Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: sanitation

  • Of toerags and spice boxes: Sanitation at sea

    Richard De GrijsSydney, Australia At 5 P.M. it blew rather fresh, but so steady that the Top Gallant sails were not taken in. The Purser went into the weather round House about this time, which is fixed in the Galley, on the Ships Bows. While he was on the Seat, a mass of wind was…

  • Book review: The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden Its title might seem frivolous, but this book is serious, and the problems Rose George describes are a matter of life and death. Her take on the disposal of human waste is clearly detailed in her introduction. She avoids euphemism and favors clarity. Forty percent of the world’s population has no access…

  • Book review: Greco-Roman Medicine and What it Can Teach Us Today

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The Republic of Rome was founded in the sixth century BC. In the third century BC, the western Roman Empire began to spread outside the borders of Italy. Roman rule came to Britain in AD 43 with the invasion by Claudius and ended in AD 476. The eastern Roman Empire,…

  • Death, disease, and discrimination during the construction of the Panama Canal (1904–1914)

    Enrique Chaves-Carballo Overland Park, Kansas, United States   Theodore Roosevelt. Portrait, c. 1904. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858–1919) President Theodore Roosevelt envisioned an interoceanic canal as indispensable for American “dominance at the seas.”1 An isthmian canal would facilitate rapid deployment of U.S. Navy ships from Atlantic to Pacific Oceans, bypassing the arduous…

  • Washing our hands

    Anthony PapagiannisThessaloniki, Greece Ever since Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, washed his hands before condemning Jesus Christ to death by crucifixion, this simple act of personal sanitation has been used as the figurative icon of a disclaimer, the denial of responsibility. Today, in the climate of the current COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing is not…

  • Blood donation in South Sudan

    Ahmed ElhagLatham, New York, United States When discussing the many challenges surrounding blood donation in South Sudan people tend to focus primarily on infrastructural barriers such as limited health care facilities and lack of investment and medical supplies. However, one important barrier that is often overlooked is the cultural stigma around blood donations. Many people…

  • Gandhiji on Indianness of health and healthcare (1869–1948)

    Dhastagir SheriffChennai, Tamil Nadu, India In 2019, 150 years after Mahatma Gandhiji’s birth, India celebrates his birthday to honor his legacy and his contributions to the welfare of this nation. We remember him with his alluring smile, in loin cloth, shawl, and thin-framed glasses, his attire representing his message to lead a simple life. This…

  • Dr. Rebecca Cole and racial health disparities in nineteenth-century Philadelphia

    Meg Vigil-Fowler Grand Junction, Colorado   The anatomy lecture room at the Woman’s Medical College of New York Infirmary. Published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  April 16, 1870. Library of Congress. From the beginning of black women’s professional involvement in medicine, public health marked a central component of the scope of their practice. Rebecca Cole,…

  • Identity and service

    Sona Engingan Cameroon, South west region   Cliff Walk at Pourville. Claude Monet. 1882. The Art Institute of Chicago In my country everyone wants to travel away. Parents, friends, and relatives all give the same advice: “Leave Cameroon once you graduate and get a high wage job abroad. Do not waste your talents here, there…

  • William Gorgas – Life and medical legacy

    Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States Portrait of William C. Gorgas. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. The Panama Canal Zone in the early 1900s was described as “one of the must unhealthful places in the world.”1 Ridden with mosquitoes, the Isthmus of Panama was a hotbed of yellow fever, malaria, and pneumonia. Previous efforts…