By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
Except in situations beyond your control, such as being poor, mentally challenged, physically challenged, and living in a community where public health policies are poor or not implemented, and access to healthcare is poor, you have the key to your good health.
There is a prevalent of poor healthcare infrastructures and poor public health policies in most developing countries such as in Africa, where access to sustainable clean pipe-borne water, electricity, and standard education are poor and unavailable.
Healthcare disparities are also a concern in some developed countries with minority communities suffering the brunt due to high rate of unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, and the lack of better insurance coverage.
However, inspite of the challenges people could protect themselves from most of the major causes of diseases by taking positive measures to stay away from the ravages of ill-health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “more than half of all deaths in low-income countries in 2016 were caused by the so-called “Group I” conditions, which include communicable diseases, maternal causes, conditions arising during pregnancy and childbirth, and nutritional deficiencies. By contrast, less than 7% of deaths in high-income countries were due to such causes. Lower respiratory infections were among the leading causes of death across all income groups.
“Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) caused 71% of deaths globally, ranging from 37% in low-income countries to 88% in high-income countries. All but one of the 10 leading causes of death in high-income countries were NCDs. In terms of absolute number of deaths, however, 78% of global NCD deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
“Injuries claimed 4.9 million lives in 2016. More than a quarter (29%) of these deaths were due to road traffic injuries. Low-income countries had the highest mortality rate due to road traffic injuries with 29.4 deaths per 100 000 population – the global rate was 18.8. Road traffic injuries were also among the leading 10 causes of death in low, lower-middle- and upper-middle-income countries.”
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by itself. When it acts with other factors, it greatly increases risk. Smoking increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance and increases the tendency for blood to clot – American Heart Association
The WHO indicator points to the top ten causes of death worldwide and it is not surprising that Respiratory Infections, Diarrhoeria, Heart Disease, HIV/AIDS, Stroke, Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB), Road Accidents, Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, Lung Cancer, Trachea and Bronchus, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Lower Respiratory Infections, Stroke, and Ischaemic Heart Disease (coronary artery disease), stand out as the culprits.
These diseases could be prevented and millions of lives saved, and you are the key to your good health!
One of the keys to addressing the challenges of some of these diseases is practicing positive lifestyles and advocating and lobbying for health policies to protect the community from environmental hazards.
Do you know that what you eat, drink, and breathe, affect your health?
You may not have the money or insurance cover for hospital check-up, especially for the millions of poor people in developing countries, but you have the ability to practice positive lifestyles, to choose what to eat and drink, and to engage and lobby your electorates to pass laws to protect the environment from pollution.
Also, remember to drive responsibly, SPEED KILLS!