Health is an essential component of life. Below are the most common diseases prevalent in Pakistan. Most of them can be easily prevented by adopting simple health measures. Knowing a bit about them is essential for healthy living.
Photo courtesy of UK Department for International Development
1. Acute (Upper) Respiratory Infections
Children are the most vulnerable to respiratory tract infections, due to deficient immune system. Malnutrition may also be a contributing factor. Pneumonia is the most prevalent condition.
Diarrhea and dysentery are the second most common diseases in the country. Diarrhea is an increase in frequency and fluidity of stools. The loss of fluid causes dehydration and disturbance of electrolyte balance in the body. Dysentery is an inflammatory condition of the intestine with blood/mucous in the stools.
3. Fever due to Other Causes
Fever may be caused in several illnesses. It may be viral fever, bacterial fever, fungal fever, animal exposure fever, travelers’ fever, drug fever, blood clot fever, tumor associated fever,
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environmental fever, or that associated with special medical conditions.
Scabies is a contagious disease spread by mites. It causes itching, rashes, sores and lines on the skin.
5. Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer disease is the ulcer of an area of gastrointestinal tract, mostly acidic, with erosion extending to more than 0.5 cm. It is a very painful condition and most of the cases are associated with a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori.
Hypertension is a chronic condition in which there is elevated blood pressure. As the heart is working more, it may lead to stroke, myocardial infarction, aneurysms, peripheral arterial diseases, chronic kidney diseases or even heart failure.
a chronic condition of the airways associated with reversible airflow obstruction, bronchospasm and difficulty in breathing. The symptoms are variable and recurrent.
8. Dental Caries
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is caused by bacteria which cause destruction of the hard tissues of the teeth by acid formation. This leads to holes formation in the teeth.
9. Diabetes Mellitus
It is a group of metabolic disorders, with increased sugar in the blood either due to decreased production of insulin or lack of responsiveness of the cells to insulin.
10. Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are the bacterial infections of the urinary tract. It may involve the lower part of the urinary tract (cystitis) or the kidney as well (pyelonephritis). Symptoms include painful urination and an increase in the frequency of urination or an urge to urinate.
Magnitude of Problem
Below is the data collected during 1st quarter of 2012 in the province of Punjab.
Source Punjab Provincial 1st Quarter 2012 Report