Your health is your wealth


SOME people will give their vehicles the best care but indulge themselves on food that will in time, cause them to go to the grave early.
We will put oil in the car’s oil can and petrol or diesel in the designated spot but instead of water or some other healthy juice, we drown out sense and money in senseless alcohol drinking binges.
Just why this is so, we can never understand.
Put it down to human nature and plain stupidity.
It is one of man’s habits that the rich tend to get fatter than the poor when one would think the rich could use their wealth to buy themselves health.
So, today, as Papua New Guinea enjoys unparalleled economic growth and cash spreads throughout the country, the number of obese people is growing.
The restaurants dedicated to fattening are raking in the profits and a generation of people are getting sicker without knowing it.
In time, they will be keeling over from stress and ill health.
Papua New Guineans are already dropping like flies.
Many are young, many from preventable ailments.
Into this rather dismal forecast, our old enemies return with a vengeance and often hunt in packs.
Throughout the world, mankind’s old microbial enemies are staging a major comeback.
Old enemies are teaming up with or hitching a ride on the band wagon of new conditions.
Tuberculosis (TB), for instance, is teaming up with HIV/AIDS to form a formidable team against which human medicine has found no defence, a new threat helping rejuvenate a veteran campaigner against humankind.
Each re-emerging condition is marching to a different drum, making it that much harder for the world’s health systems to cope – even with familiar enemies such as malaria, TB, or the common cold.
Tuberculosis resistant to antibiotics is rising. Multiple drug resistant malaria is also on the rise worldwide.
The common flu, likewise, changes its coat and its level of virulence with each visit.
It will not be too long before one floats along with a virulence to kill millions as did the pandemic of 1918-1919 that killed 22 million.
For the last three months, we have been reporting stories in this newspaper about the state of affairs relating to the coronavirus with re-emergence of TB and especially of strands that are multiple drug resistant.
The re-emergence of these old campaigners seem to correspond with the level of attention given them, more particularly the amount of resources dedicated to battling them.
As the level of resources dwindle, up rears the threat.
The fight against malaria, the bane of rural Papua New Guinea, has always been hard but it was better fought in yesteryears than today.
In the past, there was effective public awareness and people responded to the awareness.
Those were the days of foot patrols.
Today, technology is here to give health messages in the mass media or even over mobile telephones.
Yet, the level of health awareness has dropped off to almost nil presence by health officials.
It is time to take preventive activities to a different level.
Former governor-general Sir Paulias Matane was a great believer in walking and took every opportunity to encourage Papua New Guineans to do likewise.
We need more of him to keep reminding us on healthy living messages to go out loud and clear.

One thought on “Your health is your wealth

  • Obesity is prevalent amongst todays population. Its becoming a dangerous trend with many individuals and something not many will speak out against. It is however good to see a group of emerging enthusiasts dedicated to fitness and wellbeing. Iv noticed the emergence of gyms that are working to create awareness on the importance of regular exercise and its benefits. I’m hoping this movement can grow and in time create a smarter population that look after their wellbeing. Unwise eating habits, too much alcohol, chewing excessively and smoking form a basis for health complications. We have to start making smarter choices.

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