Medicine

Thirty years after the U.S.S.R. collapsed we are still learning about the ramifications of overarching government control of essential services. Though the combined Germany now has nationwide healthcare, some government health care is worse than others. You don't want to be in a South African public hospital today and you didn't want to be in a communist Russia one then. East Germans still have many more hospitalisations for heart failure compared to West Germans. Heart failure is the most common reason for hospital admissions and is responsible for a large part of the total health…
Disease has afflicted humans ever since there have been human. Malaria and tuberculosis are thought to have ravaged Ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago. From 541 to 542 CE the global pandemic known as “the Plague of Justinian” is estimated to have killed 15–25% of the world’s 200-million population. Following the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the native population dropped from around 30 million in 1519 to just three million 50 years later. Today we are battling to control the COVID-19 virus which has the potential to cause the most deadly pandemic in human history. There is, however, a…
With locusts ravaging East Africa and a coronavirus plague shutting down Western economies, maybe it is time to go back and see how the precautionary principle has fared as the (only) risk management tool in our policy toolkit. With a population naively assuming they were living risk-free lives having been reassured how their personal safety was managed by others, the coming crisis is going to hit hard. Whatever happened to personal risk management, accountability and autonomy? Populations that have lost an understanding of risks are now incapable of dealing with simple hazard reduction…