Friday, September 18, 2020

Is illness a stigma or a natural phenomenon?

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Plagues have been known to humankind since time immemorial. Hurricanes, psunamis have been devastating countries and communities, causing death and destruction; hunger and poverty. If one compares the life of those affected and the lives where the natural disaster did not occur one is likely to see the same lifestyle.

Saints and villains have all had communicable diseases and non-communicable ones. A person like Nelson Mandela had tuberculosis which did not deter him from being the first president of a united Republic of South Africa. Hence it is important for human beings to put illness in its right perspective as an enemy of humankind requiring redress. Human society has the duty to produce the scientists who would study the nature and characteristics of illnesses and their cure and then train the doctors who would be able to diagnose and treat the illnesses.

We must therefore avoid giving the impression that those who contract illnesses have done evil things and are paying for them by virtue of having an illness. Illness like poverty has causes and our duty is not to surrender to their mischief.

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