South African Medical Association

SAMA Weekly Newsletter | 21 May 2021



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Last day to comment | World Medical Association International Code of Medical

On 3 May 2021, the World Medical Association (WMA) published the draft of a revised version of the International Code of Medical Ethics (ICoME).

This is now open for public consultation and may be downloaded below.

SAMA will be in a position to send inputs from our own country members for this important Code.

Please send any comments that you may have on the Draft (see links below) to Mr Brandon Ferlito in the SAMA Knowledge Management, Research and Ethics Department (KMRED) at

Comments and inputs should reach SAMA by Friday 20 May to allow us to prepare a SAMA submission to the WMA.

The revision process so far

The International Code of Medical Ethics was adopted by the World Medical Association (WMA) in 1949 as a complement to the newly adopted Declaration of Geneva: The Physician’s Pledge (DoG). The ICoME outlines the guidelines, norms, and central duties of the medical profession. It is a powerful document with great potential in its own right and therefore deserves the same level of exposure and recognition as the DoG or the Declaration of Helsinki (DoH).

Since its adoption, the ICoME has been amended three times – most recently in 2006. In 2018, on the heels of the adoption of the revised DoG in 2017, the World Medical Association formed a workgroup to begin a careful long-term review of the ICoME with due consideration for the gravity of this document. The mandate of this workgroup is to update the ICoME to be more compatible with the revised DoG and the full spectrum of WMA policy, as well as to explain some of the concepts in the revised DoG in further detail.

Workgroup members and observers representing more than 15 countries (including the South African Medical Association) have reviewed the document carefully to determine what might be missing from the ICoME, what might be superfluous, what could potentially be organised differently.

The revised draft presented here is the result of the workgroup’s careful analysis, along with feedback received during regional conferences in Kuwait and Brazil (with further regional conferences in the African and Asian regions postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic), a WMA Associate Members webinar, and during the annual meeting of the International Association of Bioethics in 2020.

In April 2021, the Council of the WMA approved this draft version for public consultation.

How to participate in the public consultation

The WMA has invited all experts and stakeholders to submit comments on this draft version via email no later than 28 May 2021. The workgroup will thoroughly review all comments and consider all input; however, please note that it may not be possible to take all the suggestions received into account in the new draft declaration.

The current version of the ICoME is available here:

The new draft revised version can be downloaded here:

All submissions will be kept on file and may be made available to members of the public upon request to the WMA following completion of the revision process.


Guidelines on Management of Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopaenia - National Department of Health Guidance

Dear SAMA Membership The National Department of Health has issued a guidance circular for the management of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopaenia (VITT)

The circular addressed diagnostic criteria, anticoagulation and other measures which may be necessary.

Members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with this guidance.

Any comments may come to SAMA to Shelley McGee at, or may be sent directly to the Essential Drugs Programme at E-mail:

DoH Circular | Management of VITT
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The World Medical Association Junior Doctors Network Newsletter

Issue 21 of the Junior Doctors Network (JDN) Newsletter from April 2021 is now available from the World Medical Association Website at

Dr Lwando Maki, member of the SAMA Health Policy and Human Rights Law and Ethics Committees contributes an update on the JDN Ethics Working group.

The JDN serves as an international platform for junior doctors to facilitate an open dialogue of global events and activities that are relevant to their postgraduate training and the World Medical Association (WMA). It has been in existence since 2010.

The purpose of the JDN is to empower young physicians to work together towards a healthier world through advocacy, education, and international collaboration.

Some other interesting topics from this issue of the Newsletter:

  • Public Health Doctors in the Republic of Korea and their Role in Promoting One Health
  • Child Abuse in the Republic of Korea and the Role of Junior Doctors
  • From Border Control to One of the First Countries Enjoying Economic Recovery: Taiwan’s Measures for Crisis Relief
  • Foreign Affairs, Human Resources, and Junior Doctors as Insiders
  • Second Wave and Uncertainties: Experiences with Emotional Stress and Burnout

Questions or comments or interested to get involved? Contact SAMA's Knowledge Management, Research and Ethics Department (KMRED) at

Resolution 3 of 2009 Resolution 1 of 2010




Hospital-at-home startup seeks to disrupt traditional healthcare in South Africa

Quro Medical, a South Africa-based digital health startup that uses technology to offer home-based medical care, has just raised $1.1 million in a seed funding round. Founded in 2018, Quro combines hardware, software and the expertise of traditional doctors to manage acutely ill patients in the comfort of their homes. Jeanette Clark speaks to co-founder and CEO, Dr Vuyane Mhlomi, to understand the difference between the company’s services and existing telemedicine offerings.

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Valuing water in a changing climate is crucial for the future of South Africa


In some parts of South Africa, washing your hands under running water, taking a quick shower, or even flushing the toilet is a luxury. More than three million people in South Africa do not have access to a basic water supply, and in the face of climate change, we need to do more to build resilient water and sanitation systems and protect and improve the management of freshwater resources for the benefit of all people.


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Mind field: SA urgently needs a new mental health policy

Before Covid-19 came along and turned our lives upside down, mental health service delivery in low- and middle-income countries was already poor, with access to services hamstrung by stigma, inadequate infrastructure and poverty. These shortfalls have become even more pronounced since Covid-19 hit, with health and social care systems ill-equipped to deal with the pandemic’s sudden and severe demands. Covid-19 has led to further disruptions in mental health services, together with increases in human rights violations against mental health care users.

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JOHANNESBURG - There's been a major increase in daily COVID-19 deaths and cases in South Africa. The Department of Health recorded 167 fatalities over the past 24-hour reporting cycle, taking the national death toll to 55,507. “Today, 167 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 3, Free State 38, Gauteng 35, KwaZulu-Natal 6, Limpopo 19, Mpumalanga 3, North West 46, Northern Cape 7 and Western Cape 10, which brings the total to 55 507 deaths,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Medical aids in the firing line amid calls for all reserves and assets to be handed to the NHI

The Health Professions Council (HPCSA) says that South Africa’s new National Health Insurance (NHI) should be the only funding mechanism for health in South Africa – and laws should be changed to reflect that.


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Unions call for schools in South Africa to close as third Covid-19 wave hits

The Educators Union of South Africa (EUSA) has called for the closure of schools across the country over concerns around rising Covid-19 cases. With Gauteng, the Free State and the Eastern Cape having declared that they are in a third wave – the whole country will follow soon, the union said. The union claimed that schools are central to this resurgence as safety protocols have been ignored.


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The South African Medical Association - Postal Address-The South African Medical Association P O Box 74789,Lynnwood Ridge Pretoria 0040, South Africa
Physical address The South African Medical Association, Block F Castle Walk Corporate Park Nossob Street Erasmuskloof Ext3 Pretoria 0181, South Africa

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