South Africa has only one public sector supplier of resized packages of morphine powder and the company’s failure to deliver since July has left some patients in unspeakable agony. Ufrieda Ho reports.
Whether a pharmacist suggests it for treating headaches or whether a doctor prescribes it for managing post-surgical pain, chances are good that at some point you’ve taken a pain pill containing the opioid codeine. But since codeine can be addictive and withdrawal symptoms severe, regulation of the drug in South Africa has turned into a headache. Elri Voigt takes an in-depth look at the complexities of codeine regulation.
Access to pain management for infants and children in South Africa is inequitable, inconsistent and poorly resourced, resulting in unnecessary and avoidable suffering. Elsabé Brits investigates the state of paediatric pain management in South Africa and asks what can be done to bring pain relief to more infants and children.
Many people in South Africa unnecessarily suffer from chronic pain due to system failures, poor access to expensive medicines, and lack of sufficient medical education on pain management. What’s worse is that even though morphine is cheap and easy to administer – those who do need palliative care often don’t receive it. Elsabé Brits takes an in-depth look at how we deal with pain in South Africa.