are CHWs

5. India: ASHAs are volunteers; Nurses are CHWs

Almost all countries have this structure i.e. CHWs are incharge of community health system (which a part of the formal system) and CHVs are volunteers to support them.

It is important to understand this. Because of the following reasons:

1. CHWs are salary paid formal health system workers; they have to follow government rules and regulations for their hours of work, salary, benefits, incentives etc.

2. CHWs are legally responsible for their health facility

3. Any change in their status has to go through the government system and there are p.

4. their motivation problem and issues are the same as clinicians or doctors this can be solved by changing the processes in government system; community can provide only some temporary solutions

Whereas Community Health Volunteers are selected by community and are part of the community. They are not formally linked with health facility. It is expected that they should get strong support from the community like bicycle, incentives, respect, tc. It is important to maintain CHVs motivation in order to reach vulnerable, underserved and hard to reach people. Their motivation is also important for home visits and support patients for self-management.

I hope the discussion of CHWs will keep this in mind and not lumped them together. Because only addressing CHWs problems, without addressing CHVs problems, will not fix the problem of coverage, follow-up, referral and equity at the community level.

Thank you very much.

Ram Shrestha, D.Sc. (hon.), MS, M.Sc.

HIFA profile: Ram Shrestha is a Senior Quality Improvement Advisor, Community Health and Nutrition, USAID Health Care Improvement Project, University Research Company, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.         rshrestha AT

The Neglected Tropical Disease NGDO Network

The Neglected Tropical Disease NGDO Network was established in October 2009 to create a global forum for nongovernmental development organizations (NGDOs) working to control onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths, trachoma, and leprosy. These Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) share common strategies including community-based health interventions that can be integrated to strengthen health care systems…..more

The odd meaning of ‘radical economic transformation’ in South Africa

The only thing radical about South Africa’s ruling party’s understanding of “radical economic transformation”, a commentator once suggested, is its use of the word ‘radical’. The comment was made a few years ago, when the African National Congress (ANC) was in the habit of using the slogan to describe very modest change. Now it’s back.

In his 2017 state of the nation address South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma brought back the phrase “radical economic transformation” causing nationwide debate. Other senior ANC politicians have done the same.

Have the ANC’s intentions changed?

To answer that, we need to understand why “radical economic transformation” is back on the ANC’s agenda. As with much of what happens in the ANC today, factional politics is a crucial part of the story…..more

Diagnosis and management of Type 2 Diabetes

Management of type 2 diabetes includes:

  • Healthy eating
  • Regular exercise
  • Possibly, diabetes medication or insulin therapy
  • Blood sugar monitoring

These steps will help keep your blood sugar level closer to normal, which can delay or prevent complications.

Healthy eating

Contrary to popular perception, there’s no specific diabetes diet. However, it’s important to center your diet on these high-fiber, low-fat foods:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

You’ll also need to eat fewer animal products, refined carbohydrates and sweets.

Low glycemic index foods also may be helpful. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food causes a rise in your blood sugar. Foods with a high glycemic index raise your blood sugar quickly. Low glycemic index foods may help you achieve a more stable blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index typically are foods that are higher in fiber.

A registered dietitian can help you put together a meal plan that fits your health goals, food preferences and lifestyle. He or she can also teach you how to monitor your carbohydrate intake and let you know about how many carbohydrates you need to eat with your meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar levels more stable…..more