SA Pharmacist's Assistant - latest Issue
Volume 16, Issue 3, Spring 2016
Changes in the South African healthcare environment - examining our past to predict our future : professional practiceAuthor Lorraine OsmanSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 2 –4 (Spring 2016)More Less
Re-engineering of the primary healthcare system, National Development Plan 2030, National Health Insurance, Operation Phakisa...so many buzzwords that it isn't surprising that our heads are buzzing and we can't keep up with the change all around us. It is important that every single healthcare professional, including pharmacist's assistants and pharmacy technicians, should know the vision of the government for the future of the country in general, and for healthcare in particular. For this reason, we begin in this issue of SAPA a series of articles that will have a look at national policies and plans that have been developed over the past twenty years. This will give us an idea of the thoughts that have shaped our future, and hopefully we will be able to formulate plans so that we can make the most effective contribution to building the most efficient healthcare system we can. Perhaps we should begin by looking at two documents that were published round about the time of the birth of democracy in this country. They may even have been published before you were born! Certainly they can explain how we got to the current situation, and perhaps leave us with a better sense of where we can go from here.
Author Sumari DavisSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 6 –8 (Spring 2016)More Less
Allergic rhinitis refers to the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose (rhinitis) that is caused by an allergic reaction to inhaled allergens. An allergen is a harmless substance that causes the release of chemicals (mainly histamine) in a person with an allergy to that specific substance. This reaction then leads to the typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis (often called hay fever) that include a runny nose, itching, sneezing and nasal congestion (swelling). Although allergic rhinitis is not life-threatening, it can have a severe impact on quality of life and can lead to other complications. Allergic rhinitis can be managed effectively in most patients resulting in a substantial improvement in their quality of life.
Author Jacqueline Van SchoorSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 10 –12 (Spring 2016)More Less
Coughing is a protective reflex action that occurs when the airway is irritated or obstructed. Its purpose is to clear the airway so that breathing can continue normally. Doctors classify coughs into two categories:
- Acute cough that lasts for less than three weeks
- Chronic cough that lasts for more than three weeks
Author Stephani SchmidtSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 13 –14 (Spring 2016)More Less
Dry eye syndrome, dysfunctional tear syndrome and keratoconjunctivitis sicca are medical terms for dry eye. It is a common condition and many factors may contribute to dry eye disease. It affects more women than men and the incidence increases with age. Dry eye is important as it may influence vision, workplace productivity, daily activities as well as social and physical functioning.
Author K. Van RensburgSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 16 –17 (Spring 2016)More Less
Author Lynda SteynSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 18 –19 (Spring 2016)More Less
Many parents fear the worst when their child has a fever and for this reason will seek medical help. While all children will get a fever at some stage in their lives, not all fevers need to be treated. It is important to know why we don't always need to treat a fever and also when it is important to refer a child with a fever to a doctor.
Author Fae FarrerSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 20 –22 (Spring 2016)More Less
Author Yolanda Agnes MoroneySource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 24 –26 (Spring 2016)More Less
Dandruff is a common, chronic skin condition which is characterised by flaking and itching of the skin on the scalp. The condition usually appears during puberty, and reaches a peak during early adulthood. It is not contagious, and can be effectively treated, but may return when treatment is stopped.
Author Haley Van WykSource: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 27 –29 (Spring 2016)More Less
Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience, associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Pain may be experienced as anything from a dull ache to a sharp stabbing sensation, and can range from mild to extreme. Pain may be located in one part of the body or it may be widespread. There are two types of pain:
- Acute pain is a normal response to tissue injury, which starts suddenly and is usually short-lived. The pain is related to an identifiable cause such as trauma, surgery or inflammation.
- Chronic (ongoing) pain persists beyond the normal time of healing and generally lasts longer than three months. Pain is personal and each person will experience it differently. The most reliable description of pain is from the patient, and thorough questioning should be used to understand the nature, history and severity of the pain (See Table I).
Source: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 30 –31 (Spring 2016)More Less
Muscles are the "powerhouse" of the human body as their main function is to produce motion. Skeletal muscle is responsible for the movement of external areas of the body, for example, the limbs. Most people experience a muscular injury, such as a spasm or a strain, at some time during their lives. Such injuries can occur during sport or exercise, but can also take place while sitting, walking, or even during sleep. Muscle spasms and strains are a common complaint with which patients present at a pharmacy. Therefore, the pharmacist's assistant is in an ideal position to provide practical advice, combined with over-the-counter (OTC) treatment, if applicable, that is of great value to the patient.
Source: SA Pharmacist's Assistant 16, pp 32 –33 (Spring 2016)More Less
The human body is a complex system, with the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) being one of the largest interfaces between the outside world and the internal system of the body. The GIT is also home to a large community of bacteria, also known as the intestinal flora. The intestinal bacteria within the GIT form a diverse ecosystem that provide many benefits to the optimal functioning of the body such as digestion, metabolism, regulation of the immune system and protection against harmful bacteria that cause disease (pathogens). In addition, the intestinal bacteria synthesise vitamins and may play a role in preventing diseases, such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, any disturbance to the balance of the intestinal bacteria may lead to the production of toxins, disease or infection. Antibiotic use commonly causes disruption to the normal ecosystem in the gut, resulting in diarrhoea. Studies have shown that taking a probiotic with a prescribed antibiotic can reduce the extent to which the antibiotic alters the balance of the intestinal bacteria.