HIV infection, poor health infrastructure and hope for the future


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Some news reports makes me active. Everywhere I have something to say which is not included in the news report. I know the reports originally done by newsmen, are of professional standards—reporters are qualified through professional courses, later supported by requisite experiences. Those reports had passed many tests before making it to newspaper before appearing finally to us every day in the morning. But unless on very special and technical reasons, actual experiences gained through growing and living in the thick of society as a common man, very common man, counts a lot. What all the situations, I and you face and experience , is no mean thing, worth to be shared with all. Every news report looks incomplete to me, which I want to supplement.
Professional knowledge is a collection of all accumulated knowledge of the past , imparted to the young in a systematic manner in a meaningfully short period, so that the learner can serve himself and the society with the acquired knowledge, for the longest period of life. Imagine a case of a man who has no professional qualification lives actively , say, for 115 years, at the end he will learn so much, that would not be less than a professionally qualified man of 30/35 years age, thus learning through experiences of life, is not less than professional qualifications, only time span differs. Hippocrates on whom our doctors take the oath at the beginning of their carrier, was not an MBBS, nor an MD, nor MRCP, nor FRCS [ it’s a different issue that time these degrees were not in fashion], but yet he is the father of medical profession- definitely his knowledge, experience is the bedrock of the medical professional for all time to come. All these I say because I want to prove that being not professionally educated in a particular field, yet you have the right and merit to comment on the professional matters, simply because we are experienced—even sometimes, those worth more than professional ones. In my life, I have many times seen that a doctor is not more than a pharmacist, A civil engineer not more than a mason, many managers is not better than my grandmother was, who never went to school and yet managed her large family of 40 quite dexterously.
What propelled me into this article, is a newsreport that in UP, 5000 people have been infected with HIV with injection needle. Here the doctor would charge Rs 10/- per patient per day. It is alarming not because it is an isolated incident, but because it goes on happening, both in cities and remote areas of the country. As suggested in the same report even in developed state of Maharashtra, 75-100 people are affected by needle infection yearly. Poverty, illiteracy and the resultant unawareness is the key-reason. It is as you know very serious. I can understand who contracts it through direct sexual contacts, but think of those innocents, who goes to doctor to cure fever, diarrheas, cough and cold expecting to be cured, get caught into HIV being infected from a needle, with this a whole dream of an individual and family life is doomed at that very moment. Reason is poverty, illiteracy and unawareness.
I am very scared for myself and my whole large family. Being the oldest, I have the habit of alerting each member to keep safe always in the midst of social insecurities. Sometimes anxieties chokes me. When in uneasy health cannot seat back home, when go to doctor fear for contracting undesired infection. Because I have diabetes, periodically have to visit Hospital/OPD as a rule, for the blood tests. Paramedical staff responsible for drawing blood, does not wear gloves, although he cleans with cotton and spirit after change of every patient, yet I believe there should have been more measures to stop spread cross infection between patients.
I would like to share my own experience. In the nineties I used to live in AVADI,Tamilnadu, a Defence establishment which you can call a mini India, people from all parts of India come to live there for their profession. That was a time we came to know about AIDS/HIV for the first time. Once I visited my doctor to cure my fever. This doctor, as I remember today, had a practice of pushing an injection to every patient. Disposable syringe was still not in practice, after use of the syringe on each patient doctor cleaned the head of the needle lightly with spirit before repeating the act on the next patient. I was the only fool in that august gathering of the patients, having asked the doctor that should he not sterilize fully by boiling the needle before using it on me?? Doctor shouted at me branding it that it was a foolish question, all waiting patients started looking at me with derision, I was ashamed and ran out of doctor’s clinic. Somehow I saved my embarrassment….perhaps they were thinking in their mind that it was another north Indian fool that asked the never heard before question. Those days for the class of society I belong, India was divided into two—north and south. According to popular impression, north India generally inhabited by less intelligent people whereas south Indians, unlike the north, were superior in intelligence and anything best in the universe. Clearly there was hatred of one against the other, existing not very much unlike as it is existing today, only form changed. To them I appeared as their north Indian fool.
Actually, nothing is perfect for this country of 135 crores people even now, resources are scarce. True, after 70 years of freedom there are engineers, doctors, educationists, scientists etc but not to the level to fill up the crying demand. There is not enough housing, healthcare, education and other social infrastructure. To speak you frankly, my belief is that the present Prime Minister is a great leader, and his Govt. trying to fundamentally changing the country for the better. I support him 90%.
There are lot many things to be said but I restrict me from going any further, for, this is going to be too long for to be in an adda. Hope soon our democratic, secular country will truly develop, and there will be required infrastructure for qualified healthcare aided by artificial intelligence. People will be educated, and with this infection like AIDS/HIV which is dangerously afflicting us today, will be a story of the past. YE MERA MAN KI BAAT.

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