SSMJ August 2014
The University of Winchester in the UK has recently established a Centre for Medical, Health and Social Care Education overseas. The Centre is located in the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care but has no physical presence at the University and works ‘virtually’ through establishing contacts with others working on overseas development projects.
News, Reports and Policy
"This book should be in every health unit in Africa", so said a highly critical and long experienced doctor and aid worker of an earlier edition. Its purpose is to stop mothers dying and to reduce Africa's maternal mortality.
South Sudan has the unenviable reputation of having one of the worst rates of maternal deaths in the world. The challenge for everybody is to reduce this horrific loss of valuable lives and reduce the high levels of morbidity in mothers and the newborn. At least 80% of all maternal deaths result from five complications: hemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, obstructed labour and miscarriage (abortion). There are relatively inexpensive, effective, evidenced-based interventions for the management of these conditions which can be readily used in low resource regions with appropriate training of staff.
Hepatitis is major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in the developing world. The major causes of infective hepatitis are hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D or E. In the acute phase, there are no clinical features that can reliably differentiate between these viruses. Infection may be asymptomatic or can present as jaundice, fevers, abdominal pain, fatigue or vomiting. An acute hepatitis infection can last days to months, but can also cause fulminant liver failure.
In this article, we outline the state of HBV prevalence, screening and management in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We highlight the urgent need for greater international support to improve local infrastructure for effective prevention and clinical management strategies for HBV infection.
We describe a case of corneal abscess presenting three years after uneventful cataract extraction with posterior chamber lens implantation through a limbal incision secured with three sutures placed in the clear cornea. After removing the abscess, a loose 10/0 nylon suture was found at the base of an ulcer.
The tippy tap is a hands-free way to wash your hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever and thus reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user touches only the soap. It uses only 40 millilitres of water to wash your hands versus 500 millilitres using a mug. Additionally, the used “waste” water can go to plants or back into the water table.
Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide and is responsible for 34% of maternal deaths in Africa . It is defined as blood loss of more than 500 ml following vaginal delivery or more than 1000 ml following Caesarean delivery . Blood loss can occur during the first 24 hours (primary PPH) or from 24 hours up to 6 weeks after delivery (secondary PPH). Primary PPH classified by site is either placental or extra-placental bleeding . Secondary PPH is abnormal or excessive bleeding from the birth canal between 24 hours and 12 weeks postnatally
Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disease of unknown cause. It occurs worldwide but there are higher incidences in certain racial groups, being three to four times more common in African-Americans . It can also aggregate in families. Most patients do not need treatment and the disease often regresses spontaneously, but a minority have potentially life-threatening progressive organ dysfunction; these patients need active management including oral corticosteroids.
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