Debates: Health

30 Mar 2016

Breakfast, the first meal of the day is a vitally important especially for school students, yet in deprived neighbourhoods there are many who go to school hungry. This debate proposes to end this by having schools provide a meal for every one of their pupils at the start of each day. The...

2 Sep 2015

Assisted suicide is “Suicide accomplished with the aid of another person, especially a physician.”[1] It is sometimes used interchangeably with euthanasia “The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or...

26 Aug 2015

The issue of abortion is one of the most contentious, and emotive dilemmas faced by modern societies. The question is whether one should allow the termination of a pregnancy. For some, the question is even more fundamental: at what stage is the embryo or fetus in the uterus to be regarded as a...

26 Aug 2015

At least as far back as Ben Johnson's steroid scandal at the 1988 Olympics, the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports had entered the public psyche. Johnson's world record sprint, his win, and then, the stripping of his gold medal made news around the world. However,...

26 Aug 2015

Governments all over the world have spent decades and billions fighting a "war on drugs". However, many believe that the most commonly used illegal drug, cannabis, should not be illegal at all.

Advocates of legalization point out cannabis' medicinal properties, its ability...

7 May 2014

Smoking tobacco, in all its forms, is a highly popular recreational drug. However, it is known that it is very harmful, and has been described by the World Health Organization as the single biggest cause of preventable death worldwide1...

28 Mar 2014

This issue is about late-term abortions, in the second and third trimesters. At least 90% of abortions are performed in the first trimester, when other procedures are more appropriate. In partial-birth abortion (PBA), also known as Dilation and Extraction (D&X), the woman's cervix is dilated...

21 Feb 2014

In 2050 the global population is set to stand at 8.9 million (UN-Population, 2004). Africa, as a whole, will account for 20% of the world’s population by 2050. Such figures have raised concern within discussions on development and the environment. How can the rising population continue to...

28 Jan 2014

Zambia’s health profile remains bleak. The country’s health profile showcases a life expectancy of 54/56 years for male/females; a child mortality rate of 89 per 1,000 births; and 232 deaths due to HIV/AIDS per 100,000 of the population (GHO, 2013). Around 6.1% of the GDP is spent on...

23 Jan 2014

The Western World is getting fatter. Obesity and being overweight are the 5th largest cause of death in the world[1]. 44% of diabetes, 23% of coronary heart disease, and 7-41% of some kinds of cancer deaths can be attributed to obesity[2]. One of the factors that contributes to...

16 Jan 2014

While all continents suffer from their own prominent diseases, Africa bears a disproportionate burden. The continents holds 11% of the population, but has 25% of the world’s disease burden[1]. While HIV and malaria are well known, other common...

10 Jan 2014

The commitment to improving healthcare can be seen by the prevalence of health indicators in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). This has resulted in innovative models, and thinking, on healthcare. The MDG provide a means for monitoring national progress in tackling multiple dimensions of...

7 Jan 2014

There have been very few human societies in which no meat or fish are eaten, although in some parts of the world the normal diet is made up largely of staple foods such as rice, with meat and fish being relatively rare additions; this has often been due to poverty rather than choice. In modern...

20 Dec 2013

With the prevalence of HIV, both worldwide and across Africa, concern has been raised over what can provide appropriate solutions. In 2011, 34 million people were living with HIV globally; with rates of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 69% of the total adult population living with HIV (...

14 Nov 2013

Wherever the issue has emerged, whether it is in the inner city schools of America, the primary schools of Wales, or in health education programs in the developing world, the suggestion that condoms should be actively promoted as a solution to unwanted pregnancies has been controversial. This is...

1 Nov 2013

Alternative (or complementary) medicine, as a concept, covers such a huge range of techniques and practices. However, broadly speaking, the term usually refers those techniques that fall outside conventional, pharmacological or surgical practices. In some countries such as the US and Germany...

20 Sep 2013

This discussion starts from the point of view that sexual education classes should be given at schools. But does this mean that so-called “safe sex” should also be promoted within these lessons? Safe sex is the practice of sexual activity in a manner that reduces the risk of infection with...

20 Sep 2013

Advertising has grown to be an industry worth many billions of dollars across the world. Online advertising alone is believed to be worth $24 billion a year1. Almost all public space has some advertisements in sight and all forms of media, from newspapers to the cinema, are also...

4 Sep 2013

Organ donations are one of the most vital steps of progress made in the field of medicine. Where the failure of a vital organ previously would lead to a person’s imminent death, there is a chance today of saving lives by transplanting hearts, kidneys, livers etc. However, in the case of...

1 Aug 2013

Current drugs policy in many Western countries is loosely based on the principle that drugs are criminalised in proportion to their harmfulness. Typically, whilst alcohol and nicotine are legal, a wide variety of other stimulants and narcotics (for example, heroin, cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy and...

28 Jun 2013

We all want and should eat better. And each of us has different definitions and priorities when it comes to “good food”.

For some good equals healthy, low in fat and sugar. Not at all a bad idea in a world with more than 1 billion overweight and 300 million obese individuals...

25 Jun 2013

Junk food is defined by Segen’s Medical Dictionary as “A popular term for any food which is low in essential nutrients and high in everything else—in particular calories and sodium. Junk foods are often highly salted—e.g., potato chips/crisps, pretzels—high in refined carbohydrates (empty...

14 Jun 2013

Due to the achievements of molecular biology and biotechnology over the past 30 years, culminating in the successes of the Human Genome Project (an international collaboration of scientists, as well as the contribution of private, ‘genomics’ corporations), we now have identified the...

4 Jun 2013

The cloning of ‘Dolly’ the sheep in 1997 by Ian Wilmut and his colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh generated a spontaneous worldwide reaction. Dr. Richard Seed, an American geneticist, claimed he would be able to clone human beings within a year. A Korean doctor was...

25 Apr 2013

“One hundred years ago, children received 1 vaccine (the smallpox vaccine). Forty years ago, children received 5 vaccines routinely (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and smallpox vaccines) and as many as 8 shots by 2 years of age. Today, children receive 11 vaccines routinely and as many...

12 Apr 2013

In the United Kingdom, the percentage of children who have had already at least one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination by their second birthdays was 88.2 % in 2009 – 2010. A much higher number than in 2008-2009 (84.9 %) or in 2003-2004 (79.9 %). The WHO (World Health Organization...

2 Apr 2013

A generic drug is "a drug product that is comparable to brand/reference listed drug product in dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality and performance characteristics, and intended use"1. India, Brazil, Thailand, South Africa and even smaller African...

14 Mar 2013

The Catholic Church forbids the use of barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms. Unlike other forms of contraception, barrier methods not only protect against unwanted pregnancy but also against sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS and HIV. In many African and South American...

6 Mar 2013

A lottery is a form of gambling whereby lots are drawn and, depending on selections, prizes handed out. Many countries have lotteries which raise revenues for various levels of government as well as often providing a charitable donation to numerous worthy causes. The lotteries are usually...

25 Feb 2013

As our knowledge of surgical and diagnostic techniques has increased with time, so has the success rate of organ transplants. However, the number of patients who require organ transplants exceeds the number of organs available, particularly if the patient has a rare blood type...