Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Just about 3 months ago we were busy conducting the research to see if trachoma eye disease was still a disease of public health importance in Malawi .Trachoma ocular infections are transmitted by flies ;and recurrent eye infections leads to frequent eye disease ,lid scarring ,eye lashes turning inwards and rubbing on the cornea and finally causing blindness.
We have verified that Trachoma is still a problem in the two districts that we did the survey (Chikwawa and Mchinji) ;and now we need to plan on how we are going to fight this disease. Trachoma is primarily a community disease and a disease of poverty ;and our emphasis should focus on strategies that overall improve the health and social statuts on people involved .As a community Ophthalmologist ,I am taking this matter further up with the ministry of health and the supporting partners that we should have a national Trachoma control Programme (we never had one);which should lobby for national trachoma eliminations activities .
Are you interested in Trachoma? Do you want to find out how you can help fight this disease?
Remember 1st December is Worlds AIDS day dedicated to all those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS. And this year the day falls on Monday .As for London Oxford Street this is one of the busiest day for people shoppingas this is the first day when the new cheaper VAT tax rates will be put in place.Well ,due to the global recession and crdit card crisis the British prime minister has lowered VAT from 17% to 15% so things will be much cheaper starting today.
As a result I do not expect to see the red ribbons symbolising the AIDS day; and no one cares about what the day means.After all AIDS is still mainly an African problem,as is hunger and poverty.
I normally take time to reflect on this day, and remember the many relatives I have lost to HIV/AIDS among them my only uncle, my brother, and many cousins. I also remember a colleague doctor and classmate we lost a few years ago while I was still a junior Dr . Recently in Malawi we are seeing more and more of eye diseases that are HIV related and I can for see that in the next few years the focus of eye doctors like me will be on HIV related eye diseases. I am not looking forward to abandoning my community work especially working with children.
Last year I went to the centre of London town to take some pictures; but this year due to the bad weather I am not sure what I will do ,maybe call family in Malawi and cheer them up .I am home seek and the weather depresses me more; and not only me but everyone in London suffers some form of depression due to the weather.
Unfortunately “AIDS” is here to stay.God help us!!!
Have you lost someone you know to HIV/AIDS?
Well I woke up at night freezing wondering what was going on; the heater was still on but I was feeling very cold. I looked at the window bit all I could see was the vehicles parked on the street covered with snow. But why snow on the 28th October; I wondered!! I thought winter has not yet started; we just changed the clocks on Sunday (3 days ago) .
In the morning it was obvious the winter had started, the temperature was only 2 degrees. The newspaper reported this is the first winter in October since 1934.
As I sat on the train to work I was wondering why I was here this time; I should have been back in Malawi where the temperatures are very warm ;This is the 5th consecutive winter I am spending time in the UK,not fair.
I can’t wait to get back to Malawi and continue with my Eye community work.
I will go and look for winter clothing tomorrow.
How is the weather where you are ?