Health

The hospital has left the building

By Dr Shahra Sattar On Duinefontein Road in Manenberg there is a building that used to be GF Jooste Hospital. This building is not beautiful by any stretch. There are no glittering mosaics or eco-friendly manicured lawns greeting you at its entrance promising a fantastic service. No, this building is surrounded by a train track,…

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Auschwitz should put us off our food

By Trevor Sacks While a crudely assembled advert that ran in the Mail & Guardian featuring pictures of a pork factory farm and concentration camp prisoners side by side was naïve, the reaction from Caryn Gootkin in her piece, “I’m a Jew, not a pig” is misplaced. Quite rightly, we’re shocked by pictures of the…

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Doing panga surgery with the National Health Act

Legislators are like tik addicts. They’re convinced that after just one more hit they’ll find Nirvana. But the law, especially when cack-handedly drafted, is an imperfect instrument for changing society. It’s like using a panga for plastic surgery: the results are likely to please neither practitioner nor patient. Filled as it is with a righteous…

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What I should probably tell medical interns but almost never do

By Karen Milford Media coverage of the long working hours of junior doctors has caused much discussion and argument among my peers. Articles such as this (where a journalist follows an intern on call) and this (where an intern claims her hours are illegal) have generated responses ranging from anger to sympathy. We know that…

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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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