Mostly, when it comes to deadly diseases worldwide people contemplate that they are the fast spreading, incurable or non-vaccinated captions from time to time. It is said that most diseases of these physical characteristics do not kill as many people as we think, not even classifying them at the topmost deadliest diseases worldwide.
We must at all times be persuaded that they are the ones with visually severe symptoms that grab the headline for their rapid spread and lives lost. Occasionally, their spread leads to pandemics that spread through inhabitants.
COVID-19, a current infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, which leads to respirational illness, has, in a few short months, infected more than 15million people, and destroyed the lives of 617K inhabitants. There is currently no vaccine.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health that is the real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.” While there are actions we can take to help slow its spread, we, as the individuals, have to take our health serious.
While the coronavirus is rightly making headlines, there are many other infectious diseases circulating among us which we concentrate less on. It turns out that deadliest diseases are those with low development. Some of the deadliest diseases according to World Health Organization (WHO) are Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), stroke, respiratory illness, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cancers, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Diarrhoea, Tuberculosis (TB), Cirrhosis, malaria, measles, influenza and many more.
To be frank, many of these types of diseases do not rank the cause of most deaths worldwide but rather it causes fear and panic which sometimes lead to loss of lives. Talking about COVID 19, most hospitals are not well equipped. Going by the protocols to avoid the spread of the virus at an alarming rate can not only help in saving lives. A number of people die daily not because they are being affected by the virus but because of the fear and panic COVID 19 has created. Health workers and head of institutions or organizations at the other side due to fear, they do not give the necessary support, treatment or attention to patients who are facing other illnesses in one way or the other.
Deborah Weatherspoon, PhD, RN, CRNA medically, reviewed that conceivably even more astounding is that several of the deadliest diseases are partially preventable. Non-preventable factors include where a person lives, access to preventive care, and quality of healthcare. But there are still steps everyone can take to lower their risk.
“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” – Winston Churchill. Health workers, religious leaders, political leaders, leaders at the educational and other institutions should be on their toes to help save the lives of the sick. We should open up to hear from others especially when they are in need, facing challenges with their health as Thich Nhat Hanh said, that, Keeping the body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos- the trees, the clouds and everything.
By Theresa Kpordzo
DEPSOCOM News, Accra