South African Family Practice 2023-04-25T08:37:08+00:00 Professor Pierre JT de Villiers Open Journal Systems <em>South African Family Practice</em>(SAFP) is a peer-reviewed scientific journal, which strives to provide primary care physicians and researchers with a broad range of scholarly work in the disciplines of Family Medicine, Primary Health Care, Rural Medicine, District Health and other related fields. SAFP publishes original research, clinical reviews, and pertinent commentary that advance the knowledge base of these disciplines. The content of SAFP is designed to reflect and support further development of the broad basis of these disciplines through original research and critical review of evidence in important clinical areas; as well as to provide practitioners with continuing professional development material.<p>(Note: In January 2003 <em>South African Family Practice</em> merged with <em>Geneeskunde – The Medical Journal</em> to form <em>South African Family Practice incorporating Geneeskunde</em>, and since January 2004 it is again only known as <strong>South African Family Practice</strong> (SAFP). As a result the numbering of the journal now begins from Volume 45 in 2003).<br /><em></em></p><p>Other websites related to this journal: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> Awareness of health risks associated with smokeless tobacco use among users in Pretoria 2023-04-24T14:20:51+00:00 Francois Malherbe Daniel Nel Hunadi Molabe Lydia Cairncros Liana Roodt <p>A palpable breast lump is a common presentation of breast disease to a general practitioner. Fortunately, investigation of most of these lumps will lead to&nbsp; a benign diagnosis. It is essential to have a clear and systematic approach when investigating a palpable breast lump to avoid over investigation with&nbsp; the resultant increase in healthcare cost and anxiety. This article will discuss an approach to evaluating and diagnosing a palpable breast lump in the&nbsp; primary care setting.</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Patients’ perception of service quality in a healthcare not-for-profit organisation 2023-04-25T07:45:13+00:00 Melene Strauss Renata Schoeman <p><strong>Background</strong>: Service organisations should be aware of those elements that are perceived as excellent quality and incorporate these as part of their&nbsp; service offering. However, a not-forprofit (NPO) healthcare organisation consists of a diverse group of stakeholders who have different perspectives and interests. Service quality therefore requires a multidimensional definition that comprehends all their needs and expectations.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: Perceived service quality experienced by patients was measured by completion of the Service Performance (SERVPERF) questionnaire. A total of&nbsp; 111 patients completed the questionnaire across three mobile clinics supported by an NPO.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The research results suggested that service quality at&nbsp; the mobile clinics was of a very high standard, with no meaningful differences between clinics, age groups or gender. However, the responses had very&nbsp; little variance and could have been subjected to response bias or extreme bias. The absence of a comparator organisation could also have had an&nbsp; influence on responses given by respondents.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Healthcare service organisations should strive towards maintaining high standards and&nbsp; engage in continuous measurement and improvement of their service quality as part of their quality management process. By measuring the current&nbsp; level of service experienced by patients, insights have been identified where adjustments might have a positive effect on perceived value. Future research&nbsp; recommendations include suggestions to increase the sample population, taking the service setting into account and further studies to confirm&nbsp; the validity and reliability of solicited service quality questionnaires in a NPO setting.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 A pandemic guided by the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test: What should the clinician know? 2023-04-25T07:56:07+00:00 Avania Bangalee Kreshalen Govender Varsha Bangalee <p>Amidst an ever-evolving pandemic, the demand for timely and accurate diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to increase. Critically,&nbsp; managing and containing the spread of the disease requires expedient testing of infected individuals. Presently, the gold standard for the&nbsp; diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection remains the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Potential&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; vulnerabilities of this testing methodology can range from preanalytical variables to laboratoryrelated analytical factors and, ultimately, to the interpretation of results.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Knowledge of final year undergraduate nursing students about HIV and AIDS in Eswatini 2023-04-25T08:19:33+00:00 Makhosazana C. Dlamini Ellen M. Thobakgale Indiran Govender <p><strong>Background</strong>: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are overwhelming health issues globally. They have&nbsp; caused many devastating and draining health issues, which have escalated a critical need for a well-trained and sustainable healthcare workforce in&nbsp; order to meet the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). Health science students are the future healthcare providers who will implement&nbsp; proper preventive measures, as well as health educational and promotional sessions to promote information and knowledge among the public regarding HIV and AIDS in Eswatini.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted on 140 final-year undergraduate nursing students in three nursing universities in Eswatini.&nbsp; A questionnaire adapted from Othman and Ali in Malaysia with closed-ended questions was modified and used to collect data. The questionnaire&nbsp; consisted of questions on the virus structure, transmission, prevention and management of HIV and AIDS. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 was utilised to analyse the data.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The level of knowledge about HIV and AIDS was high, as evidenced by a mean score and&nbsp; standard deviation of (91.02 ± 5.00). However, there were low scores on questions related to the transmission of the disease.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Across all three&nbsp; universities in Eswatini, there were good nursing education programmes on HIV and AIDS, evidenced by the high knowledge level about HIV and AIDS.&nbsp; However, there are still some knowledge gaps on HIV and AIDS transmission and management that need to be attended to.</p> <p><strong>Contribution</strong>: This study&nbsp; contributed by providing knowledge of undergraduate nursing students’ HIV and AIDS training and management of PLWHA.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Troubleshooting obstetric spinal anaesthesia at district hospital level 2023-04-25T08:25:35+00:00 David G. Bishop Simon P.D.P. le Roux <p>Obstetric spinal anaesthesia is routinely used in South African district hospitals for caesarean sections, providing better maternal and neonatal outcomes&nbsp; than general anaesthesia in appropriate patients. However, practitioners providing anaesthesia in this context are usually generalists who practise&nbsp; anaesthesia infrequently and may be unfamiliar with dealing with complications of spinal anaesthesia or with conversion from spinal to general anaesthesia. This is compounded by challenges with infrastructure, shortages of equipment and sundries and a lack of context-sensitive guidelines and&nbsp; support from specialised anaesthetic services for district hospitals. This continuous professional development (CPD) article aims to provide guidance with&nbsp; respect to several key areas related to obstetric spinal anaesthesia, and to address common concerns and queries. We stress that good clinical practice is&nbsp; essential to avoid predictable, common complications, and hence a thorough preoperative preparation is essential. We further discuss clinical indications&nbsp; for preoperative blood testing, spinal needle choice, the use of isobaric bupivacaine, spinal hypotension, failed or partial spinal block and pain during the&nbsp; caesarean section. Where possible, relevant local and international guidelines are referenced for further reading and guidance, and a link to a&nbsp; presentation of this topic is provided.&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Failed tracheal intubation in primary health care 2023-04-25T08:29:22+00:00 Indiran Govender Doudou K. Nzaumvila Olga M. Maphasha <p>Tracheal intubation in primary health care is a necessary skill and usually one that is necessary for appropriate emergency management of unstable&nbsp; patients. Primary care practitioners may not have an anaesthetist or critical care doctor available to help them in these emergencies and must manage&nbsp; these patients themselves. Often tracheal intubation may fail because of multiple possible factors and a different course of action may be needed to&nbsp; minimise the potential for harm to the patient. The primary care professional or family physician will have to manage this failed intubation. Primary&nbsp; health care facilities providing obstetric services must have guidelines and appropriate equipment for management of airway problems. This article will&nbsp; explore reasons for the failure of tracheal intubation and how this can be managed.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Reflections on a rural road to family medicine 2022-11-07T07:44:32+00:00 John-D K. Lotz <p>No abstract.</p> 2022-11-07T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Current norms and practices in using a seizure diary for managing epilepsy: A scoping review 2023-04-24T13:47:56+00:00 Chika K. Egenasi Anandan A. Moodley Wilhelm J. Steinberg Anthonio O. Adefuye <p><strong>Background</strong>: Epilepsy is a chronic and debilitating condition affecting people of all ages in many nations. Healthcare practitioners look for effective ways&nbsp; to track patients’ seizures, and a seizure diary is one of the methods used. This scoping review sought to identify current norms and practices for using&nbsp; seizure diaries to manage epilepsy.</p> <p><strong>Method</strong>: A scoping review was performed by screening relevant studies and identifying themes, categories and subcategories.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: A total of 1125 articles were identified from the database; 46 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility, of which 23 articles were selected. The&nbsp; majority (48%) of the studies were prospective studies. The majority (65%) of the articles were studies conducted in the United States. The themes&nbsp; identified were types of seizure diaries used in clinical practice, contents and structure of a standardised seizure diary, the use and efficacy of seizure&nbsp; diaries in medicine and challenges relating to using a seizure diary for patient management.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The study revealed that a seizure diary remains&nbsp; a relevant tool in managing epilepsy. The two forms of diaries in use are electronic and paper-based diaries. The high cost of data and the expensive&nbsp; devices required to access electronic diaries make it unsuitable in a resource-limited setting. Despite its disadvantages, imperfections and inadequacies,&nbsp; the paper-based diary is still relevant for managing patients with epilepsy in resource-limited settings.</p> <p><strong>Contribution</strong>: This study reviewed the literature to&nbsp; find the current norms and practices in using seizure diaries. The benefits of the different formats were emphasised.&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Oxygen as a drug and scarce commodity: Do we use it rationally? 2023-04-24T13:56:04+00:00 Linda Groenewald Lurika Faber Jean-Pierre Fourie Cornelius J. Oosthuizen Miécke Müller Kayla van der Westhuizen Dian D. Kapp Righard Swanepoel Hanneke Brits <p><strong>Background</strong>: Medical grade oxygen is classified as a drug and needs to be prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional. Oxygen therapy is&nbsp; prescribed to people who cannot maintain normal blood oxygen saturation while breathing atmospheric air. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)&nbsp; pandemic highlighted the importance of the rational use of this scarce commodity. This study investigated oxygen therapy practices in adult ward patients.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: A cross-sectional study design with an analytical component was used in the adults wards at a National District Hospital and the Pelonomi&nbsp; Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein. Data were collected from patient files, interviews and oxygen measurements of adult patients that received oxygen.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: One hundred and fifteen patients were included in the study, of whom 47.0% received oxygen without an oxygen prescription. Around 62.3% of&nbsp; the patients with prescriptions did not receive oxygen as prescribed. The prescriptions and oxygen administration for COVID-19 patients were better than&nbsp; for non–COVID-19 patients. A quarter of the patients possibly received oxygen therapy unnecessarily.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Poor oxygen therapy practices&nbsp; were identified, including prescription errors, oxygen administration errors and oxygen wastage. A protocol should be developed and implemented for&nbsp; the prescription and administration of oxygen therapy. Training should occur to prevent oxygen wastage.</p> <p><strong>Contribution</strong>: This study highlighted poor&nbsp; oxygen practices and prescriptions, as well as oxygen wastage in the absence of local oxygen therapy guidelines.&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Utilisation of village health workers’ services for tuberculosis screening in Lesotho 2023-04-24T14:34:52+00:00 Regina M. Thetsane Motšelisi Mokhethi Maseabata Ramathebane Nthatisi Leseba <p><strong>Background</strong>: Village health workers (VHWs) play an essential role because they extend the capacity of primary healthcare, particularly for developing&nbsp; countries. In Lesotho, VHWs are part of the primary healthcare connecting the community with clinics in their respective villages. They contribute to the&nbsp; prevention of the spread of tuberculosis (TB) within their catchment areas by encouraging communities to partake in TB screening. This study aimed at identifying factors associated with the utilisation of VHWs’ service to undertake TB screenings in Lesotho.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: This study emanates from the main&nbsp; study that used a cross-sectional descriptive design. A total of 19 health service areas (HSAs) comprised 17 catchment areas and two clinics, each&nbsp; randomly selected from the District Health Management Team (DHMT) and the Lesotho Flying Doctors Service (LFDS), respectively. A total of 2928 individual household members aged 15 and above were included in the study. Data analysis included descriptive and<br>inferential statistics.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: There were more female than male respondents, with a majority (77%) below 65 years of age. Tuberculosis knowledge of respondents was&nbsp; mostly on the TB symptoms and curability of TB, but they were less knowledgeable about the causes of TB. The use of VHWs’ services for TB screening&nbsp; was very low (23.3%).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The study revealed that while respondents were to some extent knowledgeable about TB, their utilisation of VHWs’ services for TB screening&nbsp; varied with education level, having worked in South Africa and the household size at α = 0.01.&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Male attitudes towards family planning in the Limpopo province of South Africa 2023-04-24T14:58:06+00:00 Ndifelani D. Radzuma Gert J.O. Marincowitz Clara Marincowitz <p><strong>Background</strong>: Women often do not receive support from their partners with regards to family planning (FP), which can lead to hesitancy and inconsistent&nbsp; use. This study sought to understand the male attitudes that contribute to this.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in 2019 using focus group discussions (FGDs) with purposively selected men aged ≥ 25 years and&nbsp; in a relationship with a woman of childbearing age. An open-ended question guide was used to explore men’s perceptions regarding FP. The&nbsp; discussions were recorded, translated and transcribed verbatim, whereafter transcripts were coded and analysed thematically.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Three major themes were identified, namely: (1) the advantages of FP, including financial benefits and the prevention of sexually transmitted&nbsp; infections and unwanted pregnancy; (2) the disadvantages of FP, including perceived adverse effects on men and women, as well as marital difficulties;&nbsp; and (3) the exclusion of men from FP by health workers and their partners.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Men felt ambivalent towards FP. They were aware of the benefits&nbsp; thereof, but were hesitant to allow their female partners to use contraceptives, because of several misconceptions about the adverse effects. This&nbsp; underscores the need to involve men in FP programmes.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 COVID-19 and diabetic ketoacidosis: A case series at an urban district hospital in South Africa 2023-04-24T15:10:38+00:00 Heather N. Dicks Keshena Naidoo <p><strong>Background</strong>: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with an increased prevalence and mortality from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) globally.&nbsp; With limited access to specialised care, most patients with DKA in South Africa are managed at district hospital level. This study describes the profile of&nbsp; patients admitted to a district hospital in South Africa with DKA and COVID-19 and examines associated risk factors encountered.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: This was a&nbsp; case series of all patients presenting to a district hospital with DKA and COVID-19 infection between July 2020 and July 2021. Data extracted included&nbsp; patients’ demographic profiles, biochemical results, comorbidities and clinical outcomes.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The median age of the 10 patients admitted during the&nbsp; study period was 39 years old (±12), six of whom were male. The hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values on admission ranged from 9.7 to 13.8. Five of the&nbsp; patients had pre-existing type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Four of the known DM patients were on metformin only, and one was on biphasic insulin. Three&nbsp; patients had other preexisting comorbidities, two patients with hypertension and one with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Three patients demised,&nbsp; two of whom were hypoxic on admission.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Diabetic ketoacidosis appears more commonly in COVID-19 infected patients with type 2&nbsp; DM and at a young age. Suboptimal glycaemic control was associated with DKA, and hypoxia was a strong predictor for mortality. Treatment inertia&nbsp; was evident in the known DM group, who were on monotherapy despite persistent hyperglycaemia. Greater vigilance is required to detect ketosis in type&nbsp; 2 DM and intensify therapy to improve glycaemic control&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Mastering Your Fellowship: Part 4, 2022 2023-04-24T15:21:13+00:00 Mergan Naidoo Andrew Ross Tasleem Ras Ts’epo Motsohi <p>The ‘Mastering Your Fellowship’ series provides examples of the question format encountered in the written and clinical examinations, Part A of the&nbsp; Fellowship of the College of Family Physicians of South Africa examination. The series is aimed at helping family medicine registrars prepare for this&nbsp; examination.</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Reasons given by women for discontinuing the use of progestogen implants at Koster Hospital, North West province 2023-04-25T07:14:05+00:00 Bolarinwa T. Olaifa Henry I. Okonta Justin B. Mpinda Indiran Govender <p><strong>Background</strong>: In 2014, the South African National Department of Health introduced a new addition to the long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC)&nbsp; options available in the country. This was a single rod subdermal progestogen implant (Implanon®NXT) which provided 3 years of effective contraception&nbsp; cover. However, the new&nbsp; contraceptive device uptake and general acceptance amongst women quickly diminished, with a slew of requests&nbsp; for its removal. The aim of this study&nbsp; was to explore the reasons given by women for discontinuing the use of their progestogen implants at Koster&nbsp; Hospital, North West province, South&nbsp; Africa.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: A qualitative study was conducted using semistructured interviews. Thirteen women were&nbsp; purposively selected and interviewed at&nbsp; Koster Hospital Family Planning Unit. The transcriptions of the audio-taped interviews were analysed&nbsp; thematically.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The following themes&nbsp; emerged from the interviews as reasons the women discontinued their progestogen implants: side effects&nbsp; such as menstrual problems, arm discomfort&nbsp; and weight gain. Other themes were family or social factors and the desire to conceive.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The&nbsp; reasons for discontinuation of Implanon by&nbsp; women at Koster Hospital were the undesirable side effects they experienced whilst using the contraceptive&nbsp; device. These side effects were mainly&nbsp; menstrual problems, arm discomfort and weight gain. Family and other social dynamics also influenced some of&nbsp; the participants’ decision to discontinue&nbsp; their contraceptive implants.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Reflections on a rural road to family medicine 2023-04-24T15:37:12+00:00 John-D K. Lotz <p>No Abstract</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Artificial intelligence: A strategic opportunity for enhancing primary care in South Africa 2023-04-24T15:44:51+00:00 Ramprakash Kaswa Arun Nair Shane Murphy Klaus B. von Pressentin <p>No Abstract</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Stakeholders’ views on the utility and employment strategies of clinical associates 2023-04-24T16:17:56+00:00 Arthur Setlhapelo Jacqueline E. Wolvaardt <p><strong>Background</strong>: Clinical associates (ClinAs) were introduced into the South African healthcare system to increase the numbers of skilled health&nbsp; professionals. Little is known on how they are viewed. This study explored stakeholder views on the utility and employment strategies of ClinAs in the&nbsp; public sector.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: A mixed-methods design was used. An online survey was used to collect data from operational stakeholders, while online interviews explored&nbsp; strategic stakeholders’ views.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Forty-five operational stakeholders participated. The view of ClinAs’ contribution to the joint management of four&nbsp; common health conditions was strong (91% – 96%). The poorest agreement was their perceived contribution to maternal health (38%). There was a&nbsp; strong agreement (mean = 6.13, s.d.: 0.94) that conditions of ClinAs practice are met. Clinical associates were viewed as being able to work with others&nbsp; (mean = 6.11, s.d.: 0.98) and contribute to service improvement (mean = 6.47, s.d.: 0.62). There was a low agreement regarding the positive impact of&nbsp; recruitment (mean = 2.93, s.d.: 1.99) and retention strategies on ClinAs (mean = 2.75, s.d.: 1.51). The six key strategic stakeholders ascribed the slow&nbsp; progress made in career development, career progression, post creation and professional autonomy to the uncertainty regarding the scope of practice&nbsp; and perceived lack of support.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The utility of ClinAs to provide health services in the public sector is clear, and their contribution is valued. The&nbsp; lack of progress around many of the human resource issues is a constraint that needs a champion if this cadre is to fully realise their potential.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Suicide attempts among students of higher education, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa 2023-04-25T06:40:19+00:00 Adeyinka A. Alabi <p><strong>Background</strong>: Worldwide, death by suicide is a leading cause of death among young people, and students of higher educational institutions constitute a&nbsp; vulnerable group. This study aimed to determine the lifetime prevalence and associated factors of suicide attempt among students of a higher education&nbsp; institution in Nelson Mandela Municipality.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: A cross sectional study was conducted among students of East Cape Midland College in Nelson Mandela Municipality. The participants were&nbsp; selected by stratified random sampling and a standardised self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The prevalence of lifetime&nbsp; suicide attempts was 16.0% among the participants. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed higher odds of suicide attempts among participants&nbsp; who: experienced bullying (OR: 1.66, CI: 1.05–2.61; p &lt; 0.001), had underlying medical conditions (OR: 3.27, CI: 2.08–5.14; p &lt; 0.001 ), had&nbsp; abnormal body weight perceptions (OR: 1.64, CI: 1.03–2.62; p &lt; 0.05), had experienced sexual abuse (OR: 5.72, CI: 2.86–11.45; p &lt; 0.001), or had someone&nbsp; very close who had experienced sexual abuse (OR: 1.77, CI: 1.02–3.05; p &lt; 0.05).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: This study identified history of sexual abuse, bullying,&nbsp; perceptions of abnormal body weight and underlying medical conditions as associated risk factors of suicide attempts among the participants. The high&nbsp; prevalence of suicide attempts among the participants (16%) demonstrates the urgent need for campus-based interventions and prevention strategies&nbsp;&nbsp; aimed at addressing the identified associated factors.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 The outbreak of monkeypox: A clinical overview 2023-04-25T06:57:22+00:00 Ramprakash Kaswa Arun Nair Klaus B. von Pressentin <p>The development of new zoonotic diseases such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and monkeypox that can cause epidemics and high mortality&nbsp; rates have significantly threatened global health security. However, the increasing number of people with no immunity to poxvirus because of the end of&nbsp; the smallpox vaccination programme has created a vulnerable population for the monkeypox outbreak. On 23 July 2022, it was announced that the World Health Organization’s director-general has determined that the multicountry outbreak of monkeypox constitutes a Public Health Emergency of&nbsp; International Concern. The monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus that causes a disease with symptoms similar to smallpox but less severe. Many unanswered questions remain regarding monkeypox’s pathogenesis, transmission and host reservoir. There is currently no evidence that transmission by individuals can sustain zoonotic infections during human-to-human transmissions; the continued emergence of these pathogens highlights the&nbsp; interconnectedness of animals and humans. The increasing number of monkeypox cases outside the endemic region has highlighted the need for&nbsp; effective global capacity building to prevent the spread of the disease and its impact on global health security. The priority now is to stop the spread of&nbsp; the disease and protect frontline healthcare workers and the most vulnerable individuals. This article aims to comprehensively analyse the various&nbsp; aspects of the transmission and epidemiology of monkeypox. It also explores possible diagnostic techniques, therapeutics and prevention strategies. A&nbsp; key recommendation is that primary care and public health professionals are expected to increase their efforts to be vigilant and contain any potential&nbsp; outbreaks.&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0 Perceptions of specialists in the public sector, on the role and value of family medicine 2023-04-25T07:03:52+00:00 Rihangwele Mukhinindi Andrew J. Ross <p><strong>Background</strong>: Family medicine (FM) is often perceived to be a ‘lesser’ speciality compared with other disciplines, despite its importance as a generalist&nbsp; discipline in the healthcare system. Family physicians (FPs) provide comprehensive care at the district level and act as a gatekeeper for patient’s upward&nbsp; referral to other specialists. This study aimed to explore the perceptions of healthcare specialists other than FPs involved in registrar training regarding&nbsp; FM at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (SA).</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: This was a qualitative study, with seven consultants, other than FPs, who worked at three public sector regional hospitals using purposive sampling. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted, audio-recorded and transcribed&nbsp; verbatim and analysed thematically.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Four themes emerged (perception of FM as a medical speciality, role of FPs in the healthcare system and&nbsp; proposed National Health Insurance, FM registrars rotating in units and the scope of their training and how to improve the perceptions of FM by other&nbsp; specialities). Family medicine was regarded as a major and relevant specialist field with a significant contribution to make in advancing patients’ care. The&nbsp; country’s healthcare system is yet to make the best use of the FM specialist’s role in improving quality of care.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The perceptions of FM from&nbsp; other specialists were generally positive and reinforced its importance in facilitating improved healthcare in SA. These specialists have high regard for FM&nbsp; and emphasised the large responsibility of practitioners.&nbsp;</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 0