The health-care choices of Steve Jobs and Winstone Zulu

Winstone Zulu

Winstone Zulu died last week. He was an outspoken AIDS activist and possibly the first Zambian to live openly with HIV.

Hepatitis: The bad economics of medical schemes

Hepatitis C virus

The debate continues about the failure of private medical schemes to cover the cost of Hepatitis B and C treatment. public sector patients can access these treatments.

The king, the car and the clamp

Front page of the Sunday Times Zulu edition 18 September 2011

An expensive gift has cast new shadows over the Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health's controversial decision to purchase and use an unsafe circumcision device called the Tara KLamp. In addition, a promised assessment of the clamp has not materialised, the clamp is still being used, and more adverse events are being reported.

When the private health sector falls short

Prometheus Bound

Medical Schemes do not cover the treatment of some diseases, such as chronic viral hepatitis, whilst public sector patients can access these treatments. Mark Sonderup, Wendy Spearman and Nathan Geffen argue that medical schemes are not doing their share, to the detriment of patients.

Does drug testing in schools make sense?

The Opium Smoker

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi have both come out in support of drug testing in schools. Their intentions are undoubtedly noble. But will this policy actually work? Theshia Naidoo and Daniel Robelo of the Drug Policy Alliance argue that the evidence from the United States experience shows that compulsory drug testing in schools is potentially harmful.

Tags: drug, testing  |  2 comments

Pharmaceutical company bullying: The case of Novartis

These gentleman are so greedy

Novartis is trying to extend its patent on a cancer drug in India. It is this kind of behaviour that gives pharmaceutical companies a bad name and emboldens anti-pharma quackery.

Will the new complementary and alternative medicines regulations protect consumers?

The Lawyer

The Department of Health recently published draft regulations and guidelines governing complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs). We have not done an exhaustive analysis of the proposed changes. We are posting preliminary observations to spur discussion and public engagement with these important documents.

Tags: CAMs, law  |  1 comment

Holford peddling vitamins to children


Vitamin salesman Patrick Holford is making implausible claims again. This time it's to sell his micronutrient supplement, Smart Kid Brains Boost.

The 1957 Witchcraft Act

Examination of a Witch

In Mary-Jane Matsolo's article on the Khayelitsha Witch Burning case, we asked for readers to provide information on the 1957 Witchcraft Act. Here is feedback from two readers who have investigated the history of this act.

Tags: witchcraft  |  0 comments

Studies examining the efficacy of antidepressants

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Carravagio

John Joska's article drew a strongly worded response from one of our regular readers. I do not have the knowledge, training or expertise to give an opinion. Nevertheless, and with some trepidation, I have put together a small collection of what I suspect are key studies of antidepressants, including their conclusions or main findings. I hope you find it useful. You are welcome to add others in the comments. If they are peer-reviewed studies published in reputable journals, I will add a Further Reading section to this article and link to them.