Health

What good is tradition if we lose a penis?

Recently a young man lost his penis. The member in question was lost during an initiation ritual and when he attempted to ask the elders what to do about it (raising the matter in a public forum) he allegedly received a beating. The reason he got this beating? Because by speaking out the initiate was…

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Tim Noakes and the weight of the soul

Other people, when they feel the need to get away from it all, to meditate, or to seek spiritual guidance, withdraw into seclusion. They visit gurus on mountain tops. They trudge into the desert. They go wandering with rucksacks on uncharted footpaths. I went on a pleasure cruise on a gigantic, crowded luxury ocean liner….

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Give Ritalin a break

Please don’t misinterpret my title. I did not say “Give kids a break from Ritalin” or “Stop using Ritalin on kids”. I meant exactly what I said. Let’s give Ritalin the respect it deserves. I write this in response to a series of tweets I saw by a well-known HIV doctor specialist in which she…

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Leave our ‘germs’ alone!

There is a television advertisement aired in South Africa periodically that I find particularly irritating. In it a young mother, baby in arms, walks around her kitchen spraying an aerosol into the air, to a verbal and written promise that the product in question “Kills germs dead!” Besides massacring the English language, the premise that…

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How money is more important than lives in healthcare technology

I saw via Twitter an interesting link on Reuters here about how students have developed a smartphone application with a microscope attachment to diagnose malaria. The article shows a picture of a child at risk somewhere in Africa. Great idea, and one that can go a long way to help people who really need it….

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Can a psychology of ubuntu heal our broken society?

The urgency of activism, although well-intentioned, can hide the ordinary, subtle, even banal nature of how societies become sick. The 16 days of activism, now quickly forgotten, reflected our uneasiness at how things are and had a desire to want to put things right. But change is a process, not an event. Our response to…

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Voices from Kagiso: Community says Mintails’ suspension is a smokescreen

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has suspended Australian mining company Mintails’ operations in Kagiso on the west rand after community members embarked on protests citing serious environmental, safety and health violations and structural damage to their houses as a result of the mine’s operations in close proximity to their homes. Media for Justice reports that…

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Gogos under siege: Let’s put an end to it

It should be concerning to every individual when a newspaper headline sates: “Dead woman (80) sexually assaulted with a fork”. Actually everyone should be filled with anger. This was the headline in the Sowetan today (December 4 2013). The story tells of the gruesome murder, and possible rape of Gogo Anna Ntsane of Hennenman in…

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An open letter to Discovery’s CEO, Dr Jonny Broomberg

Dear Jonny Thank you for coming to speak to us last week. In light of recent media exposure the prospect of meeting 20 angry doctors and specialists must have been daunting. Your DM to me that you were “looking forward to it” was a surprise, but it strikes me that you are up to any…

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The Arctic: Why you should give a damn

The Arctic is melting. The Arctic is thawing — reaching record lows this decade as Arctic temperatures are at their highest in the last 44 000 years. Climate change is heating our planet, and we could soon see ice-free summers at the North Pole. In their latest climate report, scientists around the world are more emphatic…

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