Health

Lost causes

Okay, I might as well get it out in the open. I’m a loser. Luckily, most of the things I misplace turn up somewhere, sometime, and then it’s like Christmas at chez Foster. Some of my items that go AWOL are repeat offenders, and my bunch of house keys with the large magnesium and flint…

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The long goodbye

I know the face of dementia. I know its slow robbing of personality, of character, of the daily moments of person to person connection that make us human. This was brought even closer to home when I met the father of a good friend who had recently moved his wife with advanced Alzheimer’s disease into…

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Amaechi’s role in freeing Nigeria of the polio scourge

By Philemon Doro Adjekuko It has been about a year now since Nigeria recorded any case of polio. For over 17 years, the disease was on a rampage, especially in the northern part of the country. The country accounted for about 50% of global and 80% of African polio cases. Nigeria was the face of…

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Discovery Health wants a picture of your anus

Didn’t your mother warn you to never, ever, ever take a photograph of your private parts and give it or send it to anyone, let alone a complete stranger who asks for it? But this is exactly what happened when Donn Edwards, an old school friend of mine, submitted a claim for specialised wound care…

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Public health in SA: Crying out for help, but who is listening?

By Louise Carmody I was one of over a hundred people who gathered last week in the University of the Free State auditorium, as communities shared their experiences with an independent panel of three commissioners. Treatment Action Campaign and Section 27 convened the panel to investigate the real situation of public health care services in…

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Circumcision SA style – the unkindest cut of all

It demands a certain je ne sais quoi for someone of apparently sound mind to allow a man clad in animal skins to slice off their foreskin with a rusty assegai. And that in an isolated bush camp in the dead of winter, nogal. Especially since this rite of passage to manhood comes parcelled with…

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Civil society plays key role in promoting health rights in southern Africa

By Annabel Raw The Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s health rights programme was established in 2007 to advance human rights and the rule of law in southern Africa in relation to the HIV pandemic. Our work under this programme demonstrates the importance of human rights and the rule of law in issues of HIV and health…

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Gardening, religion and the magic of sex

I shove my filthy hands into the soil and claw out roots and weeds, savouring the mess. A waft of mulch, half-dead weeds, decomposed worms and God knows what sweetens the air. Soon this muddle will be in order: scooped out flowerbeds surrounded by clipped squares of lawn which I will lay down on this…

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South Africa is not a ‘fatherless’ country

By Nick Malherbe In the lead up to Father’s Day, one is often made to think of those who are “fatherless” and the high rate of father absence as a “crisis” of fatherhood. But such thinking cannot continue. I would argue that such a “crisis” stems primarily from the narrow way in which we think…

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‘It’s time to talk about what’s next’

By Monica Davies If you’ve followed the fight against climate change, in the last year especially, you’ll have noticed voices starting to be raised about things outside climate change — “without racial [or gender or food or economic] justice, there is no climate justice” is the most common one, and it’s entirely true. The problems…

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