Monday, December 21, 2009

Health in Eritrea

Health and living conditions in Eritrea

The treatments of diseases are by both native and modern medicine. The native medicine involves herbs in drink, powder, cream or other forms. They can be applied externally or taken orally. Most common diseases are infectious and or preventable, such as dysentery malaria and typhoid. Prevention is not always easy. Neither is it successful because of a lack of information and education about the diseases and also a lack of proper hygiene.

In case of pregnancy, mothers often meet complications at birth, such as excessive bleeding or still birth. Some people have real fear of surgical operations, fearing they will die in the process. The treatment service is not easily accessible to the poor, who always face the problem of payment of the fee that are now changed in most health institutes. Some get medical help when it’s already too late. Often, ailments are caused by poor diet and feeding habits.

Numerous families use pit latrines in overcrowded town slums and villages. There are always associated sanitation problems, as people rarely cooperate to maintain such facilities.

Water to drink and for household use is always brought from streams and wells, which also service domestic animals. Such water is always drunk without having been boiled, again because of education and fuel problems such as firewood, the main source of heating but which is becoming scarce. Consequently, there are many opportunities for water born diseases.

Rarely do people undergo any medical examinations except when compelled to do so, when they are going abroad. But then why does this all happen? It is because most people do not have a proper understanding and education about the world we live in, which presently is capitalism, a system based on competition, class struggle and conflict. Some women can have as many as 12 children simply because they are ignorant of family planning services or because of these services and even because of superstitious and religious beliefs.

This results in overcrowded families Homes (houses) are built of wood, mud and grass thatching or some similar plant thatching. Most of these grass thatched houses do not have ventilators. This accelerates health problems. Because of poverty on the side of the patients, medical workers are more often than not compelled to handle only the symptoms of the diseases not the disease itself for this may be all the patients may be able to afford. It’s also common to find people living with domestic animals such as sheep, goats and hens, all under the same roof. The level of development in medical technology is adequate enough to provide decent healthcare to everybody living on Earth. But this does not happen, since access to healthcare is based on the ability to pay. In Eritrean rural or urban life is in stark colours.

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