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

It’s that time of year again….Christmas, holidays and fun in the sun!

It’s also peak season for Malaria, which remains an important risk for travellers.

The usual seasonal increase in malaria has been noted since October 2014. Of concern is the rise in the number of cases infected within South Africa over the past 2 years and the increase in malaria-related deaths, largely because of missed diagnosis and delayed treatment.

Travellers over the festive season need to take precautions when travelling to malaria areas within the three provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and to other countries in the region, particularly Mozambique.

Malaria risk can be reduced by using mosquito repellents in the evenings. When visiting high risk areas such as Mozambique, the addition of preventive medication is strongly advised.

For more information, refer to the Malaria Fact Sheet: http://www.nicd.ac.za/?page=alerts&id=5&rid=471

Reference: Malaria Alert. National Institute for Communicable Diseases. 2 December 2014

 

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

Vaccination schedule for South Africa

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: 10 December 2014

 

 

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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