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ALL THAT GLITTERS... NHLOSO DLOMO Late last year, the Health Sciences Faculty implemented a new, ―improved‖ student transport system. The aim of this system was to bridge the divide between the cost of transporting students to their various sites and the amount of students utilising this service. According to members of the Dean‘s Office, the faculty had been spending exorbitant amounts of money in providing transports to the students yet, fewer and fewer students seemed to be utilising this service hence a newer, more cost effective system needed to be developed. As such, the new transport booking service was launched which required students to book for their transport ahead of time and based on the number of students requiring transport to an area, an appropriate amount of buses would be provided - a simple case of matching demand with supply. Initially this new system seemed to glitter with promise. Now, 6 months into the New Year, it is quite clear that this system needs serious revision. The main issue that needs addressing is the booking system itself. It is fair to say that, as medical students ,we are able to comprehend and understand fairly complex and challenging concepts. Yet, this new booking system on Vula still manages to confound even the sharpest of minds! It seems to be more like a formal questionnaire rather than an electronic booking service and the structuring of the system leaves much to be desired. When we have IT experts capable of setting up and running large, electronic multiple choice exams for thousands of students, I fail to understand why a system to book transport (which would be used on a fairly frequent basis) can‘t be simplified and made more user friendly. Furthermore, the deadlines by which students are required to have booked transport for a particular week are hugely impractical, inconsistent and defy logic. WHY would transport booking for a particular date close a week and a half before the actual date? Seriously! It‘s a well known fact that humans remember things that are easy to remember and require little to no thought. To remember to book a week and a half in advance is not simple! In a seven-day week, who‘s to say where the half actually lies? And to further complicate matters, members of faculty themselves seem to be just as confused as we are – some say a week before, others say half a week before the week before and on and on it goes. It seems that all the students need to take on another course as part of the programme in order to understand how to use this system - Advanced Transport Booking 101. The new system also comes with a new policy of ―no booking, no seat‖ – quite self-explanatory. The main problem here though, is that our course timetables and schedules are forever changing. It is not uncommon for students to find out a day before that they need to be at a certain place the next morning, and for those without access to private transportation, this poses a slight dilemma as they would obviously have missed the week and a half deadline. However, the Faculty claims to be one step ahead and have a ―late booking service‖ where students requiring urgent transportation can SMS Mr Reece Brooks and request a seat on the bus the next morning. This seems to be quite a simple solution then - until Mr Brooks tells you there‘s no such thing as a late booking service and the buses are full! Or better yet, is the case of the student who arrives in the morning to be told that they may not travel that morning as they‘ve either not booked or their names do not appear on the manifestos for the day. ….Continues on next page

EDITORIAL Dear Readers!! The PULSE team invites you to read this fantastic new edition that we have compiled about the few big issues that have affected you as the student body in the Health Sciences Faculty this semester. As is evident by the theme of this edition of PULSE we will be reflecting on the events that happened, which made students feel like the system in which we are living and working in is slowly falling apart. One of the issue which seems very pertinent, especially to the clinical students, is the transportation debacle that began at the beginning of this year. Students were being left on campus either because they were unable to book for transportation a week or so in advance or the system had not picked up their bookings and they were left stranded. In this edition we will be hearing from a student, Nhloso Dlomo, who was on the receiving end of this debacle and found out what strong emotions came into play. This edition also welcomes two new columns and writers, who have just joined the PULSE legacy. We are very excited to launch the ―What is your Specialty?‖ column which discusses the highlights and interests of the various disciplines in the Health Sciences Faculty. This instalment delves into the world of Obstetrics. Sindy Tu, who has just joined our team, interviewed Dr. Kent Athol to get his story about why he decided on the Obstetrics discipline. Maya Jaffer, who is also a welcomed addition to our team, has established a new column, ―Down the Rabbit Hole‖. This column is a unique and exciting look into the world outside Medical textbooks and into the world of literature. Look out for Sam‘s article on the very serious issue of leaping before you look, as she looks at events at SHAWCO. The usual suspects are also all back to provide you with a touch of the various articles that you all enjoy. Ché-Len opens our minds to the politics that shrouds our discipline each and everyday. Jon gives us a look into the world of academic and research pursuits, and Sbu gives us the Campus‘s view of the reasons to vote or not to vote. We all hope that you enjoy this edition. And that you heed our constant invitation to write for us any time and on any topic that you deem important. Kate Honger - Editor

….Continues from previous page This would be understandable if the buses were full and there was no more available space. But if a bus certified to carry 22 is carrying 5 and there are 15 students requesting transport on that very bus, would it not serve the purpose of maximum utility (for which this system was brought into effect) to allow these students on the bus? Clearly, the Faculty thinks otherwise and deems it more appropriate to slam the doors in these people‘s faces and merrily drive the party of 5 to their respective locations leaving the other 15 stranded. There is absolutely no sensibility in that! These are not the emphatic rantings of an embittered student, these are the actual situations that have been faced by many a student. The bus drivers themselves will happily acknowledge that this system is unrealistic, the students are gatvol and this needs to change. These concerns have been raised to higher ranking members of faculty as well as the HSSC to little avail. Understandably, transporting students is very expensive but there has to be a better solution that will satisfy, as far as possible, all concerned. This system at its current operational level is definitely not ―gold‖! ■

CONTRIBUTORS Nhloso Dlomo Maya Jaffer Jonathan King Samkelwe Majola Sibusiso Mbambo Ashlyn McKay Ché-Len Reddy Sze Ki So Sindy Tu

WHAT‘S YOUR SPECIALITY? Interview with Dr Athol Kent (Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Medical Education)

headmaster and my mother was a teacher. I am a graduate of UCT and after specializing in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, I studied further in medical teaching. It is also about giving back if you have been in a privileged situation and passing on knowledge, skills and attitudes that might otherwise be lost. There is a great need in this country for teachers at every level – especially the tertiary level. It’s great to have Prof Perez leading the renewed interest in medical education which has found expression in the fact that we are hosting an international conference on medical education here at UCT in July this year.

a knife! He must have had the shock of his life seeing all the blood around and he bolted – never to be seen again. There are many stories you end up accumulating but few as crazy as that. Do you have any advice for students? Make use of the opportunities that are available to you, particularly when you have a chance to interact with patients. Information from the textbooks doesn’t always translate into practical knowledge. Comments about the O&G Block from the Students:

What is your philosophy for teach“A new mother’s joy and expresing? sion of boundless gratitude after as Teach through setting an example. excruciating and exhausting laAn opportunity to learn more about Pass on your enthusiasm to students. bour… the infant’s first cries… the different departments in Health Good examples will motivate students it’s inexplicable really!” Sciences and bad examples will discourage Manelisi Gasa – an aspiring obstethem. trician, 4th year MBChB When did your interest in obstet- What are your most memorable “I hate the guts and gore and the amniotic fluid! It’s probably worse rics and gynaecology begin? experiences as a student? because it’s our first block and we My interest began during my stu- During my preclinical years, a regis- don’t have anything to compare it dent years. For me it was becoming trar had asked me to assist him in to. Instrumental deliveries freak involved in seeing patients and do- theatre. I told him that I hadn’t even me out. You have to be on call at ing procedures. In obstetrics the been into an operating theater. He 7am and you begin to smell like patients really want to you be in- reassured me and said he would tell vagina. When you go off call and volved. Also, the reward is perhaps me what to do. The way he did it was finally get to have a shower, you more tangible than in other disci- very encouraging and he even compli- still end up smelling like vagina plines. A pregnancy lasts forty mented me on how I cut the knots! afterwards!” weeks and at the end, there is (most Anonymous – a despairing, but times) a healthy baby and healthy When I was working in District Six at honest 4th year MBChB ■ mother. the Peninsula Maternity Hospital as a registrar, I was performing a caesarWhat was your motivation for ean section when a man ran into the operating theatre with a large flickgoing into teaching? knife. He probably didn’t know where It’s congenital! My grandfather he was going as he had been chased was a professor of mathematics off the streets by skollies. There I was, here in UCT and my father was a holding a scalpel facing him holding

THE POLITICAL COLUMN The course of medicine in South Africa CHÉ– LEN REDDY

and untenable. A start is to acknowledge the health inequalities inherited from the past, adopt a position that obligates us to address wrongs, develop a more efficient health system that ultimately reduces (at least in the area of health) differences that produce unnecessary social tension. We can analyze the role of health care from the perspective of two prominent ethical theories: that which asks and requires that we bring about the ―best‖ utility (i.e., the best outcome) for the greatest number of citizens, and that which relies on the fulfillment of a moral social contract. The former utilitarian argument is likely to scrutinize any measure that broadens the reach of health, encompassing more people as bringing about the most utility (and thereby doing more ―good‖ than what exists currently). Another could argue that money be better spent – perhaps on education – thereby bringing about more utility. A contractarian view will argue that expanding health care access (so that more benefit) is fundamental to any just social contract, otherwise why will all citizens enter into a contract when some are more disadvantaged than others? While these are different arguments in terms of ethics, at least at a glance, I think it is clear that we should try all that is possible to expand health care so that it pervades all levels of society, with the aim of reducing differences that produce social tension.

Health is political. One would be hard-pressed to identify an area that is more consistently a feature of politics, than that of health. The main reason is that historically all citizens did not have equal access to health services and the legacy of this remains on many fronts. Noticeable health inequality is prevalent everywhere. Currently, we have a divided health system, one state and public, the other, private. This need not necessarily be a bad thing. However, the contrasts between these two sectors are too stark. Despite functioning as the health provider for most South Africans, the state sector is underresourced and cannot reach all citizens, and when it does the treatment is vastly inferior to the private sector. On the other hand, the private sector serves a minority of South Africans and is comparatively well resourced. However, given the entirely different nature of state and private practice, the contrast does not surprise. While I am not interested in scrutinizing the usefulness of either system – state or private – I am concerned that taken together they do not translate into a productive and effective health system. Clearly, our approach needs to be revised. Our outlook requires that this division be reconsidered. Both sectors fail South Africans. The state is failing to provide care for most citizens and private care is too expensive and only serves too few of the South African populaWe must always be practical and logical. I tion. This division adds to the social tensions that think the first step is to acknowledge a probare already a part of our societies ills. It reproduces lem. Second, we must scrutinize the problem, tension at the political level – those on the receivand third, come up with appropriate and suiting end of state services remain frustrated and those able ways to fix it. I know this sounds very accessing private care are too scared to lose the simple. It is. The crucial start is most imporalready high standard of care they have gotten actant and that is we reconsider our current customed to. One side wants what the other side has views and decide how we envision health care and reflects in health what we see in education, in South Africa – do we foresee a system that works for some or one jobs, housing and all areas of South African life. Something has got to which works for all? Only then, once we have thought hard about the give, lest we live with the possibility of a social explosion waiting to happroblem, can we consider how we are to translate our views into a parpen in future, leaving us all in a state of anxiety as a nation. ticular health care practice for all South Africans. Crucially, the aim So, at some point, we must ask: where is the current health system head- should be to reduce tensions in our society as a whole; this benefits all ing and what must be done to improve it? It is a simple question. As the and goes beyond health care. context changes we have to find ways that work in the new environment. Every generation has and must do this. Over the next few years, our So let us interrogate this issue. How do we envisage health care in South health system will change, possibly for the worse if current patterns con- Africa? Do we have a moral obligation to expand the reach of health tinue. There is no doubt about this. A new batch of people, a new generacare? Let us evaluate our own attitudes and views, question, think, and tion perhaps, must look to the future with some confidence. Nurses, docargue. There is no absolutely right answer. Grey areas are everywhere. tors and ministers of health will come from our generation. Unless we stop and question what is failing us, we will merely assume the same po- But for us, as reasonable human beings, discussion is central and with sition as those before us. The simple act of questioning our current system time and debate our views are likely to converge towards creating a more might means change that increases access to private care, improving the equitable health care system. This is our responsibility as future health quality of public care and perhaps one day, reaching a stage where the care professionals. ■ difference is negligible and a choice of convenience and taste rather than The PULSE opinions and views section is a vehicle for expression on any topic quality. All people have the right to good health. It is an ethical issue. One person having access to health services and another not, is unethical

by members of the University or other interested parties. The opinions are not necessarily those of the PULSE collective , the University of Cape Town or any other interested parties.

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE READING GETS “HEALTHY” MAYA JAFFER Greetings Pulse readership! This column, in its first incarnation this issue, will be dedicated to exploring reading and writing from an angle unique to us as Health Sciences students. I‘ll be discussing various books that have a ―medical‖ twist to them, but let me clear this up beforehand – no, this will not include a comparison of the relative merits of Wheaters and Kierszenbaum! Instead, I want to appeal to the side of us that is not interested only in being (literally) elbow-deep in a cadaver‘s abdomen or mind-mapping pathways of carbohydrate metabolism. Yes, I am aware that many of us couldn‘t give two figs about what happens in that far-away land of Upper Campus, let alone in some ―wishy-washy‖ faculty like Humanities... But really – and I know I‘m not some lone satellite feebly broadcasting an irrelevant message in the hope that some extra-terrestrial a zillion light-years away will pick it up and understand. There are many amongst us who are actually interested in books, reading and the literary world out there… Yes. Yes? Hello? Is anybody out there??? Anyway, on the pretext that I‘m right (it is a position I often like to take), I want to share with you some of the more remarkable reading experiences I have had over the last few years. Some of the books I talk about will be fiction, and some not, but all will hopefully be interesting and in some way connected to our studies and future careers. First up – Oliver Sacks. The man is brilliant. This man is a neurologist by trade, but also a skillful writer and philosopher of the human mind. He is known for writing books with such distinctive titles as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars. His books include portraits of his more unusual patients, but in a way that is entirely respectful and indeed filled with real admiration and curiosity. His often speaks of the ―creative potential‖ of disease in subverting ―normal‖ brain function, since out of this dysfunction comes a range of entirely new abilities and experiences for the patient. It is from his musings on these rare occurrences that we learn a little more of how our brains develop and affect our lives. His novel-length study on music and the brain, Musicophilia, is an intriguing look at a subject that has enthralled human beings for centuries, most of the time without us even being aware of it. His starting point is the story of a man who is struck by lightning and becomes subsequently quite possessed by music, and from there on Sacks thoroughly dissects the various relationships and interactions people have with music and the neurological basis of these. For those new to him, I advise starting off with some of his short stories, An Anthropologist on Mars being a fine example, as he is a neurologist after all and thus his writing contains a considerable amount of terminology. But actually, what is best about Sacks is that he is also entertaining. His patients and their stories make for fascinating reading, from Greg, the protagonist of ―The Last Hippie‖, whose brain tumour has left him and his memories permanently stuck sometime during the sixties, to Stephen of ―Prodigies‖, an autistic child with startlingly unusual talents. Oliver Sacks is, without doubt, a gifted writer, with the ability to write clearly and accessibly about complex medical conditions. I don‘t expect him to be to everybody‘s taste (he is probably more suited to those with a pre-existing interest in neurology). But he is well worth a try for the uniqueness and breadth of the stories he has to tell. Now, if I may be pretentious for a moment – I know it is written in the language of decades ago – just to ram my point from earlier home I‘d like to end off this debut column with a quote from Ian McEwan in ―Atonement‖ (you may remember the wonderful movie adaptation that came out a couple of years ago). Saying these lines is Robbie, who has a passion for books and is aspiring to enter medical school: “For this was the point, surely: he would be a better doctor for having read literature. What deep readings his modified sensibility might make of human suffering, of the self-destructive folly or sheer bad-luck that drive men towards ill-health! Birth, death, and frailty in between. Rise and fall – this was the doctor’s business, and it was literature’s too…” ■

Making a Difference…Why me, why should I care. SIBUSISO MBAMBO Having an army or as they say ‗muscles‘ behind you is the way empires and kingdoms were built in the past since the rise of the Roman Empire and before that. The masses never had much say in that; even in the early 70‘s people were muted and terrorized for voicing out their birth given right. We are indeed in a critical historical moment, all over the world people are fighting for that right and some have forgotten what there were fighting for to begin with. In April, people from all over the country queued in long dreadful lines just to vote.

with one vote laws are drafted, with one vote democracy is reborn, with one vote people are freed from bondage, with one vote a country free of internal hatred is born. We are at war with ourselves and everyday is a struggle. What matters is how we get through that, not already looking for a better ending without the journey to reflect on. Some say to conquer oneself is to conquer all. This, for them, is the greatest achievement of all. My beloved countrymen, voting is a right and a privilege that we all should exercise. No matter how insignificant you may think your vote is, it could change the fate of the world, let alone our nation.

What exactly were they voting for? Is it to elect corrupted and amoral government officials? Is it for free education? Or is it for a country free of crime, poverty, child and women abuse? What will this government do now that the previous government has been unable to achieve? These were the questions brought forward by some individuals who had not registered for the elections. Others believed that voting doesn‘t affect them, so why should they waste their time and energy. Nevertheless some registered individuals believed that there is still hope for a better South Africa and change is a gradual process even though it may not be visible enough to all the people. They also believed that no matter how ‗big‘ or higher up the government officials may be seen, the truth is that they are powerless with- Written by S’busiso A. Mbambo, Sir ■ out our votes. This is why they need our support. Furthermore

AMANDLA VULA! JONATHAN KING The power of VULA is amazing. Before VULA there was WEBCT, a similar programme but UCT had to pay for its use. Before that, it was up to you to photocopy the lecture notes or take them down during lectures. VULA provides an outstanding electronic resource to UCT students. Most students only interface with the receiving end of VULA, but I‘ll try to give PULSE users a brief introduction to the business end of VULA. Did you know you can create your own VULA project site? If you want to create a study group, a society, or personal data storage site you can! Try it! Under ‗My Workspace‘ enter ‗Workspace Setup‘, ‗New‘, ‗Project Website‘, ‗Continue‘ and follow on from there. The beauty of creating your own site is the ease of access in maintaining constant communication with your ‗participants‘ of your site. Once you become ‗site owner‘, only then do you fully appreciate the power of VULA. So why create your own site? 1) Your site can remain private or public 2) Your list of participants will automatically receive an email if any announcements are made 3) Any documentation can be posted under the ‗Resources‘ tab 4) Non-UCT email address can be used (UCT address are preferred) 5) Forums provides open communication between participants of the site, so that each can see and comment on the topic.

There are many more powerful tools on VULA so if you‘re interested in creating your own site, access the help tab of ‗My Workspace‘. Amandla VULA! ■

Pick n’ Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2009 SZE KI SO The 31st Pick n‘ Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour took place on the 8 th of March in conditions that truly depict the Mother City. Gale force winds were blowing at speeds of up to 60 km/h forcing some cyclists off their bikes! The Cape Argus is traditionally a 109 km race that runs from Cape Town down the Cape Peninsula and sees an average of 30,000 to 40,000 participants. This year, approximately 35,000 entered but due to the weather, only 25,600 started. Amongst those that braved the winds, PULSE was able to interview four of them, of which three are in the 3 rd year MBChB class: Have you entered the Cape Argus before? If so, how many times? Claire Castelyn: Yes, it‘s my 4th time. Mikhail Botha: I‘ve done the Argus 4 times before; this is going to be my 5th. Nelson Sardinha: Yes, this is my 2nd year now. Nicholas Giles: Yes, twice before.

since I haven‘t been training as hard as I would‘ve like to. If I manage to get a time under 03:10:00, I will be happy. Nicholas Giles: I aim to finish under 4 hours this year. What do you like and dislike about the Cape Argus? Claire Castelyn: I don‘t like the pain I experience afterwards, and getting a late starting time. However, I enjoy the atmosphere of the ride, the friendly riders and the scenery is almost relaxing even though you‘re killing yourself on the bike. Mikhail Botha: The awesome part is that you‘re never alone. There are cyclists and spectators keeping you going. There is also free Coke, Powerades, chocolates, massages and anything else you need to keep going!

Have you prepared for this year’s race?

Nelson Sardinha: I can‘t think of anything I dislike. The support from the spectators is great – they‘re there from beginning to end supporting you. It‘s also entertaining to see people dressed up as a Smurf, Pink Panther, or Donald Duck etc.

Claire Castelyn: Yes. I cycle twice from Camps Bay to the bottom of Chapman‘s Peak. I also do spinning at least 3 times a week for the last 2 weeks.

Nicholas Giles: I love the crowd support and friendly atmosphere. Cycling through Cape Town is amazingly beautiful. The expo is also great fun.

Mikhail Botha: This year has been the most preparation I‘ve done for the Argus. In my second race, I did no training at all – not a good idea, took me 5 and a half hours and I started cramping just past halfway! My training started in December with general cardio and 6 weeks ago, I started cycling. I cycle 4 times a week with varying distances and intensities. Nelson Sardinha: I cycle 5 times a week, 2 hours each day. I mainly try to increase my fitness and prepare myself for Chapman‘s Peak and Suikerbossie by training on them. I also try to gym 3 times a week if I have the time.

Since everything that happened on that Sunday was what most of the four have hoped not to happen, we decided to follow up with them to get the post-Argus capture: So you’ve done the race – how was your overall experience of it this year? Mikhail Botha: It was really awesome just to finish the race with some people saying it was the hardest Argus ever. I didn‘t get the time I wanted, which was disappointing since I had trained so much, but nonetheless an amazing experience.

Nicholas Giles: I‘ve ridden once a weekend for the past 8 weeks. Each Nelson Sardinha: It was something else this year. The weather was horride has been about 80 km long – from Constantia to Scarborough (near Simon‘s Town) and back to Constantia. It usually takes me 3 and rible, but despite it, many supporters still came out of their comfortable half hours. Right now, I‘m resting before the big day and carbo-loading homes to cheer us on. with pasta! Nicholas Giles: The wind was horrific but just to finish it was amazing! Such a character building experience! What are you hoping to achieve? Claire Castelyn: I‘d like to get approximately 5 hours but I‘m not stressed if I don‘t get it.

Sunday was really windy – tell me about it and how it affected your cycling?

Mikhail Botha: I am hoping for a sub 4 hours Argus, which would be Mikhail Botha: The race was different from the start. People were litermy personal best. I‘m also hoping to improve my time so I‘ll be able to ally falling over as they started because of the wind. In the other years, it was heat and even rain to contend with, but the wind was the worst. The ride in the same group as my brother next year. worst part was at the end (after Suikerbossie), the wind was so strong people were stopping dead… on a downhill! Nelson Sardinha: I just want to better my time from last year. I was ...CONTINUES TO NEXT PAGE aiming for the sub 3 hours this year but I don‘t think I will manage it

...CONTINUES FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Nelson Sardinha: Really windy does not describe it. That wind was a monster blowing at 40 – 60 km/h, it really made the race difficult fighting the wind all the time, but it was still interesting. I‘ve never cycled in winds like that, so in a way, it was a good experience for next time. Nicholas Giles: It slowed me down to about half my usual pace, but you can work off the frustration by pumping your legs harder! Any advice/words for people who might be interested in entering in future?

Mikhail Botha: I think anyone can do the Argus and no one should be afraid to try. It really makes you feel good to just finish it. You don‘t even need a road bike and all the fancy equipment (although padded cycle shorts are very helpful). Nelson Sardinha: Just get a few hours in the saddle every week and you will enjoy the race. Take it easy. Nicholas Giles: I urge everyone even thinking about it to do it! It is a great way to exercise and is an integral part of the Cape Town experience. Everyone is capable of finishing it with enough training. I have actually been thinking about trying to get our whole class to do it next year as one big group! That would be amazing – it would make the papers actually!

Claire Castelyn: Enter early – within the first two weeks, entries are all sold out. And people tend to blow the Argus out of proportion. I don‘t believe people can‘t do it – there‘s 7 hours to complete it and it‘s possible. The training makes it easier and I think the vibe ** PULSE was unable to reach Claire Castelyn for further comments is what gets you through it. after the race. ■

A FUD (Approach to Facebook Usage Dangers) Thus complete strangers will be unable to view your profile. Don‘t list a complete physical address. Facebook is for virtual on-line use, don‘t let it become a reality. Stalkers are can become real.

JONATHAN KING Approximately 96.4% of medical students access Facebook. An increasing number of students internationally are experiencing the negative effects of unsafe use of on-line networking. These range from blackmailing and soliciting explicit photos from adolescents. In an attempt to protect students, the IAMME Faculty has decreed the use of A FUD to protect the students. A FUD Guidelines Screen what photos to post on Facebook. Any uploaded photo immediately becomes Facebook property. You are not notified if anyone has shared or copied your photo. Deleting your photos will not help as Facebook indefinitely stores all photos so that your ‗friends‘ may still be able to view them.

Read Facebook terms and conditions Recently Facebook tried to pass new terms and conditions allowing Facebook to indefinitely retain the entire contents of your profile even if you deleted your account. Thankfully, techno geeks around the world read such things and made a fuss. Currently Facebook has reverted to the old terms and conditions. While your information remains personal, Facebook will publicly make your information available if required to by law. FYI: Similar to Facebook, Gmail regards all emails as Google property. Therefore when you delete your mail, your mail still exists on Google‘s servers. Google is thus free to do what it pleases with your email trash.

Negative effects of non-compliance to A FUD guidelines A number of medical schools access Facebook to gather important ‗character‘ information about potential applicants. So if you are planning to specialise, be forewarned, your Facebook activities are logged and viewable. This includes any blogging that you may do. Importantly, patients can easily search for your profile and invade your Be aware of what applications you add to your Facebook account. privacy. Such access to sensitive information is freely viewable if you are Apart from consuming bandwidth, Facebook will not not careful. share your details with advertisers, but third party applications can. Management Plan to A FUD Third party applications will increase the visibility of your Restrict your profile to whom can view it. profile i.e. more people, especially strangers, will be Screen any photos before posting them on Facebook. Do them for aware of your profile. The same applies to joining yourself and your friends. groups. Delete excess applications and groups. Guard your personal information with care Happy safe facebooking! ■ Primary prevention is best; refrain from posting sensitive information on Facebook. The PULSE opinions and views section is a vehicle for expression on any topic by Check your privacy settings. By default, your profile is members of the University or other interested parties. The opinions are not necessearchable by Google. Rather restrict your profile to sarily those of the PULSE collective , the University of Cape Town or any other only Facebook users and only friends on Facebook. interested parties.


A brief lesson in humility: We can‘t all be good at shifting blame from ourselves to somebody else. But there are always lessons learnt from those spineless heroes who have mastered this art. For instance, if you ever find yourself facing innumerable charges on counts of fraud and racketeering, etc you name it and they suspect you. Perhaps the best thing to do in that situation is to become a presidential candidate. Now here me out, do note that you need not actually be the president, just a candidate. In this position you are authorized to submit your suspicions of a diabolical scheme cooked up by your enemies (who just happen to be in your own political party), cry wolf and you could get off scot free of any doubt in the eyes of the NPA. But if you are a non- profit organization providing free and easily accessible health care then there is no reprieve for you. The March 22nd issue of the weekend Argus published a daring story entitled: ―Another baby sent off to die‖. It highlighted gaps in our health care provision, or more like a huge abyss when a nursing sister turns a child away without care because the child is not ill enough and only hours later that child dies an arguably preventable death. It is even sadder to note that this was not an isolated incident, but is becoming a common phenomenon in Cape Town townships. Days before the incident in question, a little boy died on his grandmothers back after she had been turned away from three clinics in a row. Although this article raised some important issues regarding the current state of affairs in our public health care system, the writers did however get away with murder when they misquoted SHAWCO, an organization that we have all come to know and love, as being partly responsible for the child‘s death.

The incident took place a couple of months ago in Kayelistha at the Zibonele clinic. This clinic was originally started up by SHAWCO but was later handed over to the community for their use and SHAWCO Health Sciences students and a volunteer doctor only frequent this clinic on Monday evenings as of the year 2004. The child was seen during the day by a nursing sister. It was clear that SHAWCO had nothing at all to do with the incident and had the writer of the article done even a shred of research expected of an investigative journalist, they would have known this. The age old saying that ―any press is good press‖ cannot be true in all situations: Not for Jacob Zuma, and not for SHAWCO being implicated in such a blatant cock up of such epic proportion. Bad press is simply bad press, and has huge implications for an organization that relies on its reputation to maintain millions of rands worth of sponsorship/donations needed to provide health care in marginalized communities. Every patient who presents at the door step of a SHAWCO clinic reserves the right to be seen and referred if they cannot be helped. Requests have been made for the paper to print a retraction stating the error but this request has not been considered as of yet. Infant deaths have been occurring in such a preventable manner with increasing regularity. It has raised suspicion over the government‘s healthcare facilities in the Western Cape over the past few weeks. In a letter published in the Weekend Argus, Dr Mark Sonderup, chairman of the Western Cape branch of the South African Medical Association, argues that the infant deaths are the end result of a "chronically ill, overburdened and grossly underfunded" public healthcare system. He urged the authorities to listen to those at the coal face of health care delivery. There are even greater ...Continues on page 12


The Alternative medical dictionary

HUMER-US Page Compiled by Aveshen & Amit Marital Bliss Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his company’s Christmas Party. Jack is not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn’t taste like alcohol at all. He didn’t even remember how he got home from the party. As bad as he was feeling, he wondered if he did something wrong. Jack had to force himself to open his eyes and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose! Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and ironed. He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house. He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror. Then he notices a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in Lipstick: “Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get groceries to make you your favorite dinner tonight. I love you, darling! Love, Jillian” He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast, steaming hot coffee and the morning newspaper. His son is also at the table, eating. Jack asks, “Son... What happened last night?” “Well, you came home after 3 A.M., drunk and out of your mind. You fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when you ran into the door. Confused, he asked his son, “So, why is everything in such perfect order and so clean? I have a rose, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me??” His son replies, “Oh THAT! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, “Leave me alone, I’m married!!” Broken Coffee Table: R1399.99. Hot Breakfast: R34.80. Two Aspirins: R1.00. Saying the right thing, at the right time. . .

BUMPER STICKERS So you’re a feminist. Isn’t that cute? Don’t believe everything you think. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

SIGNS O n a S e p t ic T a n k T r u c k : Y e s t e r d a y ’ s M e a ls o n Wh e e l s *********************** At a Proctologist’s door: “To expedite your visit please b a c k in . ”

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington engineering mid-term. Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or Endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote Proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following: "First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added. This gives two possibilities: 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. 2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Tene Banvan during my Freshman year, "...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you.", and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then, #2 cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze." This student received the only A. EVER ASKED YOURSELF?... Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs! If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests? If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons? Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune? Stop singing and read on . . . . .. . . . . Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Chocolate cyst The most popular of all the cysts—especially among children. Unfortunately, they have been linked to both tooth decay and obesity. On the plus side, they have been successful in the treatment of depression (at least, until the obesity kicks in). Coxsackievirus It might be just another virus, but it gets our vote for having the most interesting name. Photosensitivity People with this condition usually try to hide when approached by someone wielding a loaded camera. They can also be identified by their cries of, ―No, go away...I look terrible!‖ or, ―No...I haven‘t washed my hair for ages!‖.

Two guys are walking down the street when a mugger approaches them and demands their money. They both grudgingly pull out their wallets and begin taking out their cash. Just then one guy turns to the other and hands him a bill. “Here’s that R50 I owe you,” he says. A young boy with a green, yellow and red Mohawk sits next to an old man at the park. After 5 minutes he turns to the old man and says "What are you staring at old timer, never did anything crazy in your life". The old man turns and says "Sure have... I had sex with a peacock years back and I'm wondering if you're my son".

Second Opinion The doctor said, "Joe, the good news is I can cure your headaches. The bad news is that it will require castration. You have a very rare condition, which causes your testicles to press on your spine and the pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles." Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he had anything to live for. He had no choice but to go under the knife. When he left the hospital, He was without a headache for the first time in 20 years, but he felt like he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street, he realized that he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. He saw a men's clothing store and thought, "That's what I need... a new suit. That'll make me feel a little better." He entered the shop and told the salesman, "I'd like a new suit. The elderly tailor eyed him briefly and said, "Let's see...Size 44 long." Joe laughed, "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years!" The tailor said. Joe tried on the suit... it fit perfectly. As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the salesman asked, "How about a new shirt?" Joe thought for a moment and then said, "Sure." The salesman eyed Joe and said, "Let's see, 34 sleeves and 16-1/2 neck." Joe was surprised. "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years." Joe tried on the shirt and it fit perfectly. Joe walked comfortably around the shop and the salesman asked, "How about some new underwear?" Joe thought for a moment and said, "Sure." The salesman said, "Let's see.Size 36." Joe laughed, "Ah ha! I got you; I've worn a size 34 since I was 18 years old." The salesman shook his head, "You can't wear a size 34! A size 34 would press your testicles up against the base of your spine and give you "One hell of a headache."

SHAWCO ARTICLE …. Continues from page 10 racist, even if Joe Blogs is black. The final resort for concerns regarding the new posts that have been frozen Mr. Zuma would be to sue poor old Joe Blogs for millions of rands for defamation of character. Now I know and it is reported that the department has been overspending by well over R103 million, and by R22 mil- what you are thinking, what character, right? The point lion in GSH. is that people will go to great lengths in maintaining Our health care facilities are operating at capacity and their reputations especially if the stakes are high. All yet people still struggle to access them. This is visibly that an organization like SHAWCO requests is a retracdemonstrated by the queues seen in out-patients detion printed. It need not be laden with apologies as they partments. Even a few weeks ago, yet another baby called Olwethu Gomomo died in such a queue having seldom are. Nor should it be hampered with flowery Shakespearean language. Simple ink on paper will do. ■ been waiting for five hours to seek medical care. Do you blame the parents for not reacting or the hospitals poor triage system? Needless to say that in this scenario, pointing fingers would be a frivolous task. It is clear that there is a huge burden on our health care facilities and what organizations like SHAWCO do is simply to help ease the load. This means running evening mobile clinics with over-worked and unpaid medical students until the wee hours of the night or sometimes morning, on a completely voluntary basis. SHAWCO is by no means perfect. But at least it is trying to help. Therefore it should not need to face politically motivated false accusations about who did what, where and when. How about a pat on the back instead? When Joe Blogs gets fed up and accuses Jacob Zuma of some or other wrong doing, his responses thus far have been simply shrugging it off, calling Joe Blogs names such as anti-revolutionary or anti-struggle, and if he really doesn‘t like poor old Joe, he will call him a

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Pulse June Edition 2009  

Healthscience Magazine from UCT South Africa

Pulse June Edition 2009  

Healthscience Magazine from UCT South Africa