Ignorance is not always a bliss


One of the hallmarks of a developed nation is providing “healthcare to all”. Has India achieved it so far? The answer is a big NO. There are many reasons for it. One of the biggest concerns is the Lack of Awareness. People are still dying of the diseases like tuberculosis that are fully curable. Many people suffer from hypertension but have never bothered to check their blood pressure.

I am not interested in discussing the reasons for our abysmal healthcare, but want to share a very sad experience of my maid. She suffers from hyperthyroidism with Graves disease and also has infertility along with some cysts in the uterus. Pooja (name changed) has been admitted for removal of these cysts in a premiere hospital in Delhi three times but discharged every time without surgery because of her hyperactive thyroid. For the poor lady preparing herself mentally, physically and financially for the surgery is a difficult task.   I do not doubt the doctor’s credibility and I do believe that they must be doing the best for her but I pity her state of helplessness and above all her lack of awareness. She stops taking medicine whenever her thyroid profile is normal presuming that she no longer needs it, without seeking doctors’ advice. She is not aware of her health condition properly, she does not understand the nature of the treatment she is receiving and how the surgery will help her. All she understands is getting her surgery done and getting well as soon as possible so that she can get back to work and earn her bread and butter. I felt so sorry at her ignorance when she asked me “Didi ! Thyroid, liver mei bhi hota hai”. That is what somebody had told her that she has a thyroid in her liver!! This is a relatively simple case; at least Pooja knows that she has a health condition that needs attention. There are countless number of people in the world who are ignorant about their health problems.


In developed nations health is the first priority but here in India everything else seems to be more important than health. Last few months witnessed too much of hue and cry over pollution in Delhi and a welcome step like odd even formula was implemented. But how many people stayed indoors to avoid the toxic air? We need to give it a serious thought!!!

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