For the last six years I have worked in the beautiful country of Malawi but this is the first time I'm taking a moment to really try and understand the experience and once again the people of Malawi have enlightened me, educated me. Their strength, their unity and compassion is utterly breath-taking.
In 2014, the fourth year of the conflict in Syria, a bleak humanitarian situation deteriorated even further. To date, there have been over 200,000 fatalities and one million casualties. Three million people have sought refuge across borders and more than seven million people have been displaced. More than half of the country's population - including five million children - require some form of humanitarian aid. Not only has violence increased, but access to aid has also been restricted. Needs are greater than ever but the aid system is not meeting them. Today, Syria remains the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world.
People are not only viewing retouched images in the media, but these days, most cameras in smartphones have built-in filters and effects to enhance photographs. 2014 was the year of the selfie and this has certainly been true for my practice, as I have seen a rise in patients wanting cosmetic procedures and using the selfie to demonstrate what they don't like about their features.
Reducing social inequality makes far more sense socially, economically, and - if you must - morally as well. Regrettably, too few people in power seem willing to make the case for a more equal society. They would rather continue to demonise the apparently 'poor lifestyle choices' of the most socially excluded.
You are stuck in a busy, noisy, unfamiliar building. You are unsure of where you are or even what time of year it is. All the corridors look the same. You find it hard to judge how far away the floor is. You can't remember where the toilets are. You can't remember why you're here. You feel a rising sense of panic as you search for clues to where you are, and even who you are.
My issue with vending machines is that their position is such a useful one that could be utilised to provide us with nutritious foods and energy at moments when other options aren't available. But instead, what we are offered is an array of unhealthy choices that provide us with a quick energy fix and little, if any, nutrients.
What a waste of a life. All those highs and lows. All those start again Mondays, and "Damn, I've blown it now" moments. Where in this NHS plan is there a mention of health and happiness, or dealing with the psychological side of weight gain, where does it mention being active and learning to love physical activity?