HEALTH AND HYGYIENE
In a healthy body lives a healthy brain. The health is the condition of the person’s mind and body to be free from any illness, injury and pain. There is a saying “health is the greatest of all”. In order to stay healthy one must consume healthy food.
The food is healthy when it provides all the nutrients needed by our body to function properly. A healthy diet helps to maintain and improve overall health.
It is not only responsible for providing energy but it also helps in the growth, repair of damaged tissues by replacing them by new ones and protect us from disease.
A diet which contains all the nutrients (fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals) in the right quantities is called a balanced diet. It helps one to stay healthy.
Besides nutrients it is also needed to have sufficient intake of water and roughage. Lack of water in the body can cause many problems like dehydration. Sometimes kidneys can also get fail due to lack of water in the body. If the sufficient quantity of any of the nutrients is not taken it may cause one to suffer from its deficiency.
The deficiency of any nutrient in the diet causes deficiency diseases of that nutrient. For example, kwashiorkor is caused by the deficiency of proteins; anemia, rickets are caused by the deficiency of minerals; diseases like beri-beri, scurvy, night blindness are caused by deficiency of vitamins.
There are numerous harmful microorganisms (commonly known as germs) present around us. These harmful microorganisms are called pathogens. When a pathogen attacks an organism (plant or animal) it causes disease which is referred to as a communicable disease.
They are called communicable diseases because they can be transferred through various agents such as air, water, food, vectors (insects), direct contact with infected person or through cuts, scratches and wounds. Malaria, cholera, influenza are some example of communicable diseases.
HOW THE DISEASES ARE SPREAD THROUGH AGENTS
- Air: When a sick person sneezes or coughs, large numbers of germs are released into the air in the form of tiny droplets from the mouth. If a healthy person inhales this air, he/she may also get infected. Some of the diseases which can be transmitted through air are cough, common cold, influenza.
- Water: Sometimes drinking water from the water sources like river, dam or lake gets contaminated by sewage which contains germs. The consumption of such water can lead to diseases like typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, jaundice and many more.
- Food: Unhygienic cooking practices support spread of the diseases. Often the germs that cause diseases are present in the uncooked food. The utensils in which the food is kept should be covered in order to avoid contamination of cooked food. Examples of diseases which can spread by food are tuberculosis, jaundice, dysentery and many more.
- Vectors: Insects like mosquitoes or flies transmit diseases by spreading germs either by biting or contaminating the food or water by sitting on it. They can cause diseases like dengue, malaria, plague etc.
- By touch: The diseases can also spread by being in direct contact with an infected person or using the personal belongings like towel, brush, clothes of the infected person. The diseases that can be caused are ring worms, chicken pox, and athlete’s foot.
- Through cuts, scratches and wounds: Invasion of the germs become very easy when the skin is broken or the wound is open. The germs can produce pus on the bounds. They can also enter the blood and contaminate it leading to blood poisoning in some cases.
HOW TO PREVENT COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Communicable diseases are spread by pathogens. If those pathogens are killed and not allowed to breed, the diseases can be prevented. This can be done by:
- By taking a balanced diet
A balance diet ensures the proper intake of the all the nutrients in the body. This strengthens the immune system of the body.
- Immunisation (Vaccination)
Communicable diseases can be prevented by giving injections called vaccines against specific diseases. The vaccines are made up if small quantities of dead or weak germs of a particular disease. When they are swallowed or injected into the body, the body produces substances capable of fighting the germs.
The substances stay in the body, and make it capable of fighting any future attacks from germs of that disease. This is called immunity against that disease. Many diseases such as measles, typhoid, tetanus, polio and mumps can be controlled through vaccines.
- By maintaining hygiene
Hygiene includes the practices which help in the preservation of health. In the basic terms, hygiene stands for cleaning. The cleanliness is necessary to prevent the growth of germs around us as pathogens tend to grow more in the dirty or unhygienic places.
Personal hygiene can be taken care by keeping eyes, nose, nails, teeth and ears clean; bathing daily with soap; wearing clean clothes; wash hands with soap and water before eating anything or after using toilet.
But personal hygiene is not enough to ensure complete hygiene and good health if the community hygiene is not maintained. One must take care of the hygiene of the community in which they are living as their own responsibility.
This can be done by the proper disposal of waste as the breeding of microbes takes place in waste; ensuring the drinking water is safe; getting the insecticides sprayed in the community to avoid vectors; avoiding stagnation of water and encouraging everyone to contribute to the effort by making people aware.
A non-communicable disease is a disease which unlike communicable diseases is not transmissible among the people. They may be diseases of long duration and slow progression, or they may result in deaths by sudden stroke or attack.