A simple plastic heart valve designed to treat rheumatic heart disease in a cost-effective and
accessible way has been developed by a South African company, helping the 1.4-million sufferers
of the disease – the vast majority of whom live in the developing world.
The recent introduction of new childhood vaccines in South Africa has cut the number of children
under five suffering from life-threatening pneumonia by 70%, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told
Parliament on Tuesday.
Medical research grants worth $8-million in first-year funding have been awarded by the National
Institutes of Health and the South African Medical Research Council. They will target research
into HIV and Aids, TB and cancers at eight South African institutions.
Doctors at Stellenbosch University have described the operation as a massive breakthrough -
especially in a country where many young men lose their penises due to complications
after traditional circumcision.
Another group of South African health workers, comprising nurses and paramedics, are
flying to Sierra Leone, where they will join other agencies in combating the Ebola
outbreak and treating people infected with the virus.
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