Family Health (Diseases)
Meaning of diseases
Diseases can be defined as any condition that affects the structure or function in a human, animal, or plant. Diseases usually manifest through specific signs or symptoms, and they affect specific locations of the body.
Types of Diseases
Diseases are classified into Communicable Diseases and Non-Communicable diseases.
- Communicable Diseases: These are infectious diseases that can be transferred from one person to the other either directly or indirectly. Communicable diseases could be:
- Air borne e.g. Tuberculosis, Measles.
- Water/Food borne e.g. Cholera, Typhoid fever and Dysentery
- Insect borne e.g. Filariasis, Yellow fever, malaria.
Modes of Disease Transmission
- Air-Borne Diseases: are those diseases contacted through inhalation, and examples are tuberculosis, measles, etc.
- Water / Food Borne Diseases: are diseases contracted through consumption of food and drinking of water infected with these diseases e.g. Cholera, Typhoid fever, Dysentery etc.
- Insect borne Diseases: are diseases arise as a result of insects bites. Examples are:
- Malaria – Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken from an infected person. When a mosquito bites an infected person, a small amount of blood is taken in which contains microscopic malaria parasites
- Filariasis is an infectious tropical disease caused by any one of several thread-like parasitic round worms. The two species of worms most often associated with this disease are Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi. The larval form of the parasite transmits the disease to humans by the bite of a mosquito.
- Yellow fever – Yellow fever virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of infected Aedes or Haemagogus species mosquitoes. Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected primates (human or non-human) and then can transmit the virus to other primates (human or non-human)
- Non-communicable Diseases: These are diseases that are not transmitted from person to person.
Examples of non-communicable diseases are sickle cell, poliomyelitis, headache and constipation.
Meaning of Disease Vectors
Vectors are carriers of diseases. The most popular disease vectors are insects. They include:
- Mosquitoes, which are the sole vectors of malaria. Yellow fever which is a viral disease is transmitted by aedes mosquitoes, while filariasis is a disease transmitted by culex or aedes or anopheles mosquitoes.
- Cockroach, an insect that has a filthy habit, distributes dirt and germs as it runs from one place to another. It has been found to carry the germs of dangerous tropical diseases, such as plague, leprosy and dysentery.
- Houseflies spread diseases by collecting germs from human excreta, rotting materials, sewage, manure, etc., and distributing them all along their paths. They carry germs of about twenty human diseases, including diarrhea and dysentery. They also serve as intermediate hosts for several parasitic worms, e.g. roundworms and tapeworms in their developmental stages.
Disease Prevention Methods
- Proper Sanitation – The best way to prevent diseases is to ensure a clean environment.
- Education – Through Health Education, we are taught how to live healthily and prevent diseases.
The Consequences of Contracting Diseases
It is very essential to strive to stay healthy. Like they say, prevention is better than cure. Below are the negative effects of diseases on the Family, Individual and Society:
Effects of diseases on the family
- Money that should be used for other things is spent on treating diseases.
- Children may be badly affected. E.g., Sickle Cell Anaemia.
- Loss of family member in case of death.
Effects of diseases on Individual
- The social life will be affected
- The educational life of the person will be affected
- The person may be physically handicapped like in case of poliomyelitis
Effects of diseases on the society
- Lots of money is spent on Immunisation treatment of diseases.
- Reduction in the growing population.
Tips to reduce risks of contracting diseases
- Wash your hands. This is especially important before and after preparing food, before eating, and after using the toilet. Also wash your hands after coming in contact with animals
- Get vaccinated.
- Keep your environment clean
- Stay home when ill.
- Prepare food safely.
- Practice safe sex.
- Don't share personal items.
- Get a regular medical checkup
- Travel wisely.