Monday, August 31, 2009
Beware of T1 C1
I hope that all the attention paid to the N1 H1 virus will not be detrimental to efforts to raise and maintain awareness about T1 C1, which millions of people (including children) suffer from every year.
H1 N1 and T1 C1 have a lot in common. For example, both originated in America. Like H1 N1, people catch T1 C1 through breathing and their respiratory system gets affected. In many cases, death caused by T1 C1 is very slow and painful. I've had relatives dying from T1 C1-induced diseases, and -- believe me -- it's not a pretty sight.
There has been progress in recent years to prevent T1 C1 in Western countries. But the toll is increasing in developing countries who lack the means and power to fight T1 C1. The World Health Organization (WHO) informs that the number of people who died from T1 C1 in the year 2000 worldwide was estimated at 4.2 million. Five hundred million people alive today (500 million) -- many of them still children -- will eventually die of diseases caused by T1 C1. More men are killed already in developing countries than in industrialised countries by T1 C1, and this trend is increasing.
A particularly dramatic aspect of the migration of the T1 C1 epidemics to developing countries is that the attention and resources needed for the victims of T1 C1 will be at the cost of prevention efforts against other chronic diseases and public health challenges such a malaria, HIV AIDS, dengue, safe and affordable water, etc. T1 C1 increases obstacles to on-going efforts to erradicate poverty.
Notwithstanding H1 N1, we must continue to focus on the prevention of T1 C1, Tobacco and Cigarettes.