A Mandate Of Misery
By Talha Masood
On May 24 of the last year, it was proclaimed that April 14 of every coming year would be celebrated as world Chagas day. Consequently, after a considerably long period of negligence, the global community has agreed to let the coming 14th April be the day when first time in the history of humanity a conscious effort would be made internationally in trying to understand what exactly is Chagas disease, its symptoms, causes, and effects, and most importantly how can it be cured or prevented.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) about 6 to 7 million people are annually infected by Chagas disease, out of which every year 10,000 lose their lives to its ruinous effects. Also known as American trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease is often called “silent and silenced disease” not only because of it’s slow clinical progression but also because it usually occurs among a society’s underprivileged people.
Chagas disease is the doctor’s term as a neglected tropical disease (NTD). These are the types of diseases that mostly persist among the poor and the impoverished of the developing world and are mostly caused by the parasitic invasion of human bodies, parasites that are born due to the unhygienic living conditions of the underprivileged individuals. For instance, “Chagas disease is caused by “the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) and spread by infected triatomine bugs, also known as kissing bugs, can cause heart failure, stroke, and even death”. (centers for disease control). These parasitic insects spread throughout the body and if left unchecked, they can cause severe disability and in extreme cases death of the patient by a damaged vital organ.
Practically, you can take steps for the eradication of poverty within your circle of influence. For the root cause of all neglected tropical diseases is poverty; and thus our contribution in its elevation, may it only be to create awareness among our friends, just to let them know about such realities of our world is the least that we owe to our humanity. Anything less than this would perhaps belittle us in our own eyes. For the more fortunate and the affluent people of this world carry a mandate of mercy or misery, depending upon the way in which they spend their time, energies, and resources; to be placed upon the less fortunate, underprivileged people they come across. So make no mistake you do have the power of influencing the lives of many. The question is how would you choose to use it? And I leave you with your answer as your guide.