It’s a challenge to deal with the ailments arising out of climate changes
The World Health Organisation, a branch of the United Nations advising on the health issues, has called the ‘World Health Day 2008’ on April 07 to concentrate on ailments arising out of the imminent climate changes occurring all over. Whether it is the prolonged untimely rain in our city or the undue heat wave in our neighbouring states in the past few years, the extreme weather changes may not be dismissed as aberrations. Even if done so it is imperative that the climate changes which are happening frequently that will have an impact on the health need to be considered. For a Third World country like ours where the nutritional levels are less than desired, poverty levels are daunting, climate sensitive diseases can put a strain on the health of the people and global warming poses a serious challenge.
Industrialisation, urbanisation, deforestation, land use changes are all the causes of greenhouse effect wherein there is a warming of the earth’s surface. There is an increase in carbondioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere which does not allow the loss of heat from the earth’s surface and the increasing temperature is the root cause of all the problems as the glaciers melt away, sea levels rise disturbing the ecology tremendously and as a chain reaction, man at the top of the pyramid is eventually affected. Extreme temperatures, heavy precipitations, tropical cyclones would become common which would affect food production. Water resources are affected.
The heavy burden on health would be a huge cause for concern. Compromised food production means drought and malnutrition. Diarrhoea and infectious diseases flaring up would be very common. Water-borne diseases would increase as the decreased resources carry more risk. Undue heat strokes and cold waves would become order of the day. Diseases carried by vectors and rodent-borne would go up tremendously.
Recognition of the problem is the first step towards solution. The first prescription of information about reality of plausible future events about climate change is primary. Improved hygiene and sanitation would reduce the events of infectious diseases. Covering open drains and proper sewage disposal would help in keeping away the vectors. Being alert about the usual infectious diseases would help one act rapidly so that it does not become an epidemic.
It is not within the paradigm of homoeopathic medicine to keep the climate changes at bay. But when proper system of information and hygiene are put in place it could help further in improving one’s immunity to be less susceptible to infectious disease such as diarrhoea, malaria. Antim crud, Ferrum phos, Natrum mur, Natrum carb help improve body’s resistance to increased temperatures, Hypericum, Hepar sulph, Dulcamara, Natrum sulph help with colder climes. Ars alb, Nux vom, Phosphorus help improve gastrointestinal disturbances, Carbo veg, Ipecac keep one less susceptible to respiratory issues and remedies like Calc phos, Natrum phos are known to improve assimilation in combating malnutrition. Infectious diseases, when a scourge, are always better countered when the significant percentage of populace area is afflicted. The usual threat of malaria is warded away by remedies like Cinchona, Natrum mur, Eupa perf etc. It is also a coincidence that through treatment of malaria, homoeopathic medicine was invented more than two centuries ago.
And with the dawn of newer challenges — this time around due to climate changes — homoeopathy is geared up for the task.DR. VENUGOPAL GOURI
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