Health

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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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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Becoming a man…and losing something on the way

By Olga Bialostocka As South Africa celebrates the first, successful penis transplant in the world, with much-deserved public awe, the question we should ask is why there’s a demand for this sort of specialist treatment. The results of the medical efforts of Stellenbosch University surgeons should be praised but the reasons why young men lose…

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The bitter sugar debate

At a kid’s birthday party recently someone remarked how thin I looked. I told the lady I was following Tim Noakes’ low-carb-high-fat Banting diet. I told her I ate butter like it’s cheese. She gasped a little. I told her I cut sugar completely out of my diet, which made some of the guests stop…

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Unaccompanied migrant children: Why we need to close the legal gaps to protect them

By Anjuli Maistry According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, almost half of the world’s forcibly displaced people are children. A number of factors lead to the migration of foreign children to South Africa. Some flee conflict and unrest, natural disaster or recruitment as child soldiers, while others leave their countries in the…

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