Tag Archives: WHO

Medical tourism

Kozlova Liudmyla Mykolaiv, Ukraine   Doctor with stethoscope and globe in his hand. Photo by Jernej Furman. Via Flickr. CC BY 2.0. Medical tourism is a highly profitable industry that offers a range of medical procedures, highly specialized medical services, and tourism opportunities. It combines travel for health and medical services with recreational tourism. While […]

The snake, the staff, and the healer

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   The Rod of Asclepius, graphite on paper, by Daniel Wein, 2021. Introduction In some ancient cultures, especially around the Near East, the snake was involved in healing. Today this seems counterintuitive. There are as many as 130,000 deaths from snake bites worldwide each year and three times that number […]

Culture frames the experience and response to psychotic delusions

Colleen Donnelly Denver, Colorado, United States   Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash Since the 1950s many people suffering from psychotic delusions have claimed that these were caused by contemporary technology such as electromagnetic and micro- waves or computer chips clandestinely planted during medical procedures or alien abductions. Such tightly held beliefs and anxieties […]

Medical and other memories of the Cold War and its Iron Curtain

Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe  Dundee, Scotland, UK   Iron Curtain as described by Churchill 1946. Edited from original. Original by BigSteve via Wikimedia. (CC BY 1.0) In 1946, Winston Churchill named the political barrier appearing between the Soviet bloc and the West the “Iron Curtain.” It lasted until 1991. I met or crossed it several times. The […]

Ladies in red: medical and metaphorical reflections on La Traviata

Milad Matta Gregory Rutecki Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States   Illustration by Jason Malmberg. “. . . phthisic beauty[’s] . . . most famous operatic embodiment was Violetta Valery . . .This physical type became not only fashionable but sexy . . . When a society does not understand—and cannot control—a disease, ground seems to open […]

Heterozygous Advantage: how one deadly disease prevents another

Neal Krishna Boston, Massachusetts, United States   An allegory of malaria. Process print after M. Sand. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Of all the genetic disorders to which man is known to be a victim, there is no other that presents an assemblage of problems and challenges quite comparable to sickle […]

The paradox of blood donation

Beukou Steve Limbe, South-West Cameroon Team HERO Cameroon organizing 2nd annual blood drive 2019     (Source: NGO HERO CAMEROON) Team HERO Cameroon and voluntary blood donors during blood drive 2019 (Source: NGO  HERO CAMEROON) Exchange visit at the National Blood Transfusion Service in Mauritius 2019 (Source: Association of Commonwealth University Summerschool 2019) “Please I urgently […]

Blood donation in South Sudan

Ahmed Elhag Latham, New York   Red Cross in South Sudan. The item to the far right in the photograph is the country’s national instrument the “tombour” (an African lyre). The item to the left is a handcrafted piece of Sudanese art which contains calligraphy. Photograph by the author. When discussing the many challenges surrounding […]

Vampires and Blood Trafficking: the International Red Cross campaign against Third-world plasma collection in the 1970s

William Schneider Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   1986 photo of Hantchef and successors as head of IFRC Blood program (Cropped) left to right: Evelyn von Steffens (technical adviser), Juhani Leikola (Hantchef’s successor), Polly Dussan (secretary to Leikola), Tony Britten (Leikola’s successor) and Zarco Hantchef. Source: Juhani Leikola One of the cornerstones of the WHO Blood […]

Female Genital Mutilation: cultural practices, historical moments, and medical issues

Alexandros Argyriadis Agathi Argyriadi Limassol, Cyprus   Photo UNICEF / Olivier Asselin. Accessed via MONUSCO on Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0 Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as any procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for […]