Drug ATM for South Africans

first_imgIn the same fashion people draw money from ATMs, South Africans will soon be able to get medicine from dispensing machines.The Department of Health made the announcement at the 21st International Aids Conference, which took place in Durban from 18-22 July.The pharmacy dispensing unit (PDU) is being piloted at Thembalethu Clinic in Johannesburg. It is a self-service machine where patients can obtain their medication.Easy to useAnyone interested in using the machine first needs to register. Just like a bank ATM, once registered, they receive a card. To get the medicine, they insert the card into the machine, enter a PIN and get what they need.“The machine,” said the department, “immediately dispenses the selected medication, eliminating the need for the patient to wait in queues.”However, the machine does not totally eliminate pharmacists. There is a trainedpharmacist available on the PDU via a built-in video conference functionality.Progress and challengesSpeaking at the conference, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi noted that South Africa was running the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world. In three decades, he said, the number of patients on treatment had increased from 400 000 to over 3.4 million.“However, the number of health care workers has not kept up with this increase, often leading to frustrated patients and lack of treatment adherence.“The biggest challenge with not adhering to treatment is that it poses a real risk of the emergence of drug-resistant HIV, in the same way drug-resistant TB came about,” he said. “It is thus imperative that we embrace all available measures to make it easy for people to continue with their treatment.”Source: Department of HealthWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

China Likes Twitter (What?) – But Will Still Censor It

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#news#NYT#web Related Posts The Chinese government released a new white paper on Tuesday detailing the country’s official position on Internet policy. Coming three months after the very public dispute with Google, which resulted in the shutdown of Google’s China-based portal, the paper offers a revealing look back on Chinese Internet history as well as where the country stands today.Not surprisingly, China still supports the so-called “Great Firewall” approach to controlling and censoring Internet content, but it also oddly mentions Twitter as a favorable development for Chinese Internet citizens. Why is that odd? Because China routinely blocks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social networking services from being accessible to Chinese citizens. Lost in Translation: “Microblog” Doesn’t Mean Twitter in ChinaThe Twitter mention, cited by a number of news agencies including the AP and The WSJ, appeared in the English language version of the document released on Tuesday. It appears to have been a translation error since the Chinese language document only touted “microblog” services, and did not specify Twitter specifically. (It also appears to have since been removed on the document hosted here.) However, even without the direct Twitter shout-out, the sentence is still an intriguing look into the Chinese government’s thought process as it tries to simultaneously embrace the Internet and control it. “The newly-emerging online services, including blog, microblog, video-sharing and social networking websites, are developing rapidly in China, and provide greater convenience for Chinese citizens to communicate online. Actively participating in online information communication and content creation, netizens have greatly enriched Internet information and content.”Enjoy Social Networking*In other words, the paper makes it seem as if the government is stating that social networking sites are good things for Chinese citizens, within reason. But to the Chinese government, “within reason” means (according to the document), nothing that subverts state power, undermines national unity, infringes upon honor and interests or incites ethnic hatred and secession. Also banned are terror-related and gambling sites, sites propagating heretical or superstitious ideas, sites spreading rumors or disrupting social order and sites featuring vulgar or adult material. Although here in the West, China’s censorship policies go against our culture’s core values about freedom and expression, simply pulling out of China, as Google threatened to do, isn’t that easy for many Western-based businesses. As the paper states, there are now 384 million Chinese citizens online (as of the end of 2009), or 28.9% of the population – higher than the world average. Within five years, the government aims to increase that number to 45% of the population. That makes China an Internet powerhouse to either be dealt with by playing by its rules or ignored with great at cost to the bottom line. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img sarah perez Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more