Health

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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‘Why would anyone want to become a doctor?’

By Dr Owen Wiese I remember very clearly an incident during my community service, when I walked into the trauma unit at a day hospital in Cape Town one morning and found a patient lying on the trolley, bleeding profusely from a knife wound. I picked up the patient’s file and read: stab wound to…

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Fantasies of binaries: Why are we so uncomfortable with difference?

By Pierre Brouard By Sunday May 17 I would have participated in a panel discussion on LGBTI migrants and asylum seekers at an Idahot event organised by the Alliance Francaise in Sunnyside, Pretoria. Idahot is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and is intended to celebrate sexual and gender diversity. This celebratory spin…

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Even good girls need sex

I kind of stumbled onto it. Born into multiple consecutive generations of Scottish missionaries and ministers, growing up in the front pews of the church pastored by my dad, achieving two theology degrees of my own as well as years in church service, led me to distance myself from any belief system that enforces a…

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Xenophobia and violence: A call for psychological expertise

In recent months, the country has experienced gruesome incidents of xenophobia-related violence. Some South Africans attacked, injured and killed a number of non-nationals and South Africans. Businesses belonging to non-nationals were looted and burned. People were driven out of their homes and had to spend time in refugee tent camps. The scenes reported in the…

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Dying for a transplant

By Patricia Erasmus It is a lawyer’s worst nightmare — having to watch your client die. But this was the reality for our staff when an Ethiopian man was brought to us in the final stages of double renal failure. As he lay in the parking lot of our offices, disorientated, weak and struggling to…

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Fighting TB with prisoners’ rights

By Annabel Raw Today is World Tuberculosis Day, commemorating the discovery of the cause of the disease in 1882. Tuberculosis (TB) is an ancient disease with traces in human remains being recorded since antiquity. Despite advances in public health and treatment, today TB continues to claim over one and a half million lives every year,…

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