What you need to know about the inspection and certification of hospitals, clinics, and community health centres

The Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) was created by the Act of Parliament through an amendment to the National Health Act to protect and promote the health and safety of users of health establishments across the country.

Colds, flu and coughing: a review of over-the-counter cold and flu medicines

The constellation of a sore throat, rhinorrhoea, nasal congestion, coughing, low-grade fever, headaches and the malaise of the common cold, has been recognised as a disease entity since antiquity. The common cold is the most frequent human illness, and is caused by members of several families of viruses. The most likely offenders are the ±100 serotypes of rhinoviruses.

Migraine: an evidence-based approach for GPs

Headache disorders are classified by the ICHD-III as primary headache disorders, which include migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, as well as other primary headache disorders, and secondary headache disorders which include a new headache occurring with another lesion capable of causing it (e.g., headache attributed to intracranial tumour). Migraine is a syndrome characterised by periodic headaches with complete resolution between attacks. The frequency of attacks is variable, occurring as low as several per lifetime to as high as several per week. Headache frequency may predict progression from episodic to chronic migraine.

Sexually transmissible infections: current approaches to management

Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) continue to cause a significant amount of morbidity and mortality globally, particularly within Africa. South Africa has a high STI burden, with an estimated incidence of 70 675 cases of active syphilis, 4.5 million cases of gonorrhoea and 5.8 million cases of chlamydia per year as of 2017. Sequelae of untreated STIs include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, adverse pregnancy outcomes and congenital infections. The interaction between HIV and STIs is synergistic, and STIs are known to increase the risk of HIV transmission and acquisition.  Syndromic management remains the mainstay of STI management in South Africa, however, there is a shift towards considering aetiological management of STIs where resources are available. This reflects the growing appreciation of the role asymptomatic STIs play in genital inflammation, particularly in young women.

Will the guilty hormone stand up? Menopause is not an oestrogen deficiency-induced condition – the reproductive hormonal system is an orchestra, not a single guitarist on a street corner

This is the second of a number of articles on menopause. Previously, we took a brief tour through the ‘textbook’ hormonal dance of the menstrual cycle during the reproductive years to set up a foundation for the changes that occur at menopause.  Today we want to, firstly, provide simple answers as to the causes of the cessation of menstruation, and the immediate, obvious, and subsequent changes in steroid hormonal levels. Secondly, we will engage in an introductory exploration of the ‘scope of practice’ of the multi-faceted hormones most affected after the final menstrual period, and the hormonal role played by environmental and dietary compounds.

Coming clean: Saying ‘know’ to drugs – Part II

Due to the repeated drug narratives based on a moral or political position, people who carry a lot of fear throw common sense out the window. One thing they don’t do is speak to people who actually use drugs, whose opinions are often disregarded, even in research, because the accepted narrative is that you can’t trust someone who uses drugs. And this has led to some big problems in the South African context. The other day, a paper described nyaope as unique to South Africa. It’s just not true. Nyaope is unregulated diamorphine or heroin. Heroin here has the same chemical makeup that you’ll see in Italy. It’s the same heroin that comes down from the Middle East; it’s not ARVs, like many


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South African General Practitioner - 2022 Vol 3 No 3