These days, we are not meant to see women die from septic abortions. But that night, we did.
She was a healthy young woman who came to see me for a “complete check-up” before a holiday overseas. Although I tend to think “complete” check-ups are somewhat overkill, they do present a good opportunity for health promotion and disease prevention. As one does, I asked about sexual history and family planning. She hesitated justContinue reading “Doctor. Counsellor. Freedom Fighter.”
Maybe if we dropped some of those balls – dropped them so they clattered across the floors, and people stepped on them and tripped over them and they became a real nuisance – maybe then something would change.
The purpose of an alternate-reality novel is not just to point out the differences between our situation and the what-ifs, but more jarringly to show the similarities. And that is what I found to be the value (and the horror) of Underground Airlines, because as I read I found myself asking, “But how is this REALLY any different from what black Americans are dealing with in our reality?”
But every year, I and my colleagues find ourselves a little annoyed by many of the people who arrive to do their bit. Here are some pointers if you intend to visit a hospital this Mandela Day – or any other day.
It seems like nobody cared about doctors working long hours until someone else was affected by it. Is it wrong for me to be bitter about this? That a layperson had to die before anybody cared about the doctors who were suffering? Ilne Markwat was not the first intern do die or suffer serious disability from exhaustion. If it was just her, and no other person injured, would anybody beyond her family and colleagues have cared?
I started working on this post on two days. Since then, I have received news of a colleague who died in an accident while driving post-call. She went to my alma mater and graduated last year, and though I did not know her personally, my heart breaks. A country with a shortage of doctors has lost a young doctor who was just starting in her career. She was well-loved, and we will all feel her absence.
A few weeks ago, the community around one of the hospitals where I work picked up their torches and pitchforks (well, sort of) and protested again. I’ve written before about South Africa’s protest state of mind, and about working during a riot.
I want to address some pertinent falsehoods about health and fitness, and why the disenfranchised have such a hard time of it.
Here’s what I love about Fifteen Lanes: Grace and Noor aren’t pitted against each other. At no point are Grace’s issues made to seem petty compared to Noor’s. At no point is Grace made out to be a savior; and at no point is Noor the girl who “gives Grace perspective.” Because there is nothing as annoying as someone who says, “Wow, look at her struggles, I’m so lucky to have my life” – and then they carry on with their privileged life, thinking that a day spent playing pat-a-cake with some impoverished children absolves them.