HPCSA/PBODO ISSUES ENDORSEMENT OF SAOA CODES FOR THE EXPANDED SCOPE OF PRACTICE FOR OPTOMETRY
The South African Optometric Association (SAOA), serving as the custodian of the optometric profession, has developed Ocular Therapeutic codes to accommodate the expanded scope for optometry. In this regard, during the past year, the SAOA has embarked on an extensive stakeholder engagement programme promoting the full scope of optometry in accordance with the theme, ‘ More than 11001’. In general, responses from particularly medical schemes have been very positive. On the odd occasion, however, there has been a request for clarification or elaboration relating to the expanded scope.
In a letter sent to the SAOA on 26 August 2021, the PBODO confirms that the Ocular Therapeutics codes developed by the SAOA falls within the expanded scope of optometry practice. To view the letter, click here.
GOVERNMENT UNCERTAINTY OVER MANDATORY VACCINATIONS IN SA
Mandatory COVID-19 jabs for specific groups are being discussed by the ministerial advisory committee on vaccines, says its chair, Prof Barry Schoub, however, National Health Department spokesperson Popo Maja says "compulsory vaccination is not on the table for discussion".
INDIA APPROVES WORLD'S FIRST NEEDLE-FREE, DNA-BASED COVID-19 VACCINE
The Drug Controller-General of India (DCGI) has granted emergency use approval to pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila's needle-free vaccine, ZyCoV-D, the world’s first-ever DNA-based vaccine against the SARs-COV-2 virus.
The Ahmedabad-based pharma-giant had sought permission from the government, stating that it had conducted the largest clinical trial for the vaccine in India. Currently, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Oxford-Astrazeneca's Covishield, Russia-made Sputnik V, Moderna vaccine and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine have received approval for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which makes ZyCoV-D the sixth COVID vaccine to be approved in India.
While all the vaccines aim to combat the deadly coronavirus, the newly approved COVID vaccine has its own special features and may be different in many ways. To view the full article, click here.
COPING WITH POWER OUTAGES – ADVICE FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
By now the experience of power outages, or load shedding, will be very familiar to practitioners. So, too, is the experience of having to put contingency plans in place immediately to ensure treatment continues and patient safety is not compromised. While measures are in place to increase supply, the ever-present challenge of the power outage will not be going away any time soon.
In the first half of 2021 alone, South Africa experienced 650 hours of load shedding, which equated to 76% of the load shedding experienced throughout the previous year. Power outages are challenging enough for any business or household. For healthcare professionals – who have a clear duty of care – the challenges are compounded.
Guidance has been provided to health professionals regarding power outages during the past two years. Given the continued prevalence of load shedding and the concurrent demands of winter temperatures and continuing spread of COVID-19, it is timely to revisit the issue. To view the article, click here.
IN SOLIDARITY WITH HAITI
On 14 August 2021, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti. The quake could not have come at a worse time for Haiti, which is still reeling from the assassination of President Moïse and escalating gang violence. The situation is dire with more than 2,200 deaths and more than 12,000 people injured. The quake was later compounded with heavy rains from tropical storm Grace. Thousands are homeless and in need of urgent assistance.
Our colleagues at the School of Optometry of the Université d’Etat d’Haïti are doing well in spite of the circumstances. Sadly, though, some students’ families have been adversely affected by the quake. The Voluntary Optometry Services to Humanity (VOSH) chapter situated in Haiti are donating blood to help the injured. In addition, VOSH/International is in contact with the school to support them in these difficult times.
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Neuro-optometric Examination & Eye related Neurological conditions and Management
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