Scibraai Monday Menu: About “third forces”, rheumatiod arthritis and more

Slide1This week, the Scibraai Monday Menu looks at the insights of South African academics on the following topics: the possibility of a “third force” at work on South African campuses, the link between smoking and rheumatoid arthritis, and the use of SMSes to deliver health message. 

Can smoking and air pollution trigger rheumatoid arthritis

Smoking initiates chronic inflammatory events in the lungs. This leads to the production of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies which, in turn, drive the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

That’s according to researchers from the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand. They say that there is an association between smoking and the risk for contracting rheumatoid arthritis, and therefore there is a need to increase awareness about the associated risks of smoking.

Reference: Anderson, R. Smoking and Air Pollution as Pro-Inflammatory Triggers for the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Nicotine and Tobacco Research

A “third force” at work on South African campuses?

Do you think that a so-called “third force” is at play on South African campuses, and that a political agenda is driven? Read what Nico Cloete, director of the Centre for Higher Education Trust and coordinator of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA) has to say on the subject. He provides some insights.

Reference: Cloete, N. (2016). The Third Force in South African Higher Education Activism, Centre for Higher Education Trust

How an SMS can help those suffering from hypertension

A short message via a SMS can help to motivate patients suffering from hypertension to make a change or two in their behaviour, to the benefit of their health.

That is one of the findings of a study on the value of using mobile phones to deliver health care (so-called mHealth). It was led by Damian Hacking of the University of Cape Town.

Reference: Hacking D et al (2016). Hypertension Health Promotion via Text Messaging at a Community Health Center in South Africa: A Mixed Methods Study, JMIR mHealth uHealth


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