Month: August 2011

Burden of Disease Research Unit MRC, Parow (Western Cape): Fieldworkers (38 posts)

We require fieldworkers that work in teams to capture data (using a cell phone) from post mortem folders at selected mortuaries.

Parenting Interventions for the Prevention of Child Abuse – Reviewing the Evidence

Child abuse is a global concern with millions of children growing up in toxic and dysfunctional family environments, regularly facing adversity and abuse. Experiencing abuse and neglect in childhood can have long lasting effects on brain development, psychological functioning, mental health, health risk behaviours, life expectancy and social functioning of both male and female survivors. The profound impact child sexual abuse has on victims, families and communities, demands that we prioritise both responses and prevention efforts. Data on what works and how we stop child abuse however remains limited, particularly in developing countries. This article provides a summary of some of the research done to date on the prevention of child abuse, specifically focusing on parenting interventions, drawing on findings from two systematic reviews of the literature commissioned by the Sexual Violence Research Initiative.

Maternal mortality and morbidity – still not right

Maternal death (death during pregnancy or less than 42 days after the end of a pregnancy) is the outcome measure that causes serious concern to public health authorities and maternity care clinicians. No health outcome shows such large discrepancies between rich and poor nations. The burden of maternal mortality and morbidity remains unacceptably high in South Africa. MDG 5a – the reduction of maternal mortality by 75% from 1990 to 2015 – will most likely not be achieved in South Africa. However, some reduction in the maternal mortality rate can be expected if the HIV and AIDS treatment rollout and the ten key recommendations can be properly implemented.

HIV Vaccine development: Challenges and Progress

As we enter the fourth decade of the HIV epidemic, UNAIDS vision calls for zero discrimination, zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS related deaths through universal access to effective HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Access to antiretroviral therapy provides the potential to curb AIDS related deaths, but there is still a very long way to go. Until fairly recently, most HIV prevention strategies focused on socio-behavioural interventions with condoms, ‘faithful’ relationships and abstinence together being hailed as the main prevention messages. Current strategies include the use of vaginal microbicides and male medical circumcision. Although a lot of progress has been made in the prevention research arena, it is irrefutable that the development of a safe and effective vaccine becomes the best hope for ultimately ending the HIV pandemic. However, the field of HIV vaccine development research is fraught with many extraordinary challenges.

Opinion: Cervical cancer – a vaccine preventable disease

Cervical cancer will develop in one out of every 35 South African women and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths amongst South African women. Approximately nine South African women die every day from cervical cancer. The aim of this opinion piece is to highlight the fact that the cervical screening does not seems to work in South Africa (low coverage) and therefore vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is causing cervical cancer, should not be postponed anymore, in order to save lives.

PHASA 2011 Conference update – August

The workshops have been finalized and delegates can register for the workshop of their choice now. Key-note speakers have been confirmed.

Skills-building workshops on how to write a scientific abstract

PHASA organised three abstract writing workshops on the 20th of June 2011 in order to improve the quality of abstracts submitted for the conference.

Woman in Public Health: Prof Angela Mathee

Interview with Prof Angela Mathee, head of the Medical Research Council’s Environment & Health Research Unit and her main research interests are exposure to lead amongst South African children and urban housing and health.

Woman in Public Health: Dr Spo Kgalamono

Interview with Dr Spo Kgalamono, Head of Occupational Medicine and is currently focussing on mental health in the workplace.

Woman in Public Health: Prof Lizette Koekemoer

Interview with Prof Lizette Koekemoer, Head of the Vector Control Reference Unit University of the Witwatersrand and her assay that differentiates between malaria vector species and other species has made a big impact on the South African malaria control.

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