Skip to main content

A request for medical horror stories

The past few months have seen some truly epic failures on the part of the Peace Corps medical staff here in South Africa, ranging from unprofessional to petty to sheer bloody-minded stupidity. The kind of failures that—and this is no exaggeration—could be easily avoided by an intelligent twelve-year-old.  I have been thankfully free of such experiences, mainly because I haven't gotten seriously ill since arriving here.  But I think the scale of the problem is such that the normal avenues for correction are not working.

Thus I've come up with the idea of doing a series on medical horror stories.  So long as you are comfortable with sharing, anything you regard as a failure of the Peace Corps South Africa medical staff, no matter how short, long, or silly, send them to me!  (My email is on the right sidebar.)  I'll collate them into reasonable chunks to be published here anonymously.

Note: basically all the problems I'm aware of have to do with the medical staff (comprising two nurses) tasked with managing volunteers' heath here in South Africa.  Since this is the medical hub for most of Africa, there is a real doctor who deals with serious medical problems for medical evacuees, who is by all accounts a competent professional.  This series should not be read as casting aspersions on that doctor.

Comments

  1. Brilliant! This is going to be like the Wikileaks of Peace Corps South Africa. Prepare for some DDoS attacks and sex crime allegations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe Bill Kristol will declare me a terrorist and demand Obama have me assassinated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well at least a nice long stay at Gitmo.

    On a more serious note, it seems the poor job by the medical office (just PC SA) is really coming to a head. I applaud your effort to try and change the situation because the numerous complaints don't seem to be doing the trick. Hopefully the right people see this and react in a way that doesn't just punish you. People have been kicked out for blog posts before but any negative result for you because of this would be misdirected.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So far as I'm aware, two people have been kicked out for blogging. One was back when blogging was first starting, before it was generally accepted, and another was someone who was severely critical of local political organizations and made "favorable comments about groups classified by Executive Order as terrorist organizations."

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Reality Winner Leak to the Intercept?

So Reality Winner, former NSA contractor, is in federal prison for leaking classified information — for five years and three months, the longest sentence of any whistleblower in history. She gave documents on how Russia had attempted to hack vendors of election machinery and software to The Intercept , which completely bungled basic security procedures (according to a recent New York Times piece from Ben Smith, the main fault lay with Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito ), leading to her capture within hours. Winner recently contracted COVID-19 in prison, and is reportedly suffering some lingering aftereffects. Glenn Greenwald has been furiously denying that he had anything at all to do with the Winner clusterfuck, and I recently got in an argument with him about it on Twitter. I read a New York story about Winner, which clearly implies that she was listening to the Intercepted podcast of March 22, 2017 , where Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill expressed skepticism about Russia actually b

Varanus albigularis albigularis

That is the Latin name for the white-throated monitor lizard , a large reptile native to southern Africa that can grow up to two meters long (see pictures of one at the Oakland Zoo here ). In Setswana, it's called a "gopane." I saw one of these in my village yesterday on the way back from my run. Some kids from school found it in the riverbed and tortured it to death, stabbing out its eyes, cutting off its tail, and gutting it which finally killed it. It seemed to be a female as there were a bunch of round white things I can only imagine were eggs amongst the guts. I only arrived after it was already dead, but they described what had happened with much hilarity and re-enactment. When I asked why they killed it, they said it was because it would eat their chickens and eggs, which is probably true, and because it sucks blood from people, which is completely ridiculous. It might bite a person, but not unless threatened. It seems roughly the same as killing wolves tha

The Conversational Downsides of Twitter's Structure

Over the past couple years, as I've had a steady writing job and ascended from "utter nobody" to "D-list pundit," I find it harder and harder to have discussions online. Twitter is the only social network I like and where I talk to people the most, but as your number of followers increases, the user experience becomes steadily more hostile to conversation. Here's my theory as to why this happens. First is Twitter's powerful tendency to create cliques and groupthink. Back in forum and blog comment section days, people would more often hang out in places where a certain interest or baseline understanding could be assumed. (Now, there were often epic fights, cliques, and gratuitous cruelty on forums too, particularly the joke or insult variety, but in my experience it was also much easier to just have a reasonable conversation.) On Twitter, people rather naturally form those same communities of like interest, but are trapped in the same space with differe