God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Charlie Hebdo attack and some thoughts…

Sometimes it is important to comment a bit outside the usual topics, because the heart feels the pain and the necessity to give some thoughts to a problem long lingering and touching on all spheres of life including health care. Yesterday employees of Charlie Hebdo were killed in an attack as well as two police officers in Paris. And it is amazing how quick politics reacts and troublesome words are used to describe and decry the deed of presumably men of Moslem faith.

Let’s get our vocabulary right: This has nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with Islam – we also should be careful with the word “terrorism” as the West has unfortunately linked it to Islam without differentiation – what we see is crime on the highest scale, disrespect for human life in the highest form and the try to cover this up with bloodstain the word “Allah”.
We have to invite Islam to completely distance their faith with such acts, but for this to happen we must give them a chance to abolish the “Bush invented” interlinks between “war on terrorism = war on Islam”. Mindsets must change on all sides to come together in this. And for this text: there is no radical Islam as there is no fundamentalist Christianity.. as soon as a religion is fundamentalist or radical, it loses every connection to its core…

This “war on terror” as well as all the implications, assassinations, torture,extra-legal killings, land occupations, streams of refugees, mass manipulations, violence, abuse of religion has disturbed the lives of millions of people in multiple ways – and health is only one of them. How many people are not able to get proper treatment, die before their time just because some crazy politicians and fundamentalists have decided to play “the war on terror” on all levels of society? Time to take a step back, identify the looming and not spelled out fears and the hidden agendas and start a healing process before it destroys more lives and hopes. And to bring those to justice who have triggered all these events starting on the highest levels. There is a chain of causualities and to rectify the situation one has to identify this chain.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

01.02.2010 News which grabbed my attention this early morning

There are some news which grabbed my attention this morning:

The first is from Berlin where the rector of the Berlin  Canisius-Kolleg gave a press conference about the abuse of minors, which happened in the college in the seventies. Amongst his thoughtful assessment he also said: “The church is suffering of homophobie.” He elaborated that the church keeps quiet about homosexuality in its own rank and the clergy with this inclination is permanently unsure whether there are accepted within the church hierarchy when they deal honestly with their sexuality. I think this is right – we all have to deal with sexuality – and only when we can do it in an honest way, then my assessment is, that most cases of abuse of minors could be avoided. In my view we as a church are guilty of not confronting this topic in a reasonable way many times.

The second news this morning is also from the church and deals with a talk, Archbishop Marx from Munich gave in Davos,where he supported the idea of controlling the banks better after the disaster last year. I think he is right, but that is for still to little to late. Maybe the article I read gave not all he said, but I guess, we have to learn many more lessons from the last recession and as far as I can see, we do ignore most of these but instead touch up some spots and go ahead as usual – until the next crash. It seems that the politicians nor the churches are able really  and hard and honest to reflect on major changes in our economical and political system to avoid disaster and to come to a just system of an economic system, which also has a social component. The fact that every politicans is eager to be re-elected in a short time of office means that most of them have no guts to really go for reform.
The system of Hartz IV in Germany, the unbelievable ignorance of politicians in Germany when it comes to the reform of health care show as examples the impotence of current politics.

The third news of this morning is about the Iraq war and its consequences. It is reported that the advisers to President Bush, who gave green light for the legal implementation of torture as an offical tool for the military and the CIA will not be prosecuted. It is a shame that the masterminds of the implementation of torture are going free while normal people face the full force of the law when convicted of minor things. We are not equal before the law. The same applies by the way for Georg W Bush and Tony Blair who, would they have lived and acted as an African head of states would face the Criminal Court in De Haag for war crimes – starting a war without legal grounds. As European or US American, they are standing above the international law. It is indeed a joke that we fail to implement our own ethical principals to ourselves while insisting they are applied to others.

Filed under: General, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27.10.2009 The state of the health care system in SA

An insight into the health system of South Africa is given by the following article published by IOL and spread throughout the country – this article speaks for itself:

South Africa’s public hospitals are in a bleak state with failing equipment, a lack of basic consumables and dwindling numbers of doctors, Parliament heard on Wednesday.  Professor Bongani Mayozi, the head of internal medicine at the University of Cape Town, told the portfolio committee on health it was taking up to three days for patients to get a bed in a public hospital. “It takes about 24 hours a day for us to put 50 percent of people into a bed,” he said. “These people are sitting on a chair or lying on a trolley. They are very sick. They need to be admitted. Some people wait up to three days to get into a bed. “We regard this situation as completely unacceptable. Something that you would not wish on your mother or father.” Mayozi said surgical lists in many centres had been cut, equipment had not been renewed and there had been an overall decrease in tertiary level beds. The capacity to train new doctors had also been severely diminished. “When you go to war you need troops. You can’t fight a war without soldiers.”
South Africa is producing 0.58 doctors per 1 000 people, he said. Brazil and Mexico, with a similar gross domestic product per capita, are producing nearly two doctors per 1 000.
“As a result of this South Africa’s infant mortality rate is a lot higher than it should be and more people are dying from infectious diseases,” he said. Mayozi said the situation had arisen due to an “increasing demand” with “diminishing resources”. “When one looks at the reasons for the lack of progress, they are not difficult to find. They are related to under-investment to our public health sector over the past 15 years.” Andries Stulting, the acting head of the school of medicine at the University of the Free State, said the province’s health care situation is in a dire position. “There is a collapse of systems in the Free State. TB, HIV, primary health care, hospital services, training platforms, research, you name it, we are declining.  “We can’t do elective surgery anymore. Patients with hernias and cataracts. They don’t seem to be emergencies, so we cannot operate. People go blind and people can’t do their work.  “We don’t have basic things like eye pads, eye shields, medications… or should we keep quiet because we can be reprimanded?
“I hope I can give you some good news, but at the moment there is none.” –

Filed under: HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , ,

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