“The Malignant Epidemic” still the neglected stepchild
Three decades ago, David Muckart coined the term “the malignant epidemic” to describe the blight of trauma afflicting South Africa.1 This apt phrase combining Churchillian gravitas with Socratic insight emphasizes that trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions and should be managed in a similar manner to other epidemics, using a coordinated systematic response which mobilises all sectors of society. At the same time as Muckart expounded this concept, the HIV/AIDS epidemic of equally biblical proportions was emerging in Southern Africa. The fate of these two epidemics over the subsequent three decades was divergent.
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