Drugs: War on Poverty

I've been traveling for about twenty hours when I climb out of the metro train. So at first I think I'm daydreaming when a man offers me Oxycodone on the street corner. I politely decline and keep walking. Then I notice a woman on the ground smoking from a crack pipe. I try not to... Continue Reading →

Aircraft Medicine

I've purposefully not named routes, companies or people involved here. I've also tried to keep my level of detailed description to a minimum. This is to protect the dignity and confidentiality of all involved. In Five Feet Apart, love cannot be expressed by human touch. In this heart-wrenching and unflinching portrayal, two Cystic Fibrosis patients... Continue Reading →

Work

After working all night giving out more meds and blankets than really saving any lives I find cigarettes and co amoxiclav in the A&E toilets where the addicts have been shooting up moments after we attempt to fix them. My septic man who thinks he's in Iran is right about life when he pulls out... Continue Reading →

Crossing the border, waking the dead

The Gambian border post at Amdallai looks the same as back in 2006. I do not have my belongings searched and am not told lies about carrying illegal materials (such as a radio) as I was back then. There is much less corruption. I walk past the detention cage to the interview room where the... Continue Reading →

Bakau: More Breakfast, Less Fear

I last had breakfast in The Gambia thirteen years ago. I don't remember what the breakfast tasted like, but I do remember feeling both amused and nauseous. Yahya Jammeh, then president, was making a televised appearance. He directly addressed 'all homosexuals' in The Gambia, kindly offering them forty-eight hours to leave the country. At the... Continue Reading →

NHS England and PrEP

Fortunately NHS England does not represent the NHS as a whole. Prevention using PrEP is cheaper than treating HIV. So NHS England's argument is null and void on its own terms. Even were the argument sound, moral panic does not undermine prevention of other diseases, so there is no justice in it doing so here.... Continue Reading →

#1 Spice

'Bring the flavour to the fish, Bring the flavour to the rice ... Number one spice' Queen of Katwe's soundtrack to Kampala, Uganda's vibrant capital, is a homily to the flavour-giving qualities of Lake Victoria salt. But the word 'spice' has a wholly different meaning in Northern British cities. This kind of spice adds flavour... Continue Reading →

Flashback

The siren passes, and the blitz of blue and yellow flashes past a moment later. Then all is quiet. From the spacious front seat of the National Express coach I have panoramic views across Leeds' city limits and the M621. The coach smoothly accelerates under a sign for London and Wakefield and we join the... Continue Reading →

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