May 31, 2013

The ROOTS of ill health

This note is necessary on World No Tobacco day today. 

The burial of a loved one a few days ago dawned on me the atrocity of the practice of selling disease. While the loved one that we buried was a terminal cancer of a type, the cancer and debilitation that cigarettes cause to the human body is in the same vein not just a matter of "someone else's own business" as it is often made out for us to believe. It's truly a crime perpetrated for the promotion of selfish gains. Many a time the seller's own family members maybe in the fry of its dangers. But somehow there seems to be a disconnect between this and the yearning for wealth; it even justifies the forfeiting of our own children's health and well-being. Given that our children make up perhaps 30 percent our nation of Maldives, can't it be surmised that we are hurting ourselves in either ignorance or ignominy. Our leaders too must take heed and not be fooled by the deception of the sellers -- the great cigarette companies of the world and their accomplices - our local sales outlets.

The ROOT of this evil is indeed the sellers and we seem to be condoning this perfidious practice. I repeat again here from an earlier blog the words of a global health leader who said that " the cigarette is the only commodity in the marketplace that when you use it exactly as it is supposed to be used, will kill you". That truth unfortunately takes time to sink in, and by that time it is alas too late for us to do anything much about the ravages it has caused to our body. The disease and morbidity cigarettes create, besides being a financial burden of health costs to the individual, is also a  huge financial burden to the national economy, Expensive hospital systems are needed to address the interim and terminal disease outcomes of cigarette smoking. However much one may talk about private privileges or individual freedom to do what we want, that freedom when not exercised with the requisite responsibility brings national level doom. 

The ROOT of this evil can indeed be addressed if our three powers that lead our nation see that protecting human health and thus our healthy existence on this earth is the real purpose of their being in good governance. 

No comments: