Monday, March 18, 2013

The big killer . . .

Come spring, and we have quite a spurt in the number of patients with respiratory diseases. And quite a good number of them would be tuberculosis patients . . . A selection of cases .. .. ..

The first one, a young lady who has been on and off treatment. The first 3 X-Rays here are her's taken over one year. It's very obvious that the second film is a bit better than the first one . . . but that was when she had stopped treatment after she was feeling better after about a month of treatment. Then, she was quite sick after the winter. And the third X-Ray was taken after that.

The next one is that of a middle aged lady who also has been on irregular treatment. 

The one below is that of a young man, who had been sick for about 5 months now. He had stopped tuberculosis treatment after 2 months as he was feeling better. Now, he has about one third of his total lung left. 

And the final one- A 10 year old who has been sick for almost 1 year. He has been sick on and off. The main finding . . . he weighs a measly 15 kilograms. 

The common links between all the 4 patients . . .

All of them are poor and there is a major issue with food security in all the four families. 

I've written quite a lot of poor nutrition last year. As the number of poor patients who access our facility increase, the strong association between poor nutrition and disease is very much evident. 

We've focussed quite a lot on Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome which is a cause of an immuno-compromised state (all 4 patients are HIV Negative). I wonder how long will it take for healthcare providers and policy makers to understand that the most common cause of an immuno-compromised state is M A L N U T R I T I O N . 

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