Riverton Smoke Signals: Riverton Smoke 101

Yesterday Jamaica’s Ministry of Health released a statement about tests on last week’s Riverton Smoke.  The most important bit is: “there were high levels of hazardous substances including benzene.”  OK.  But what does that mean? What are the other hazardous substances? What does “high levels” mean? Wait, wait, wait: WHAT is in this smoke? The Government … Continue reading

Chikungunya Notebook: The Basics

Some questions and hopefully helpful answers based on my understanding after reading a number of sources.  Let’s go… What is chikungunya? Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. This disease name sounds fool fool.  Where it come from?  After an outbreak in 1952 in what is now Tanzania, the name “chikungunya” was given to the … Continue reading

Chikungunya Notebook: Mitigate and Educate

The Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is scheduled to address Jamaicans some time this afternoon or early evening.  I have no idea why this address wasn’t done on Friday, when it was announced, because really there need not be any pomp or any more vague information from him.  The viral fever chikungunya is now out … Continue reading

Of Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals…Healing Plants

Recently I’ve taken to referring to Mommy as a Bush Woman. Why? Because I can’t even think of clearing my throat before she starts diagnosing and recommending which food, bush, fruit skin, herb, or mix up I should take. And, of course, she’s often right (there, Mommy, I said it!). Even Grandpa is in on … Continue reading

The Hunger Crisis Persists…but You Can Help to Stamp It Out

No images of emaciated children.  No images of mother’s desperately trying to feed their children from deflated breasts.  While a start and heartrending illustration of facts and figures those images often leave me feeling helpless…and they also feel exploitative and I feel like the worst kind of voyeur seeing that level of suffering.  No discussion … Continue reading

Remember Mekhi? He’s Getting Ready for a Bone Marrow Transplant!

Almost a year ago I blogged about my high school (go Andrews at Champs!) classmate’s son Mekhi who has Fanconi Anemia.  Through the magic of Facebook, I get to see his and his mother’s progress with handling this illness.  Simone always posts pictures of Mekhi being a fighter and dealing with the challenges that Fanconi … Continue reading

Last Week’s News: On Birth Control, Abortion, and Sluts…Body Control

 *rolls shoulders*  For the past month or so I’ve noted the steady onslaught against what I may choose to do with my body, against organizations that are meant to provide services to poor people who can’t afford but need them, against people who dare to suggest that women should receive certain products and services.   A … Continue reading

Do You Know Your Status?

I am HIV-negative.  I know this because I get tested every year with no exceptions.  So, do you know your status? Get  Tested It’s been 30 years since the first AIDS case was identified.  There are 34 million people on this planet with HIV/AIDS, 2 million die each year.  There is no cure.  I blogged … Continue reading

Guest Post | Reflections of a Breast Cancer Survivor

At the beginning of October the idea for a series about breast cancer began to take shape.  After my first post about it I realized that there was much more that could and should be said about this illness.  Yes, it’s the big bad scary cancer but there is still a lot of good and triumph that … Continue reading

Guest Post | My Mother’s Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Last year when Mikaelia told me that her mother, Angella, had been diagnosed with breast cancer my heart dropped. Someone else? Again? When will the awful disease cease to inflict injury and pain upon people?  Rant, rant, rant! I hate cancer.  I suspect that Mikaelia had a similar reaction but it certainly didn’t slow her … Continue reading