Welcome to Amayeza Information Centre

We are an independant medicine information centre that aims to provide reliable, accurate, objective, and up-to-date information on medicine to pharmacists and other health care professionals across South Africa.

The word “Amayeza” means “medicine” in the Xhosa language.

Important notice:
Please take note that our drug information service is only available to subscribers to Amayeza.  This has been in effect from 1st April 2013.  In order to benefit from our medicine information service, you will need to subscribe to us.

For more information regarding subscribing to Amayeza, click here Alternatively, you may contact us on 011 475 2994 for further information.  Kindly take note of our new contact details

Happy New Year from Amayeza. We wish you a rewarding and fulfilling 2015.

Amayeza continues to strive to provide an excellent medicine information service and we would like to welcome new subscribers to our service in 2015. Our subscription form can be accessed via our website or you can contact our office on 011 475 2994 to enquire further.

Malaria
With holiday-makers settling back into the swing of things, we encourage all those who have travelled to malaria areas to be aware of any potential symptoms. The first symptoms of malaria are non-specific and sudden in onset. Fever and influenza-like symptoms are particularly common presenting symptoms of malaria and influenza is the most common misdiagnosis of malaria.
In adults, headache, rigors with cold shivers and sweating, and myalgia, are common. Some of the following may also occur: fatigue, abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, sore throat, and cough.
In young children, rigors, headache would be less common and malaria may present with fever and any of the following: lethargy, poor feeding, vomiting, diarrhoea or cough.

Measles
Over the past few months, there has been an increase in laboratory-confirmed (IgM positive) measles cases in five provinces (Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape). Sporadic laboratory-confirmed measles cases have been noted in two additional provinces (Eastern Cape and Free State).
All children should be vaccinated at a young age, and the vaccine is included in the South African Expanded Programme on Immunizations (EPI) schedule. The vaccine is given at 9 months and repeated at 18 months of age.
Older children, adolescents and adults may also be vaccinated during outbreaks of measles, particularly if they have a high-risk of developing complications.

 

EBOLA OUTBREAK – USEFUL INFORMATION

Ebola Virus Disease PDF Download
Ebola virus disease Previously known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever.Caused by a virus (filovirus).The disease is severe and often fatal in humans and primates (such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees).
Outbreaks Sporadic outbreaks have occurred since 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan, Congo and Gabon.Current (2014) outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
Transmission Spread via direct contact with contaminated blood or secretions of an infected person or animal (dead or alive), and indirectly via contact with objects (such as needles, clothing and bedding) contaminated with infectious secretions.Does not spread through the air and cannot be transmitted by mosquitoes.
High risk groups Healthcare workers, family members or friends in close contact with infected people.Hunters/other persons who may come into contact with infected animals.
Incubation period Symptoms start 2 to 21 days (average 8-10 days) after exposure.
Symptoms Fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, weakness, headache, joint and muscle aches, rash, sore throat, chest pains, red eyes, hiccups, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, impaired kidney and liver function as well as bleeding inside and outside of the body.
Treatment Treatment is typically supportive
Prevention There is no vaccine available to prevent the disease
Travellers Travellers to endemic areas, under normal circumstances, are at low risk but they should adhere to preventative measures and seek medical attention if any related symptoms appear and mention their travel history to the doctor before the consultation.
Preventative measures During an outbreak, strict measures must be taken to prevent the disease from spreading, especially in high risk groups:

  • Isolate Ebola patients from contact with unprotected persons.
  • Avoid contact with blood or other bodily secretions from an infected person or animal (dead or alive).
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing when in contact with an infected person or animal.
  • Avoid contact with objects (needles, syringes, other instruments, soiled clothing or bedding) that may be contaminated.
  • Sterilise and disinfect all equipment.
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and clean water.
  • Adhere to safe water and food practices – cook animal products thoroughly and avoid eating raw meat (‘bush meat”) from infected animals.
  • Avoid having unprotected sexual intercourse with patients for up to seven weeks after they have recovered from the disease.
  • Bury people who died from Ebola promptly and safely.
  • Samples taken from suspected human or animal cases should be handled by trained laboratory staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories under maximum biological containment conditions.

References

  1. About Ebola hemorrhagic Fever. CDC [homepage on the internet]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html.
  2. Ebola Virus Disease: Frequently asked Questions. National Institute for communicable diseases. Available from: http://www.nicd.ac.za/?page=alerts&id=5&rid=359
  3. National health services. Available from www.travax.co.za
  4. Ebola virus disease. WHO. Fact sheep No 103. Last updated April 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

Useful links:

Health Awareness Days

Please click on the link below to view and download the 2015 Childhood immunisation schedule:

2015 Vaccine Schedule PDF

Disease Notification System

South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) Publications:

The following two publications related to travel medicines and vaccines are available via the SASTM website.

Beyond Childhood Vaccination

 

http://www.sastm.org.za/sastm_publication.php?id=34

 

 

A Guide to the Practice of Travel Medicine

http://www.sastm.org.za/sastm_publication.php?id=32

Last updated: 2 February 2015

 

 

Data Privacy Statement

Amayeza Information Services stores any personal information to enable us to address the enquiry, or other such matters that have been raised, and to document our response.  The information will be retained in a secure server and will only be used for this purpose, unless required for legal proceedings.  If reporting an adverse event, the information provided will be used in order to meet regulatory requirements in relation to the safety of medicines.  In accordance with applicable law, you may have a right to access and correct your information.  If you would prefer that Amayeza does not store your personal data, please let us know.

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