In the healthy living sphere, South Africans have a lot more than sporting wins to be proud of. Here are five did-you-knows to fill awkward lulls in dinner-table conversation:
1. We're champion inventors. It was a South African who invented the computed axial tomography scan (that's a CAT scan to you and me). The late nuclear physicist Allan Cormack, who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for the invention, was born in Johannesburg, and educated at Rondebosch Boys' High and the University of Cape Town.
2. We're champion surgeons. In just over a week, on December 3, it's the 40th anniversary of the first heart transplant. Thanks to the late Dr Chris Barnard for putting SA on the world's medical map.
3. We've got (almost) the best water. SA's tap water (for those who're able to access it) is a miracle: it's rated as the third best in the world. There are in fact only 12 countries in the world in which the tap water is rated safe to drink.
4. We're heroes in pain relief. Pretoria-born and Boksberg-raised Gervan Lubbe is the inventor of the Action Potential Stimulation (APS) device, an invention which electronically stimulates the body's nerve impulses to relieve chronic pain, saving sufferers (and their medical aids) thousands of rands in anti-inflammatory and pain-relief drugs.
5. Chris Hani hospital in Soweto is the biggest hospital in the world.
(Heather Parker, Health24, November 2007)