South African Pharmacist’s Assistant (SAPA) is the official mouthpiece of the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa (PSSA). SAPA is aimed at pharmacist’s assistants (PAs) who have undergone formal basic and post-basic training and who are registered with the South African Pharmacy Council. PAs work under close supervision of the pharmacist and are trained to advise the public on all self-medication issues. They are allowed to dispense schedule 0-2 medicines or so-called over the counter preparations in South Africa. SAPA provides the PA with the necessary clinical as well as drug information in order to advise customers on the prudent use and limitations of self-medication. Clear guidelines are given as to when self-medication is appropriate and when medical attention may be necessary. The PA also assists the pharmacist in other pharmaceutical functions like stock taking, storing of medicines, preparing and mixing medicines and filling scripts under the pharmacist’s supervision. The content of the journal is seasonal to closely reflect what is happening in the pharmacy

Air Products’ liquid nitrogen and Cryo-Save – storing stem cells, saving lives

Stem cell transplantation is perceived as a major breakthrough in medical history and it has been used in medical procedures for more than 50 years. More than 1 million blood stem cell transplants have been performed across the world and play an important role in the treatment of bone marrow failures, blood disorders, immune deficiencies, blood cancers, metabolic diseases and blood cancers. Cryo-Save South Africa, a family cord blood and cord tissue stem cell bank, has chosen Air Products as a trusted partner to continuously supply them with liquid nitrogen for storing these precious stem cells.

Five golden rules to reduce patient harm or risk

The public and private healthcare sectors are dealing with billions in claims. Risk reduction in medicine or surgery, where mistakes amounting to negligence are an occupational hazard, is the best way of avoiding lengthy legal headaches. Solving the problem on a medico-political level is one thing, but there are five basic measures a practitioner can follow to reduce litigation risks.

Cancer education in vernacular is key to successful diagnosis and treatment

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among South African women of all races – aside from non-melanoma skin cancer – yet many poor and rural women lack access to information and services that could lead to speedy diagnosis and treatment of this disease. This is one of the major challenges South Africa’s healthcare sector must face up to in Breast Cancer Awareness month (October). Far too many breast cancer patients from rural areas feel isolated because they do not have access to medical practitioners who understand their culture or speak their language. The Beat Cancer Foundation (BCF) is a non-profit organisation (NPO) mainly promoting cancer awareness, and advocating for early diagnosis in order to save lives.   

Paying homage to SA’s doctors on National Doctors’ Day

South Africa is in the midst of a healthcare crisis. A severely strained public healthcare system and the implications of the Medical Schemes Act and the NHI, could see many of South Africa’s doctors being lost to other professions and countries. EthiQal cares about the future of medical care in South Africa and has a firm belief that doctors should be treasured as national assets. EthiQal is launching the 2019 National Doctors’ Day campaign to acknowledge the critical role doctors play in meeting the healthcare needs of our nation.

Rabies is fatal, but preventable – Be proactive.

Between 5 and 30 human rabies cases are confirmed in South Africa every year and more than 70% of these occur in children and teenagers.  The rabies virus is transmitted through the saliva of a rabid animal to other animals or humans. In SA, almost all human rabies cases are related to exposure to an infected domestic dog. Rabies is fatal, but preventable – Be proactive.

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