Why Health is Called Wealth
Health, as officially defined by the World Health Organisation, is a condition of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. It is not merely the absence of diseases or infirmities in a person. Good health is crucial to human happiness and well-being. It is central to personal and macro economic progress for the reason that healthy humans live longer, and can be more productive. Illnesses impact not only the unhealthy individual but affect also the lives of those around them and may even cause stigma and additional physical and mental hardship. Combating diseases is an important part of the United Nations’ eight Millennium Development Goals and is a target being pursued across the world. In Nagaland, however, health appears to have taken a back seat to the myriad of issues and problems of everyday life. The number of patients continue to grow at an alarming rate. A harsh illness today that is affecting the Nagas more than ever before is cancer. The highest record of nasopharynx cancer (NPC) cases within India is from Nagaland. It was even reported that internationally, Nagaland ranked third for males and second for females in the same category of NPC. Dr. V Khamo of the Naga Hospital Authority at Kohima (NHAk) stated that more than 600 new cases of cancer are registered every year and that the average risk of cancer in a lifetime for males is 1 in 61, and 1 in 146 for females. A serious and concerted effort is required from governmental health institutions, medical professionals, civil society, schools and citizens in general in order to tackle alarming health issues such as cancer in Nagaland. A major overhaul of lifestyle practices, in terms of increased physical activity, consuming healthy diet, accessing knowledge and resources on health that are available digitally is the need of the hour. Efforts toward creating awareness on the importance of well-being and taking active measures to quit habits that are detrimental to health need to be emphasised. We need to re-strategise our approach to health and re-strengthen institutions that help restore them. Let’s take our first steps to becoming healthier and to inspire others to do the same. Let’s prioritise our health during the forthcoming festive season.