Is Mankind Winning The Fight Against Diseases?


Today, mankind is plagued with so many infectious and non infectious killer diseases. Tuberculosis, malaria, cancer, AIDS and of recent the Ebola virus are just but a few among the killer diseases. Now and then scientists are discovering new vaccines and antibiotics to curtail even the most stubborn diseases. Yet, yearly the death toll of humans caused by diseases seem to be on the high side in some continents.

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Obviously, critical fights have been won. For example, the developing of the smallpox vaccine by Edward Jenner in 1978, have proven to be effective in preventing other diseases such as rubella, polio, yellow fever and measles. Some diseases back then that have no cure now have drugs that does prevent and cure them. We know the reasons why we fall sick. We know the role microorganisms plays in the spread of diseases. We know what steps to take to avoid an epidemic and if such occur we know what steps to take in controlling it. For example, when Nigeria has her first case of ebola virus infection, the government and health officials put up necessary infrastructures to make sure the disease do not spread across the country. In less than few months, Nigeria was declared an ebola free nation. That was a tremendous success. Indeed a triumph! But does this victories indicate we are actually winning the battle against diseases?



According to UNICEF, recent facts showed that "17,000 children dies every year, for the most part from preventable or treatable causes. 2.5 billion individuals need access to enhanced sanitation, including 1 billion who are compelled to turn to open poop for absence of different alternatives. Out of an estimated 35 million individuals living with HIV, in excess of 2 million are 10 to 19 years of age, and 56 every percent of them are girls."

The unwater.org indicate that "6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases."

Clearly, some of these open victories have been limited to the wealthier nations of the world. Treatable diseases still kills a huge number of individuals, especially in poorer nations of the world. In developing nations numerous individuals still need sufficient sanitation, health awareness, access to safe water.

Satisfying these fundamental needs has gotten too cumbersome because of monstrous relocations of individuals from the rural areas to the mega cities of developing countries. As a consequence of such incidence, healthcare facilities  have limited resources to carter for the huge populace health needs. Likewise, human through their behavior has contributed to the continuous relentless spread of certain diseases. Why say so? HIV/AIDS still claim more lives despite people having knowledge on how it spreads. Promiscuity, and rebellious lifestyle continue to prevail. Some people are yet to accept the fact that having multiple sexual partners increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.  Wars, famine and social behavior are all having negative impact in the battle against diseases. In one hand we seem to be winning through development of modern health technology, vaccines and drugs but in the other hand our attitude and behavior shows we are still revolving around the same cycle.

8 comments:

  1. The war against diseases and infections has continually erupt every now and then. Thanks to the advancement in science and technology that made it possible for researches to be carried out, solutions to ailments to be found and ways to wade against diseases be devised. Yes, rural areas may have limited facilities to tackle recurrence and treatable health issues but remember " it is still better than the days of old"
    Good work you have here.

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    1. It is better than the days old in that it is easy to make diagnosis, mass produce vaccines, drugs and conduct researches but still the issue of poverty in so many nations have limited some to have access to medical care.

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  2. Interesting.

    And, the problem is, as the battle against one is being won, another "enemy" arises; or the vanquished one "mutates".

    It is a war, just as Lilian also presented.

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    1. You are right and also the missue of antibiotics have resulted to the emergence of multi drugs resistant bacteria. That is why drugs that once kills some microorganisms no longer have effect on them today. So it such an endless battle!

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  3. It does seem that as one disease is brought under control, another one pops up. It's hard to believe that there are still countries without proper sanitary methods in place,especially when we know that is what contributes the most to disease. I think maybe the WHO should look at that situation first.

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  4. You pretty much summed most of it up when you said, "Wars, famine and social behavior." In my view, it's social behavior that can both influence getting disease under control which might then affect the rest. For example diabetes is reversible with eating right, exercise, and sensible or social drinking. My husband is a wonderful success story. But until there is less corporate greed (consider pharmaceuticals profit motive as a great motivator to keep progress stuck) and more social behavior changes then we are all stuck.

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  5. I wait for the day the day a cure for cancer. Such a deadly disease.

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  6. If one were to search the history books on death due to disease they would likely be astonished at the number of people who succumbed to illness we rarely give a second thought to these days. Medical science has come a long way but, as you point out, there are also contributing circumstances such as behavior, the economy and then there is politics because let us not ignore corrupt governments that line their pockets with the money and resources that should be going to the people in many of those poverty stricken areas.

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