Question and Answer  »
  1. Q :What is TB? How does it spread? How is it treated?

A: Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.

TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

People infected with TB bacteria have a lifetime risk of falling ill with TB of 10%. However persons with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a much higher risk of falling ill.

When a person develops active TB (disease), the symptoms (cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss etc.) may be mild for many months. This can lead to delays in seeking care, and results in transmission of the bacteria to others. People ill with TB can infect up to 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year. Without proper treatment up to two thirds of people ill with TB will die.

Active, drug-sensitive TB disease is treated with a standard 6-month course of four antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer. The vast majority of TB cases can be cured when medicines are provided and taken properly.

  1. 2.      Q :Why is raised blood pressure(hypertension) dangerous?

A: The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of damage to the heart and blood vessels in major organs such as the brain and kidneys.

If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to a heart attack, an enlargement of the heart and eventually heart failure. Blood vessels may develop bulges (aneurysms) and weak spots that make them more likely to clog and burst. The pressure in the blood vessels can cause blood to leak out into the brain and cause a stroke. Hypertension can also lead to kidney failure, blindness, and cognitive impairment.

The health consequences of hypertension can be compounded by other factors that increase the odds of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. These factors include tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, lack of physical activity, and exposure to persistent stress as well as obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus.

  1. Q: What are the health consequences of being overweight?

A:.Being overweight or obese can have a serious impact on health. Carrying extra fat leads to serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon). These conditions cause premature death and substantial disability.

What is not widely known is that the risk of health problems starts when someone is only very slightly overweight, and that the likelihood of problems increases as someone becomes more and more overweight. Many of these conditions cause long-term suffering for individuals and families. In addition, the costs for the health care system can be extremely high.

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