Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: World Health Organization

  • Rapamycin: The “fountain of youth” from Easter Island?

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Moais at the Rano Raraku volcano quarry. Photo by Rivi, 2006, on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. “We know more about the movement of the celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.” – Leonardo DaVinci   In November 1964, the Canadian naval vessel HMCS Cape Scott left Halifax, Nova Scotia, to…

  • 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 on…

  • A bad taste in the mouth: over fifty years of doubt about MSG

    Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   A Chinese Food Storefront in New York, NY. Photo by Jkusachi. June 2019. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Monosodium glutamate’s bad reputation started with one letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. From there, the truth was confused by misinformation and prejudice. Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok…

  • Schizophrenia in Nikolai Gogol’s Diary of a Madman and Lu Xun’s A Madman’s Diary

    Janet Ming GuoAtlanta, Georgia, United States Lu Xun’s 狂人日記 (A Madman’s Diary; 1918)1 was inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s Записки сумасшедшего, Zapiski sumasshedshevo (Diary of a Madman; 1835).2 Both works reveal crucial information about schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, two psychiatric disorders that are often misdiagnosed3 but affect many people worldwide. In 2019 the World Health Organization estimated…

  • Drawing parallels in pandemic art

    Mariella Scerri Mellieha, MaltaVictor GrechPembroke, Malta “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky.”1 Albert Camus, The Plague Experts have long analyzed plans and developed scenarios to respond to an infectious…

  • Heterozygous advantage: How one deadly disease prevents another

    Neal KrishnaBoston, Massachusetts, United States 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 cell anemia. Because of its ubiquity, chronicity, and resistance to treatment, sickle cell anemia remains a malady whose mitigation and…

  • Female Genital Mutilation: Cultural practices, historical moments, and medical issues

    Alexandros ArgyriadisAgathi ArgyriadiLimassol, Cyprus 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 non-medical reasons.1 Female Genital Mutilation is a traditional practice, but is globally recognized as a violation…

  • Yellow Fever: Harmful habit or new frontier in identity dysphoria?

    Oyinade OsisanyaIjebu Ode, Ogun, Nigeria In 1976, when Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend, released Yellow Fever, the hit masterpiece in which he passionately decried in his powerful, ringing voice, You dey bleach o, you dey bleach, African mother . . . stupid thing, yeye thing, ugly thing. . . you dey bleach o, you…

  • Falls and art: An evolving story

    Glenn ArendtsMurdoch, Australia Coming to rest inadvertently on the ground:1 the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a fall sounds vaguely patronizing, bordering on disinterested. The human act of staying upright is a complex triumph of the integration of neurosensory, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems, and its failure is associated with injury, fear, and embarrassment. Ancient…

  • Two hearts beating: the history and benefits of “Kangaroo Care”

    Nursan CinarHamide ZenginSakarya, Turkey The rate of preterm birth is between 5 and 18% worldwide. Prematurity is the most important cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity, especially in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the neonatal mortality rate is 20% worldwide.1 Having a premature baby is a source of anxiety and stress…