Raiders bring Keon Hatcher back after Brandon LaFell’s season-ending Achilles injury

first_imgALAMEDA — The Raiders signed wide receiver Keon Hatcher to their 53-man roster Monday to replace Brandon LaFell, who injured his Achilles in the Raiders’ win over the Cardinals on Sunday. LaFell heads to injured reserve, and his season is over.He sustained the injury on an acrobatic 24-yard catch on 3rd-and-4 midway through the third quarter, his second catch of the day after an earlier 5-yard touchdown grab. LaFell entered Sunday as the Raiders’ No. 1 receiver with knee injuries to Jordy …last_img read more

Why A’s threw a party for Joakim Soria

first_imgST. LOUIS — Replete with a cake bearing the Mexican flag and his record number, the Oakland A’s honored reliever Joakim Soria on Wednesday for achieving a milestone among Mexican-born pitchers. Soria pitched an inning of relief Tuesday night in the A’s 7-3 victory over the Cardinals – the 647th appearance of his career and most-ever by a Mexican-born pitcher.“You have to be healthy. You have to be in the big leagues. You have to perform,” Soria said in explaining the mark. “You have to be in …last_img read more

Health care in South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa’s public health system is a countrywide network of care facilities ranging from mobile and rural clinics to huge academic hospitals in the urban centres.A new mother takes her baby for a checkup and vaccinations at a local clinic. (Image: Department of Health)In this article:IntroductionExpenditure on healthNational, provincial and localNational Health InsuranceFacilitiesDoctor shortagesStatutory bodiesLegislationHealth profile: HIV, TB, maternal and child health, malariaTraditional medicineIntroductionHealth care in South Africa varies from the most basic primary health care, offered free by the state, to highly specialised, hi-tech health services available in the both the public and private sector.However, the public sector is stretched and under-resourced in places. While the state contributes about 40% of all expenditure on health, the public health sector is under pressure to deliver services to about 80% of the population.The private sector, on the other hand, is run largely on commercial lines and caters to middle- and high-income earners who tend to be members of medical schemes. It also attracts most of the country’s health professionals.This two-tiered system is not only inequitable and inaccessible to a large portion of South Africans, but institutions in the public sector have suffered poor management, underfunding and deteriorating infrastructure. While access has improved, the quality of health care has fallen.The situation is compounded by public health challenges, including the burden of diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis (TB), and a shortage of key medical personnel.However, the South African government is responding with a far-reaching reform plan to revitalise and restructure the South African health care system, including:Fast-tracking the implementation of a National Health Insurance scheme, which will eventually cover all South Africans.Strengthening the fight against HIV and TB, non-communicable diseases, as well as injury and violence.Improving human-resource management at state hospitals and strengthening co- ordination between the public and private health sector.Deploying “health teams” to communities and schools.Regulating costs to make health care affordable to all.Increasing life expectancy from 56.5 years in 2009 to 58.5 years in 2014.ExpenditureThe bulk of health-sector funding comes from the South Africa’s National Treasury. The health budget for 2012/13 was R121-billion, which was aimed at improving hospitals and strengthening public health ahead of the National Health Insurance scheme.In 2011, total spend on health was R248.6-billion – or around 8.3% of GDP, way above the 5% recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Despite this high expenditure, health outcomes remain poor when compared to similar middle-income countries. This can largely be attributed to the inequities between the public and private sector.According to the National Treasury’s Fiscal Review for 2011, the GDP spend on health was split as follows:R120.8-billion (48.5%) in the private sector, which covers 16.2% of the population or 8.2-million people, many of whom have medical cover.R122.4-billion (49.2%) in the public sector, which is made up of 84% of the population, or 42-million people, who generally rely on the public health care sector.The remaining R5.3-billion (2.3%) is donor and NGO spend.See South Africa gears up for National HealthThe latest budget on the National Treasury’s websiteNational, provincial and localBefore South Africa’s first democratic elections, hospitals were assigned to particular racial groups and most were concentrated in white areas. With 14 different health departments, the system was characterised by fragmentation and duplication. But in 1994 the dismantling began, and transformation is now under fully under way.However, high levels of poverty and unemployment mean health care remains largely the burden of the state. The Department of Health holds overall responsibility for health care, with a specific responsibility for the public sector.Visit the Department of HealthProvincial health departments provide and manage comprehensive health services, via a district-based, public health-care model. Local hospital management has delegated authority over operational issues, such as the budget and human resources, to facilitate quicker responses to local needs.Public health consumes around 11% of the government’s total budget, which is allocated and mostly spent by the nine provinces. How these resources are allocated, and the standard of health care delivered, varies from province to province.A Health Charter has been devised with the aim of creating a platform for engagement between sectors to address issues of access, equity and quality of health services as well as issues of broad-based black economic empowerment and employment equity.Download a copy of the Revised Draft Health Charter [PDF]South Africa has more than 110 registered medical schemes, with around 3,4-million principal members (and 7,8-million beneficiaries).See the Council for Medical Schemes, an autonomous statutory body created by parliament.Hundreds of NGOs make an essential contribution to HIV, Aids and TB, mental health, cancer, disability and the development of public health systems. The part played by NGOs – from a national level, through provincial and local, to their role in individual communities – is vitally important to the functioning of the overall system.National Health InsuranceThe Department of Health is focused on implementing an improved health system, which involves an emphasis focus on public health, as well as improving the functionality and management of the system through stringent budget and expenditure monitoring.Known as the “10-point plan”, the strategic programme is improving hospital infrastructure and human resources management, as well as procurement of the necessary equipment and skills.Under this plan, health facilities – such as nursing colleges and tertiary hospitals – are being upgraded and rebuilt to lay the way for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.The NHI is intended to bring about reform that will improve service provision and health care delivery. It will promote equity and efficiency to ensure that all South Africans have access to affordable, quality health care services regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution to the NHI Fund.The NHI will be phased in over 14 years, beginning in 2012. In 2012/13, the government earmarked R1-billion to its pilot projects.Apart from infrastructure and management overhauls, another factor for ensuring the success of the NHI will be the strict regulation of the sector to make it more affordable to all South Africans.See the Department of Health’s FAQs on the NHIFacilitiesThere are 4 200 public health facilities in South Africa. People per clinic is 13  718, exceeding WHO guidelines of 10 000 per clinic. However, figures from March 2009 show that people averaged 2.5 visits a year to public health facilities and the usable bed occupancy rates were between 65% and 77% at hospitals.Since 1994, more than 1 600 clinics have been built or upgraded. Free health care for children under six and for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers was introduced in the mid-1990s.The National Health Laboratory Service is the largest pathology service in South Africa. It has 265 laboratories, serving 80% of South Africans. The labs provide diagnostic services as well as health-related research.See the National Health Laboratory ServiceDoctor shortagesIn March 2012, 165 371 qualified health practitioners in both public and private sectors were registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the health practitioner watchdog body. This includes 38 236 doctors and 5 560 dentists.The doctor-to-population ratio is estimated to be 0.77 per 1 000. But because the vast majority of GPs – 73% – work in the private sector, there is just one practising doctor for every 4 219 people.In response, the Department of Health has introduced clinical health associates, midlevel health-care providers, to work in underserved rural areas.About 1 200 medical students graduate annually. In some communities, medical students provide health services at clinics under supervision. Newly graduating doctors and pharmacists complete a year of compulsory community service in understaffed hospitals and clinics.In an attempt to boost the number of doctors in the country, South Africa signed a co- operation agreement with Cuba in 1995. South Africa has since recruited hundreds of Cuban doctors to practice here, while South Africa is able to send medical students to Cuba to study.South Africa believes the Cuban opportunity will help train the doctors it so desperately needs for the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme.Other agreements exist with Tunisia and Iran, as well as between Johannesburg Hospital and Maputo Central Hospital.The government has also made it easier for other foreign doctors to register here.The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa had 3 773 registered “complementary health” practitioners in 2012.See the Allied Health Professions Council of South AfricaStatutory bodiesStatutory bodies for the health-service professions include:Allied Health Professions Council of South AfricaCouncil for Medical SchemesHealth Professions Council of South AfricaMedicines Control CouncilThe National Health Laboratory ServiceSouth African Dental Technicians CouncilSouth African Medical Research CouncilSouth African Nursing CouncilSouth African Pharmacy CouncilLegislationThe National Health Act, 61 of 2003, provides a framework for a single health system for South Africa. The Act provides for a number of basic health care rights, including the right to emergency treatment and the right to participate in decisions regarding one’s health.The implementation of the Act was initiated in 2006, and some provinces are engaged in aligning their provincial legislation with the national Act.Other legislation relating to health care, some recently passed, include laws which aim to:Ensure all health establishments comply with minimum standards through an independent entity (National Health Amendment Bill, 2010)Make drugs more affordable and provide for transparency in the pricing of medicines (Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act, 59 of 2002)Regulate the medical schemes industry to prevent it from discriminating against “high risk” individuals like the aged and sick (Medical Schemes Act, 1998)Legalise abortion and allow for safe access to it in both public and private health facilities (Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 92 of 1996)Limit smoking in public places, create public awareness of the health risks of tobacco by requiring certain information on packaging, and prohibt the sale of tobacco produces to anyone younger than 18 (Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act, 23 of 2007)Provide for the introduction of mandatory community service for nurses (Nursing Act, 2005)Introduce a process to develop and redesign mental health services so as to grant basic rights to people with mental illnesses (Mental Health Care Act, 2002)Allow non-pharmacists to own pharmacies, with the aim of improving access to medicines (Pharmacy Amendment Act, 2000). This came into effect during May 2003.Other important developments in health care policy and legislation include:The Health Professions Amendment Bill of 2006The Traditional Health Practitioners Act, 35 of 2004Regulations relating to the Labelling and Advertising of Foodstuffs came into effect in May 2012, and aim to empower citizens to make healthy food choices.Find full copies of health-related Acts, Bills, and other legal documents on the Department of Health’s websiteHealth profileHIV and tuberculosisAids and other poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis and cholera place a tremendous strain on South Africa’s health care system. According to Statistics South Africa, in 2011:The overall HIV prevalence rate was 10,6%. About one-fifth of South African women in their reproductive ages were HIV positive.There were 5,38-million people living with HIV. This was up from 4,21-million in 2001.16,6% of the adult population (aged 15-49) years was HIV positive.There were about 2,01-million orphans due to HIV.New HIV infections for 2011 among adults was estimated at 316 900.An estimated 1,06-million adults and 105 123 children were receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2010. This was up from 101 416 and close to 12 000 children in 2005.In May 2012, the government said it had cut the mother-to-child transmission rate from 3.5% in 2010 to less than 2%. It also said the rate of new infections had dropped from 1.4% to 0.8% in the 18 to 24 age groups.South Africa’s HIV/Aids battle planHealth sector overhaul on track: reportHIV and TB are dangerous bed fellows: the co-infection rates exceed 70%, with TB being the most common opportunistic infection in HIV-positive patients.Because of late detection, poor treatment management, drug-resistant forms of TB (known as DR-TB or multidrug-resistant TB; and XDR TB or extensively drug-resistant TB) have increased significantly, with about 5 500 cases diagnosed during 2009.See the WHO’s factsheet on tuberculosisIntegrating the double scourge of HIV/Aids and TB for the first time, the government has launched the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and TB for 2012 – 2016. It is shored up by a provincial implementation programme.The plan seeks to address the social structural drivers of HIV/Aids, STD and TB care, prevention and support; to prevent new infections; to sustain health and wellness; and to protect human rights and access to justice of sufferers.The HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign was launched in April 2010 – by mid- 2012, almost 20-million people had been tested and knew their status. Millions were also screened for TB.Increasing the number of anti-retroviral sites as well as nurses certified to initiate ARV treatment has seen 1.7-million people placed on ARV treatment, from 1.1-million in 2009. South Africa has the largest ARV therapy programme in the world, and an improved procurement process has seen a 50% decrease in the prices of ARV drugs.Download the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and TB for 2012 [PDF]Download the Global Aid Response Progress Report 2012 [PDF]Visit UNAids profile of South Africa, which includes statistics and progress reportsMaternal healthSouth Africa is a signatory to several international commitments such as the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seeks to address the health needs of women and children. However, in South Africa the health of mothers and children remains poor.According to statistics from WHO, South Africa has a maternal mortality ratio of 310 deaths per 100 000 lives births. The infant (under-1) mortality rate in 2010 was 41 deaths per 1 000 live births, while the under-5 mortality rate was 57 per 1 000 live births.Under the national prevention of mother-to-child (PMTCT) programme, every pregnant woman is offered HIV testing and counselling. If a woman tests positive for HIV, she is put on to a regime of anti-retroviral therapy to avoid transmitting the virus to her baby, and is offered a continuum of treatment, care and support for herself and her infant.But it is really access and utilisation of antenatal care services that most influence pregnancy outcome, child survival and maternal health. The renewed focus on primary health and the improving and expanding the health system infrastructure should go some way to addressing the high mortality rates – and get South Africa closer to the MDG target of reducing infant mortality to 20 by 2015.The Department of Health has a strategic plan in place which identifies “priority interventions” that will have the greatest influence on reducing mortality rates, as well as enhancing gender equity and reproductive health.The campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), an African Union initiative, was launched in May 2012 and aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates.Download the Strategic Plan for Maternal, Newborn, Child and Women’s Health and Nutrition in South Africa 2012 – 2016 [PDF]See the UN website on its Millennium Development GoalsRead more about the African Union’s CARMMA campaignChild healthImmunisation is a significant barrier against disease and death, and the rates of children receiving their primary vaccines have steadily been increasing under immunisation programmes. These aim to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, TB, cholera and pertussis.Measures to improve child health also include the expansion and strengthening of school health services and the establishment of district clinical specialist teams.Other prevention services, such as regular deworming and growth monitoring, help protect children’s health.The Health of our Children report in 2010, which surveyed 8 966 children, found that HIV prevalence among infants (age 0 to 2 years) was 2.1%, lower than the 3.3% average in the age 0 to 4 years, suggesting a positive impact of the national Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission programme, begun in 2006.Download a copy of the Health of our Children reportMalariaMalaria is not endemic in South Africa, and does not pose a major health risk. According to the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2010, only 4% of the population is at high risk of malaria and 6% at low risk, while 90% live in malaria-free areas. Almost all cases are caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Transmission occurs seasonally, with peak rates of infection occurring in April and declining by June.See the WHO’s Malaria Country Profile, 2010 for South Africa [PDF]Traditional medicineAn estimated 80% of South Africans consult with traditional healers alongside general medical practitioners.The Medical Research Council (MRC) founded a traditional medicines research unit in 1997 to introduce modern research methodologies around the use of traditional medicines. It also aims to develop a series of patents for promising new entities derived from medicinal plants.See the MRC’s Traditional Medicines Research UnitBrand South Africa reporterLast reviewed: 2 July 2012Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Investors share insights at first Global Entrepreneurship Congress held in Africa

first_imgThe Global Entrepreneurship Congress gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to investors. Others got a chance to hear insights from business experts from all over the world.Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa cuts the ribbon to open the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Johannesburg on 14 March 2017. With him is Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu (far left), the conference’s chief executive officer Jonathan Ortmans, Minister Aisha Abubakar of Nigeria (on right) and Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa. (Image Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanLook at how you can execute and get traction with the resources that you have, advised one of the investors at a session during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC).The GEC, a Global Entrepreneurship Network event, took place in Johannesburg from 13-16 March 2017. Speaking at the opening, Lindiwe Zulu, minister of small business development, said: “We’re proud that this conference is here on the African continent for the first time.”According to a GEC press release, people from more than 170 countries from all over the world attended the congress. There were 3,000 delegates, according to Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network.Meet to share ideasSpeaking at the official opening on 14 March, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said delegates were meeting to share ideas. One of the reasons for this was to rekindle hope “for our people for a better tomorrow”.The GEC was a platform for African entrepreneurs to connect with global investors, he said. “I invite you to put your best foot forward; shine in front of these investors.”He challenged Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba to help small, medium and micro enterprises to thrive by reducing the day to day costs of doing business, as well as reducing the cost of data, transport and financial services.The GEC theme was “Digital disruption”, prompting Ramaphosa to say that digital disruption was the cornerstone of a modern and diversified economy. “It enhances customers’ experiences. Businesses must embrace digital as an enabler.”He added: “Our main focus is profitable and sustainable businesses… We must foster an African entrepreneur network and go forth with intra-Africa trade. We invite others to collaborate with us.”Delegates tweeted their views:Winners of the GEN pitching competition cc @DroppaZA @vhalikza, Bandile Dlabantu & Dineo Lioma #GEC2017 ^eN2 pic.twitter.com/p4cCOInyyD— #GEC2017 (@GENSouthAfrica) March 15, 2017#inspiringAfricanwomen showcase their products @ #GEC2017 #SMEs r future of #Africa #industrialization. With Kuda Mupawose of FESO Africa pic.twitter.com/KUfAqeAY93— Daktari Kategekwa (@JoyKategekwa) March 16, 2017The #GEC2017 was a great conference.. I look forward to seeing the impact in Africa..#RealEntrepreneurs@Work @1voice_radio @harryakinola— Tonito Samuel (@tonitosamuel) March 16, 2017Inspired, motivated, networked, going to implement @NgwanaEnterpri @GENSouthAfrica @sacyjosecarlos pic.twitter.com/kJQUg7k2nG— Tebogo Modisagape (@tebbyvalentia) March 16, 2017Lessons from investorsIn the session “Investing in emerging markets”, international investors gave advice about what they looked for when entrepreneurs approached them for funding:“Talk in numbers.” – Yusuf Randera-Rees of Awethu Project in South Africa“Nothing says more in traction than your resources you can execute with. Look at how you can execute and get traction.” – Igor Oliveira of Semente in Brazil.“If you’re someone who says ‘I’m going to keep on going,’ that is a human aspect for me. If I feel the person is not in it for the right reasons, I won’t go for it [invest in it].” – Christopher Schroeder of Startup Rising in the United States.“Investors buy into you, not the idea.” – Tomi Davies of the African Business Angel Network in Mauritius.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

AGL gears up for tenth season

first_imgArabian Gulf League Arabian Gulf League gears up for tenth season Goal Last updated 2 years ago 04:27 15/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Al Wasl v Al Ain Al Ain FC Arabian Gulf League The new Arabian Gulf League season will see 12 teams battle for top honours. The Arabian Gulf League is back this weekend for a tenth season.The new campaign kicks-off following the success of last season when the league was named Asia’s top domestic competition twice, while the Pro League Committee looks ahead to more progress this season with new development initiatives and marketing projects aimed at raising the value of the competition and enhancing its brand.This year will see 12 teams instead of 14 battling for glory, following club mergers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing The inaugural matchweek takes place on September 15 and 16 with three matches on each day.The competition gets underway in Ras Al Khaima where Emirates host Al Dhafra at 17:30.Al Jazira welcome Ajman to Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium at 17:40 while Al Nasr travel to Sharjah for the 20:30 kick-off.Day two sees Shabab Al Ahli Dubai’s first league match against Hatta at Rashid Stadium at 17:35.Al Wahda face Dibba at 17:40 and the matchweek concludes by a heavyweight clash between Al Ain and Al Wasl at 20:30 at Al Ain’s Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium.last_img read more