A long but disease-stricken life

Staff Correspondent
Wednesday, August 30th, 2017


Making money to pay for lifestyle diseases?


Knowing that we all will have to die someday, we want to live every moment we pass around. There is hardly anyone who doesn’t want to see ‘tomorrow’ everyday! There is a saying that, ‘We people are the only beings who want to be alive even after death! We want to live more in any way, perhaps, and that is why we do not hesitate to spend a lot of money for availing of medicare services.


A senior friend of us, serving a multinational company, said the other day that most of the patients cardiac at a reputed hospital in one of Dhaka’s affluent areas are successful businessmen. ‘The stress and tension they take as well as their lifestyle have made them so vulnerable to lifestyle diseases,’ he said quoting doctor, who, however, would not make any formal statement on the professional category of patients.


In fact, a 2011 medical survey revealed that almost 99 percent Bangladesh people aged above 25 years have been exposed to at least one of three chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes and heart ailments due to unhealthy lifestyle. Increasing affluence and purchasing power is said to be the key reason for the spread of these ‘non-communicable diseases’ or in other words lifestyle diseases. Globally, a Washington University study recently said, despite progress fighting killer infectious diseases,people now lead longer and sicker lives with health problems incurring a wave of financial and social costs – findings that, researchers described as devastating irony.


One of the major evidence of such reality is the glimpse of the hospitals mushrooming in the city. Definitely there is nothing wrong with getting medicare service whenever needed. However, my focus is on the increasing number of people visiting hospitals, pathologies, medicine shops and doctors everyday to get recovered. This indicates the rising number of patients and they are desperate to pay any amount to get recovered.


No wonder now that we want to pay any amount even if we need to take loan if we get sick. I doubt how many of us consciously want to lead a healthy life to avoid getting sick?


Wahidullah is a well-known business person in Elephant Road area. He is the one who works hard whole day, no matter if it’s a holiday or a day of celebration. In the process, he is making money, good enough for running his family and making food savings. But he now has to spend a lot of money for his treatment. He got a sudden heart attack earlier this year and still cannot speak or walk. The sudden attack changed everything. He was admitted to one of the best hospitals in Dhanmondi and in first two months they spent Tk 23 lakh. Owning a vibrant shop, the family is yet struggling now as all the profits are going after the treatment.


While visiting a Gulshan based hospital, I was fortunate or unfortunate enough to get to know a few stories of such patients who have spent a lot once and now for their treatment. All the high profile people are spending their time with high profile diseases! If we look back into their lives, most of them were always busy making money forgetting about their health. So, a curiosity popped up to look around for the people who actually consider a healthy life is the ‘most expected’ feature they expect from life. The morning of Dhanmondi Lake is surprisingly full of all the health conscious people who consider all of them as a family.


Every morning, a number of people gather at Dhanmondi Lake to jog, to exercise or just to walk around. In winter it also can be seen that they are playing badminton every morning while coming for exercise and surprisingly they even arrange for tournaments there! Some have discovered places like this as a source of income. They come up with diabetics machines or arrange for testing blood or even come up with different exercise machines.


Ramna Park and Suhrawardy Uddyan are two other places where it’s very charming to visit in the morning. Most eye soothing part is to see numbers of kids as if a folk of birds are flying around in different colours.


Surprisingly the scenery in Banani and Gulshan are entirely different. Even if it’s morning or afternoon, the parks or lakesides are always wandered by the expatriates. One of them even said, ‘We never see any of the local people spend their times at parks, lake-sides or rooftops. Obviously they do not prefer exercises outside but they don’t even come out to see the scenic beauty!’


Some little steps can make us stay away from being sick but we get conscious only when we aren’t really left with much time and options. If we can spend a huge amount of money to get recovered, then what’s wrong in spending a little amount before getting sick and try to keep ourselves out of the health crises? Let me conclude with an old saying:


‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away, If the doctor is cute, keep the apple away!’

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