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TB

World Health Day

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Image is from Easypromos

What is World Health Day?

The World Health Day is a global celebration by people from all over the world and is held each year on 7th April. The day is sponsored by the World Health Organization which held its first assembly in Geneva in the year 1948 and it was then that the World Health day was founded. It was first celebrated in 1950 and has been celebrated since. Each year, WHO carries out a variety of events that rotate around a specific theme. Some of the themes that have been used before are;

  • 2003- Shape of the future life
  • 2005- Road Safety
  • 2007- International Health Security
  • 2008- Protecting Health From Climate Change

The annual event is used to raise public awareness towards issues concerning health and safety. The theme is chosen to guide activities for the whole year. A good example is the Polio Eradication Theme which was in 1995, most countries are now free from polio due to the concerted efforts that were led by WHO.

WHO target global health issues from where programs are derived from and organized by WHO and other health organizations such as schools, NGOs and even governments. This day is celebrated to remember the establishment of WHO which is under the United Nations. WHO has played a significant role in combating diseases such as smallpox, TB, chickenpox and leprosy especially in developing countries.

Duties and responsibilities of WHO

  1. Promote development- poor health is mainly attributed to poverty, therefore, uplifting the economic status of a population leads to improved health.
  2. Strengthen Health Systems- In poor countries, the health systems are usually weak or lacking, WHO provides medicines, relevant technology and infrastructure to improve them.
  3. Reduce health risk- WHO is entrusted to reduce or avoid the outbreak of new or existing diseases.
  4. Promote research and gather information- WHO requires accurate data to set health regulations and therefore consults with world leading authorities and institutions to come up with technical guidelines.
  5. Enhance partnerships- by working with various governments and health organizations, information is easily shared and WHO can disseminate technical guidelines that are supposed to be used in building health systems
  6. Improve Performance- WHO is a large organizations with set goals and therefore it needs to constantly evaluate itself to ensure that it improves it performance by implementing results based management.

How World Health Day is celebrated

World Health Day is celebrated worldwide by governments and NGOs who organize activities that relate to public health issues so as to create awareness. Organizations that participate in this activities highlight their efforts through media reports such as press releases. Health authorities make their pledges in support of health issues in the domain. Other activities that are carried on include; debates on related topics, exhibitions, essay writing competitions and award ceremonies aimed at recognizing efforts of individuals and institutions in tackling health issues.

Why World Health Day is celebrated?

WHO focuses on increasing the life expectancy by promoting good health practices and some of the objectives of why the day is celebrated yearly are;

  1. To increase awareness on the causes and prevention of various diseases
  2. To provide detailed knowledge to the masses and relevant institutions on ways of preventing various diseases
  3. To encourage the vulnerable group of people to speak out and be heard by relevant authorities.
  4. To promote self-care among the people
  5. To encourage world health authorities to make their own effort in promoting the agendas of World Health day
  6. To protect families and other vulnerable people who are prone to diseases

 

 

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Understanding Tuberculosis

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Image is from CDC

Tuberculosis, TB, is an airborne bacterial infection. While other organs and tissues may be involved, it normally affects the lungs first.

What You Need To Know

While most people who have TB are not contagious, the disease is spread through the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, laughs, sings, or talks. If you are nearby and breath in those germs, there is a chance that you can become infected.

There is a difference between having active TB disease and being infected, known as latent TB. Latent TB is diagnosed when you have the TB germs in your body, but your immune system is strong enough to keep you from getting sick, and you are not contagious.

However, if you are diagnosed with active TB disease, you will have symptoms and you will be contagious. Therefore, it is critical to see a doctor right away.

Unfortunately, there are some forms of TB that are not eliminated with the usual medications prescribed. That means the TB germs in your body are resistant to them. These types of TB are classified as MDR TB and XDR TB.

MDR TB (multi-drug resistant) is resistant to the standard medication regime for active TB and is more serious. XDR TB is resistant to both standard and secondary drugs for treatment and any treatment rendered can be longer, expensive and more difficult. These forms of TB occur when medication is mismanaged or misused. For example:

  • If you do not complete the full course of treatment
  • If your doctor prescribes the wrong treatment, dose, or duration.
  • If medication is not available
  • If medication is of poor quality

It is more common in people who:

  • Do not take their medication regularly
  • Do not take medications for the full duration of treatment
  • Contract it a second time
  • Come from places where drug-resistant TB is more common
  • Have been around someone who has it

The good news is it is not easy to contract TB. You usually have to be close to someone infected for a long time. This is why it is often spread between family members, coworkers, and close friends.

What TB Does To Your Body

If you have a weakened immune system, you are at greater risk for developing TB. Some examples of conditions, treatments, and ages that cause weakened immunity are:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Leukemia
  • Viral Hepatitis
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Getting Chemotherapy
  • Elderly
  • Children under the age of 5

If you any of the above apply, the bacteria associated with TB is likely to settle in your lungs and start growing right away, because your immune system isn’t strong enough to fight it off. The disease will develop quickly, within days or weeks. If you are healthy and contract TB, it may take months, or even years to develop.

While TB attacks the lungs, it can also invade other parts of the body, such as:

  • Spine
  • Brain
  • Kidneys
  • Bones
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Skin

This is because the bacteria can move from the lungs through the blood and lymphatic systems. Symptoms of active disease include:

  • Cough
  • Weight Loss
  • Night Sweats
  • Fever
  • Chills

If other parts of the body are infected, symptoms specific to that area will occur. For example, if it has spread to your bones, you will have bone pain.

Despite what many people think, TB is not a disease of the past. About one third of the world’s population are infected. That is almost 2.5 billion people. Of those people 9.6 million have active TB. It is curable, however. Therefore it is important to recognize the symptoms, see a doctor right away, and follow the treatment ordered.

 

 

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