Longer Looks: Mental Illness in Africa; Living With Lupus; Agriculture’s Impact On Nutrition
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The New York Times:
The Chains Of Mental Illness In West Africa
Every society struggles to care for people with mental illness. In parts of West Africa, where psychiatry is virtually unknown, the chain is often a last resort for desperate families who cannot control a loved one in the grip of psychosis. Religious retreats, known as prayer camps, set up makeshift psychiatric wards, usually with prayer as the only intervention. Nine camps visited recently in Togo ranged from small family operations to this one, Jesus Is the Solution, by far the largest and most elaborate. (Benedict Carey, 10/11)
I Have Lupus. Here Are 8 Things I Wish People Understood About My Disease.
I'm 27 years old, and I'm facing a lifetime of sickness. Even now, more than a year after my lupus diagnosis, I have trouble believing this is my life. Even as the inner turmoil that comes with a lifelong diagnosis subsides, I still struggle to coherently explain to friends, family, and co-workers what lupus is, and why, although you can't see it just by looking at me, it can be truly disabling. (Julie Bien, 10/12)
The New York Times:
Q. And A.: Paul U. Unschuld On Reconciling Chinese And Western Medicine
Paul U. Unschuld, 72, is a leading scholar of the history and ideas that underlie Chinese medicine. He has taught at what was then the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and since 2006 has headed an institute at the Charité hospital in Berlin that studies the theories, history and ethics of Chinese life sciences. Dr. Unschuld is the author of several of the West’s most influential books on Chinese medicine, including “Medicine in China: A History of Ideas,” “What Is Medicine? Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing” and “The Fall and Rise of China: Healing the Trauma of History.” In an interview, he discussed Tu Youyou’s Nobel Prize [for medicine] and how Chinese officials view their country’s medical heritage. (Ian Johnson, 10/13)
How Agriculture Controls Nutrition Guidelines
With one third of American children overweight, a majority of adults afflicted with prediabetes or diabetes, and a $20-trillion debt into which medical costs are a major factor, fitting nutritional value into a limited-calorie, affordable, accessible, sustainable food system is an enormous task that the United States is far from achieving. In coming years, politicians and lobbyists discussing sustainable production of nutritious food will be epicenter of the phrase, The science isn’t settled. “Going forward, if we’re going to talk about sustainability, we just need to have a more complete picture,” Janet Riley of the North American Meat Institute, a purveyor of pro-meat information, said in an interview with NPR this week. (James Hamblin, 10/8)
And a video clip worth your time -
Vox's The Weeds:
Could Single-Payer Health Care Work In The United States?
Imagine, for a moment, a world in which Bernie Sanders takes the presidency, Democrats sweep into Congress, and their first action is to bring single-payer health care to America. They have the votes and the money to pay for it — but could a system like Canada's actually work here in the United States? No, this world is not one likely to exist in the near future. But it is a lot of fun for health-care wonks to talk about. That's why we devote a good part of the second episode of our podcast, The Weeds, to talking about how single-payer systems work and whether, logistically, one could ever function well in the United States. (Sarah Kliff, Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias, 10/9)