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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All Scrubbed Up Retiring...

Unfortunately due to other commitments and just generally getting older, SA Doc and myself have to announce that All Scrubbed is retiring. It's been one helluva ride - and thank you to everyone for being part of it. Every comment was highly appreciated and kept us going through the last 2 years.


We'll obviously keep it alive so you can trawl through the archives. There are some doozies!
Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Totsiens! Ciao!


Blog closed.


End.

GUEST POST: How to Improve Medical Services in Third World Countries

The world has become a much smaller place, thanks to technology and globalization. But no matter how connected we are, there still exist huge disparities between the rich and the poor. The gap gets wider with each passing year, for individuals and nations. In the eyes of the developed world, third world countries are perceived as places where the standard of living is poor and where the things they take for granted are considered luxuries. In reality however, third world countries have their share of both the obscenely rich and the dirt poor. And the main reason for their backwardness is not just the paucity of money, but also the lack of awareness and education among the poorer and downtrodden sections of society.

When we consider the state of medical services in these countries, we see that the rich are able to afford any kind of treatment for all kinds of diseases. But for the poor and the middle class, medication is prohibitively expensive simply because quality medical services are only offered by the private sector. The government does offer services for the poor and those who are not able to afford private medical treatment, but the quality of treatment is poor at times. Also, the facilities are often overcrowded and not hygienic, and this makes the middle class hesitant to seek medical treatment at these places.

Improving medical services in third world countries is an uphill climb, but it can be done if:


  • Tax money is put to better use – to build cleaner and more spacious medical facilities and to pay qualified doctors and other healthcare personnel so that they don’t move away to set up their own private practice or join a private care provider.
  • Politicians don’t get greedy and swindle public funds that are meant for the improvement of society and the common man.
  • Bribery is abolished and doctors and healthcare personnel are encouraged to offer better services through various incentives.
  • People are made more aware of the need for cleanliness and personal hygiene.
  • Education is made compulsory for children so that they have opportunities to leave behind the squalor and poverty they grew up in.
  • Smaller towns and villages are better linked by road to cities and larger towns where there are better medical facilities.
  • Mobile medical services are introduced in remote villages so that diseases are diagnosed in the early stages and the need for emergency care and hospitalization is minimized.
  • More emphasis is placed on preventive rather than curative care. When this happens and people are more aware of the need for preventive care through the right diet and regular exercise, healthcare begins to look up in any nation, developed or developing.


By-line:

This guest article is written by Teresa Jackson, she writes on the subject of online NP schools . She invites your questions, comments at her email address : teresa.jackson19@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Coffee good for that heart?

Drinking coffee 'protects the heart'. Researchers have discovered that regular coffee drinkers are less likely to be admitted to hospital with irregular heart beats or rhythms. And the more cups they drink a day, the less likely they are to suffer from the condition. (From The Telegraph).

OK.

But isn't red wine and whiskey good for the heart as well? Hook me up to a combo drip of the 3 of those.

I've thought of SA Doc's next post. WHY COFFEE WILL KILL YOU.

Awesome.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anyone still listening?

So, SA Doc is losing a bit of faith in this blog, not finding the time to feed her ghost writer with juicy medical tidbits. Is there anyone out there still reading this?

Time to pack in the towel on 2 years of awesome medical blogging and fun - or should we kick SA Doc in the ass and get some more stories?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fellatio reduces risk of breast cancer!

I think that this post should be a warning to all that not all medical information available on the web is true. I constantly have patients bringing me the latest information that they have downloaded from the web about their particular condition. 90% of the time, it is rootin tootin junk. It requires great diplomacy to explain that to them, since these web pages usually gives them false hope about the treatments that they may need (or may be able to avoid).

CLAIM: According to a university study, oral sex may significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer in women.

No, this wasn't a real CNN page (or Associated Press article), nor did North Carolina State University perform a study on the connection between fellatio and breast cancer. (If nothing else, the names of the doctors cited in the article — "Dr. B.J. Sooner," "Dr. Inserta Shafteer," "Dr. Len Lictepeen" — should have given it away as a hoax.)

More info here...

Sies!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Australian Doctors...

Recently reported by The Daily Maverick...

The Australian Medical Association ran an advertisement in newspapers offering a bounty of A$3,000 (just over R20,000) to anyone who persuades a foreign doctor to work in that country.

We're short 2500 doctors in this bloody country. Oz should leave ours alone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Your Medical Records Belong To You

I've been engaging a lot recently with the notion of an electronic health record. For those of you who don't know, this is usually an online version of collated data to do with your health. Simply - your pathology, your doc notes, all the hospital visits, illnesses and drug usage are kept in one secure place. You can access it and most of the time, so can a healthcare provider.

For those of you that are not in tune with the medical world - this is something you have to know about as it is the backbone of the Obama administration. By having an electronic health record, there is a saving on administration as well as all the good things a centralised database brings. eg. Less duplication of tests and better management of healthcare.

Discovery Health in South Africa is launching one next year. It'll be interesting to see how the "population" engages with it.

This blog is very interesting in that it clearly outlines the fact that your medical records belong to YOU. Many people are under the misconception that your doctor owns your medical records - and that the only way to access them is via that doctor. This is not true. Your health. Your body. Your money spent to purchase medication/tests etc.

It belongs to you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GUEST POST: How to Ensure Healthy Babies For HIV Mothers

It’s a problem that still plagues most third world countries because the level of awareness is pretty low, because the people are not educated enough, and because HIV/AIDS is still rampant. The most important thing on an HIV positive pregnant woman’s mind is the fear that she will pass on the dreaded disease to her unborn child, and most women opt for an abortion rather than put their child through the same torment that they undergo every day. But the truth is, if you follow the right precautions, babies with HIV mothers are unaffected by this virus.

Combination antiretroviral therapy must be provided to the mother during pregnancy and during labor, and to the child after birth.

Breastfeeding must be avoided as much as possible, and if the mother insists on it or if the child is allergic to other forms of sustenance, they can try the preventive method suggested by a study conducted by the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. According to this study, providing the infant with antiretroviral syrup every day or treating the mother with highly active antiretroviral drugs helps prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.


  • Mothers must be encouraged to follow hygienic procedures and drink water that is potable or filtered.
  • Mothers must work closely with their clinicians to monitor the baby and ensure maximum protection for their child.
  • Doctors must ensure that the mother’s blood does not enter the baby’s bloodstream at the time of birth
  • A natural birth is a definite no-no in such situations. The mother must be prepared for a C section.
  • The mother must undergo regular prenatal checks and follow her doctor’s instructions to the letter.
  • The babies will be monitored closely for up to six weeks after birth.

It’s up to the mother to see that her baby does not suffer from this dreaded disease. As long as she is confident and careful, there’s no reason why her baby cannot be born healthy. Doctors allow a 98 percent chance that HIV mothers will deliver healthy babies.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of nurse practitioner schools . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: adrienne.carlson1@gmail.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

Smoking laws work - Study.

Quick excerpt here from a 2001 study that proves tobacco laws reduce smoking. This is damn old. We're getting better at it. The source site is also great for other South African public health statistics.

Tobacco consumption declines
by Mokgadi Pela
2001-03-16

Tobacco consumption in South Africa has fallen for eight consecutive years since 1991, a meeting to discuss the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control heard in Sandton, Johannesburg, on the 12th of March. Delivering the keynote address, Dr Derek Yach, of the World Health Organisation, said this was a result of sustained tobacco control measures. He said in 1998-99 more than 30 billion cigarettes were released for consumption, down by 17 percent from the 36 billion released in 1993-94. The work of public health advocates in South Africa thrived. Led by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, South Africa's tobacco control story is now a shining example for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of public excellence and political courage. The 11th World Conference on Tobacco held last year in Chicago saluted this leadership with an award recognising her exemplary courage, Yach said. Crucially, the declines have been most significant among the poorest and the youngest groups in the country. New laws banning smoking in public places and the complete ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, which is being incrementally introduced this year, are likely to push the rates down even faster, he added. Yach dismissed claims that tobacco control would lead to job losses. (Source: Sowetan, 13 March 2001)

Tobacco consumption in South Africa has fallen for eight consecutive years since 1991, a meeting to discuss the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control heard in Sandton, Johannesburg, on the 12th of March. Delivering the keynote address, Dr Derek Yach, executive director of non-communicable diseases and menial health at the World Health Organisation, said this was a result of sustained tobacco control measures.

He said in 1998-99 more than 30 billion cigarettes were released for consumption, down by 17 percent from the 36 billion released in 1993-94. The work of public health advocates in South Africa thrived. Led by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, South Africa's tobacco control story is now a shining example for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of public excellence and political courage. The 11th World Conference on Tobacco held last year in Chicago saluted this leadership with an award recognising her exemplary courage, Yach said.

Crucially, the declines have been most significant among the poorest and the youngest groups in the country. New laws banning smoking in public places and the complete ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, which is being incrementally introduced this year, are likely to push the rates down even faster, he added. Yach dismissed claims that tobacco control would lead to job losses.

We know from economists around the world that far from causing job losses, people who stop smoking will spend their money on other goods and services, resulting in an increase in employment in those sectors. We know what works in South Africa will work in many other countries, Yach said.

Speaking at the same forum. Tshabalala-Msimang said her department would tighten the laws controlling smoking to ensure that everyone has an environment that's not harmful to their well-being. She said the tobacco industry had shown they'll use any loophole to protect their product. We will also find all the gaps and close them.

Tshabalala-Msimang urged participating nations to pass laws that would ensure that the youth and all vulnerable groups were protected from the harmful effects of smoking.


Source: Sowetan, 13 March 2001

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Smoking Laws

For those of you who don't know... Smoking laws are getting stricter. YES! Good on ya, South Africa. If only they'd extend it to alcohol (btw, when is SAB going to STOP making quarts in glass bottles? Have you SEEN Friday night at Bara??)



Although he pokes fun and says that smoking laws do nothing - this is not true. There have been large changes in the prevalence of smoking of the first set of laws were passed in South Africa. Same for you overseas? Another post on this soon.

More on iMod.

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