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What is it?
A Shot In The Arm is home to a podcast and blog, hosted by Ben Plumley, to explore challenging, and often unexplored, issues in health and human rights - from San Francisco to Soweto, and everywhere in between.
Why “A Shot In The Arm?”
Firstly, It’s a reference to the infancy of public health in the aftermath of the second world war. In the jolly, good old days, everybody was supposed to queue in an orderly fashion, and be injected with this or that (whatever the clever boffins were beavering away at). Then, we would send them merrily on their way, never to bother us again. Oh how wrong we were!
There is something sinister about it too. Healthcare so brings to mind needles. There is nothing pleasant about having a thin metal pipette poked through your skin. It is not surprising that we can be squeamish about. Yet, needles can also be seductive, We can use them to get ourselves high, to bring ourselves down – and in many countries, including some states of the USA, we can end the lives of people we decide should not be living.
And finally, there is something invigorating and uplifting about “A Shot In The Arm”. Like a brisk walk, a strong cup of coffee, or a dram of whisky.
Of course, there are many people who will think that “A Pain In The Arse” is more apt, if they think I should open my mouth at all. I confess it is an odd, and not altogether pleasant experience hearing your own voice for forty minutes.
In the coming episodes we will explore advances in hepatitis, immunology, and attempt to discern lessons from ebola, zika and (why?) measles. We will try to make sense of the opportunities and risks of data, how to act promptly and sensibly. I surprise myself at how optimistically I think our world can deliver on the promise of everyone being entitled to good health. Part of that enthusiasm is rooted in the exceptional people we will meet and chat with.