ALL ABOUT PNEUMONIA AND TUBERCULOSIS

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disease

PNEUMONIA

disease

The word pneumonia means an inflam­mation or infection of the lungs. This may be caused by many different kinds of germs. The symptoms are fever, pain in the chest, and cough. Usually in pneumonia, the dis­ease starts suddenly and the patient quick­ly becomes very ill. He complains of pain in his chest and coughs often, sometimes coughing up small amounts of blood.

Prevention.

Do not get chilled, especially right after being very warm. Poor food, lack of proper rest, and getting overtired tend to bring on pneumonia. Stay away from people who have coughs and colds.

Treatment.

This is a disease for which modern medicines are very helpful. If the patient can get to a clinic or hospital, he will be treated with one of these modern drugs if it is absolutely impossible for the patient to go to a hospital, he should be kept quiet and warm, and should be given large amounts of liquids to drink.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages. Its symptoms are coughing, and sometimes difficulty in breathing. Some­times bronchitis is caused by breathing irritating substances in the air. It is also caused by smoking cigarettes or other forms of tobacco.

Prevention.

Do not become chilled. Avoid people who have coughs and colds. Do not smoke.

Treatment.                       

Anyone who has a cough for more than two weeks should go to the hospital or clinic to be examined. Anyone who has a cough for a long time, if he is a smoker, should certainly stop smoking. In acute bronchitis, steam inhalations have been found to help greatly.

Tuberculosis

This is one of the most serious diseases in Africa. The person suffering from tuberculosis has a cough, becomes weak and thin, and cannot do any work without becoming very tired. He often has a fever for part of the day. Later he may cough up bright red blood. If he does not get treatment before he becomes too ill, he will die.

Prevention and Treatment.

Tuberculosis is caused by a very small germ, which can only be seen under the microscope. The germ is found in the sputum (spit) of the sick person, and also in the air he breathes out. We must remember that the germ is found in the sputum and in the breath of the sick person, as this helps us know how the disease is spread from one person to another. If the one who has tuberculosis coughs or spits, and then other people come into the room, they will probably get these same germs into their lungs and also become ill with tuberculosis. Children and young people are especially likely to catch this disease.

There are five important points to re­member about tuberculosis:

First, if a person has a bad cough, and shows all the other signs of having tuberculosis, he should be taken at once to a hospital for treatment.

Second, teach the sick person to turn his head away from other people when cough­ing, and to spit into a leaf or other con­tainer which can be burnt or dropped into a latrine. He should not spit onto the ground. He should not sit close to other people, and should sleep in a separate room.

Third, since some people will not be able to get into a hospital for treatment because there are many cases of this disease and few hospital beds—the tuberculosis person who must be cared for at home should have a separate room to sleep alone, and chil­dren should be kept away from him. If it is a mother who has tuberculosis and she has a small child, then the child should be cared for by someone else until the mother is well again.

The sick person should have plenty of fresh air. He should have some way of getting rid of his sputum by burn­ing, so that it will not be touched by other people.

Fourth, everyone should be taught that it is not healthful to spit on the ground near the house and in crowded places.

Fifth, learn to boil all milk that is used, cows sometimes have tuberculosis, and if a person drinks milk from infected cows, he is likely to get the disease. If you live in a large city where the milk is treated by being pasteurized, you do not need to boil the milk.

Remember:

  1. Tuberculosis is not caused by witch­craft or the breaking of some tribal taboo.
  2.  Patent medicines are usually of no help. What the patient needs is the atten­tion of a good doctor.
  3.  By following the rules of cleanliness such as not spitting on the floor and by not letting other persons use the bedding towels, dishes and clothing of the  sick person, other persons in the home will be protected against the disease
  4. Tuberculosis is usually curable now­adays. Vaccines are now available which help protect against this disease.
  5. A good diet, a variety of body-build­ing foods, is one of the most important parts of the treatment of a tuberculosis patient.
  6. A good diet also helps protect peo­ple against the disease.

An early case will respond more quick­ly to treatment.

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