Doctors For Life June 2016 Newsletter
Our legal corner
In our marijuana legalisation application challenge (dagga-case), we have our old friend and capable advocate who assisted us in our successful pornography TV channel case, Adv Reg Willis, agreeing to join our legal team in this case as well. He represented the DFL legal team in a meeting before the judge appointed to hear the case on 3 May 2016, where the date of the trial has been set for 31 July 2017. Until then there is still a lot of preparation to be done on refining our expert evidence as well as analysing and confronting/disputing the expert evidence of the pro-legalisation expert witnesses, whose statements we are still awaiting. Pray that God may grant us an overwhelming victory in this case. Imagine what havoc it would cause to the already grave drug epidemic in our country if the use of dagga were legalised. Pray for our legal team that we are sharp and diligent to present the best evidence to convince the court.
Legalising Dagga ???
Marijuana advocates often point to the Netherlands as a well-functioning society with a relaxed attitude toward drugs, but they rarely mention that Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most violent cities. In Amsterdam, officials are in the process of closing marijuana dispensaries, otherwise known as “coffee shops,” because of the crime associated with their operation. Furthermore, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has expressed “concern about drug and alcohol use among young people and the social consequences, which range from poor school performance and truancy to serious impairment, including brain damage.”
The Dutch government started changing their liberal policy on dagga in 2010 by closing down coffee shops (about 43 in Amsterdam alone), forbidding foreigners to go to coffee shops and closing down coffee shops a certain distance from schools etc. The Dutch minister of Health and Justice justified the new trend when he admitted that they had been unable to root out the criminal element in the dagga trade when he stated: “…This law will put an end to the nuisance of criminality associated with “coffee shops” and “drugs trafficking”.
The argument that legalizing dagga will lead to a glut of people growing it for profit, is exactly one of the reasons why the city of Los Angeles in California decided earlier this year to close down all (approximately 900) pharmacies that sold dagga.
1. Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Government to Scale down Coffee Shops (Sept. 11, 2009), http://english.minvws.nl/en/nieuwsberichten/vgp/2009/government-to-scale-down-coffee-shops.asp. 2. http://www.doctorsforlife.co.za/pg/dagga-forget-the-buzz-its-the-facts-that-count/
In the previous newsletter we reported on Nombuso Majozi (one of our orphans) who had completed her 4 year teachers training. On the 23rd of March 2016 she was officially presented with her B.Ed degree by the vice rector of North West University, Prof R Letsosa. To God be the Glory.
Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches
The year of 2015 was a blessed year for DFL as far as outreaches to Africa were concerned. We had plenty of opportunities and the Lord blessed the outreaches abundantly.
In Zavora, Mozambique, the clinic is providing a well needed service. Many pregnant women travel from afar to come to the clinic. Sometimes they walk for 2 or 3 hours while having contractions before they enter the clinic. Sometimes they don’t reach the clinic in time and their babies are born next to the road. The patients often call us, even in the middle of the night. They request that we come into “the bush” to collect them. The DFL team then leave the comfort of their beds and try to find their way to where the people live.
Malaria is now an epidemic in the Inharime and Inhambane districts. It is a matter of great concern to the government and the hospital has therefore requested assistance from DFL to take two nurses and visit the different local chiefs in the area. They will promote health education and explain what measures need to be taken to help prevent malaria, especially regarding child infections.
The total number of patients treated between January and March, 2016, was 5748 patients compared to 5262 for the previous three months.
One of the challenges we currently face is a shortage of malaria tests in Mozambique as we are experiencing high number of malaria cases. A florescence microscope would help a great deal.
In summary, the free services DFL offers includes the following:
A: General Internal Medicine
a) General wound, disease and patient care
b) Medication and treatment
c) 24 hour availability for emergencies
d) Referrals to hospitals for surgery or emergencies
e) Transport to the nearest hospital, 24 hour for emergencies
f) HIV/AIDS and STI testing and treatment
a) Eye testing for refractive errors
b) Free prescription eye-glasses
c) Eye glasses testing
d) Treatment of various ocular infections and conditions
e) Cataract and other eye surgery
C: Dental Care
A medical dentist visits the clinic once a month to offer free basic dental hygiene and care. We have been able to install a good secondhand dental chair and basic equipment.
b) Dental hygiene and care
D: Maternity Care
a) Pre- and Post-natal examinations
c) Referrals (pregnancy complications that require surgery or caesarians)
d) In-patient recovery ward (3 beds)
e) 24 hour emergency call out service
f) Mother and child vaccinations (done weekly by the Mozambique government in one of our rooms) Measles, BCG – Tuberculosis, Synflorix – Pneumonia, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Haemophilic influenza, Oral polio.
g) Transport to the nearest hospital in emergency cases, 24 hours
h) HIV/AIDS/STI testing and treatment
In February 2016 we were able to do 270 cataract operations in Molepole, Botswana. We also left some stock for the Scottish Livingston Hospital to do more operations later on.
The youngest person we operated on was a girl of about 17 years old. She had a traumatic cataract that left her completely blind in the one eye. A thorn had accidentally pierced right through the lens. We were able to successfully implant a new lens that restored her sight and gave her hope to live a normal life again. The Botswana government expressed the need for our continuous help because they trust our work.
Personal Testimonies from Zavora
Patient Story 1
This story has a wonderful touch to it. The patient’s name is Naira from a place called Limiti, about 10km from the Zavora Clinic. She is eight years old. While her mother was carrying hot water she bumped into her daughter and the hot water was poured on her arm. The mother brought her a day after the accident happened, because they had to walk a long way. They had no money for a taxi and it was too late to bring her to the clinic that evening. By the time she got to us infection had set in. She was treated by applying a special wound dressing for burns. She had to come back on a regular basis for fresh wound dressings and we gave her a treatment of antibiotics and pain medication. She was a very brave girl. We were very pleased that she had family nearby in Sihane where she could stay, and we were able to treat her regularly. After three days the wound improved remarkably quickly.
Patient Story 2
Baby Aldina from Sihane was born on the 8th of January 2016. Her weight was just 2020g! It was a very quick delivery. As usual the mothers normally just stay for a day and then they go back home. Aldina and her mother came back a week later for their regular checkup as well as monitor Aldina’s weight. She weighed only 1 660g. It was the mother’s second child and as she was having problems breastfeeding Aldina the nurse advised her stay in the ward overnight.
At first Aldina was so weak that she could not even suckle. We realized that we needed to give her a special supplement with a bottle. The nurse assisted the mother to use a special hand pump to collect the mother’s milk to increase the amount of milk. Remarkably baby Aldina’s condition improved and as she became stronger she was able to suckle directly from her mother. In three days Aldina had gained 460g before leaving the maternity ward. As the weeks followed Aldina’s weight control was no longer needed. She had recovered completely and looked beautiful.
Student Pro-Life Movement – UKZN Westville
LeleNokwe and Vaughan Luck founded the Student Pro-life Movement (SPLM) on the campus of the UKZN, Westville.
What our goals are:
- To raise awareness about how wrong abortion is.
- The devastating effects abortion has on society as a whole.
- To give young people a platform to express and voice their opinion against abortion.
- To offer help to those woman thinking about having an abortion and those suffering with the consequences of already having had an abortion.
- To have mobile pregnancy centres across SA that offer vital essential medical, physical and psychological support for desperate mothers and mothers to be in need of assistance.
- To set up post abortion support groups to bring mothers who have had abortions together and provide counselling to help them heal physically, mentally and spiritually.
- To host conferences around SA in schools and universities to debate the abortion issue.
- To have a Student Pro-Life Movement chapter in every varsity, college and tertiary education centre in SA.
- To advocate for the abortion law to be changed and to ultimately make the killing of the unborn illegal once again.
Our first meeting on the 24th Feb 2016 was awesome. We would like to thank Doctors For Life International and all the students that attended.
Feedback from first Student Pro-Life Movement meeting
The talk was very educational but moving at the same time. It exposed abortion for what it really is and what it isn’t and was an eye-opener. Most students are on the fence when it comes to abortion. They are pro-life but only to a certain extent. However, the talk made us realise that there’s no extent to which abortion is “OK“ and that abortion is not a solution to society’s “problems”. Watching the videos on abortion and listening to Dr. Van Eeden speak gave the students insight into what really happens and just how inhumane abortion is. The talk created an urgency in their hearts to be a part of the movement. The students were just blown away after seeing the development of a human being which made them appreciate the sanctity and miracle of life.
The talk also presented the students with facts, not opinions, thereby making the prolife stand a firm one. We evaluated the reasons why people are pro abortion and decided that their reasons are invalid because they do not explain how killing a baby shapes society for the better. Even the mother who is supposed to be saved and/or rescued by an abortion is left with untold psychological and emotional damage. Minds were transformed and hearts were touched on the issue of abortion. The students are eager to see and learn more from the student prolife movement.
LeleNokwe – Chairperson SPLM
Join the student pro-life movement
Dr. Albu van Eeden
Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men”
This text is very relevant nowadays when talking about conscientious objection against taking part in a termination of pregnancy (TOP). Conscientious objection is virtually always based on religious or moral belief, whether talking about the refusal of doctors in Nazi Germany to take part in the killing of Jews, refusal of Americans to take part in the Vietnam war, refusal of Health Professionals to take part in torture or abusive interrogations, refusal to take part in performing executions through lethal injections in countries where capital punishment is legal, and taking part in the sale of organs or gender selective abortions.
Because human embryology is quite clear that the life of a human being starts at fertilisation, most health professional are quite clear that they do not agree with abortion on demand, and most would not take part in it.
What is a grey area to some though is whether they should refer such a patient to a doctor who would be willing to perform an abortion. What would you say of a doctor in Nazi Germany who was not willing to kill Jews but would refer Jews to doctors who would be willing to do so?
Mr Oskar Gröning in Luneburg, Germany, was one of three people recently taken to court in Germany because of their involvement in the Jewish holocaust. His job was to seize cash and valuables from Auschwitz prisoners. The trial raised the issue of whether those deemed to be small cogs in the Nazi machinery, but who did not actively participate in the killing, were accessories to the murder of the Jews. At his trial, the judge made it clear that every German had a choice about how far to go along with the Nazis, even though the State encouraged it. While he was not accused of gassing prisoners, Mr. Gröning’s trial suggested that he had a clear understanding of the systematic mass murder carried out at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. “You had freedom to think” Judge Kompisch said to Mr. Gröning. Mr Groningen was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people and sentenced to four years in prison.
Furthermore, concerning Health care workers involved in abusive interrogations and/or torture:
The World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Tokyo stated that physicians are “ethically prohibited from conducting any evaluation, or providing information or treatment, that may facilitate the future or further conduct of torture.”(1)
In the words of Martin Luther King: “We will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”(2)
(1)World Medical Association, Declaration of Tokyo. Guidelines for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment (May, 2005). (Accessed 2012-05-22)
(2) King, Martin Luther, Letter from Birmingham Jail, 16 April, 1963. (Accessed 2005-08-02)
South Africa’s two day conference on the use of medicinal cannabis
Pornography, The Battle for your soul
Doctors For Life – Medical aid to the remotest parts of Africa – Rivungu
The Abortion Law and Your Rights
The following interpretation of the law expresses the views of senior legal council to Doctors For Life International (DFL) Read More >
Operation Life Child provides care within the community to orphans and vulnerable children Read More >
Membership for Doctors
Medical membership is available to medical doctors, specialists, dentists, veterinary surgeons, and professors Read More >
Membership for Friends
Medical membership is available to medical doctors, specialists, dentists, veterinary surgeons, and professors Read More >