What ails the world? Beyond the physical


The most pressing health issues of our time include incurable diseases such as cancer, epidemics such as Ebola and mental health issues. These health issues affect society as a whole and also have severe impact on human development.

First, let’s talk about epidemic, particularly Ebola which recently occurred. When there was an outbreak in a village in an Africa country, the rest of the world went into panic mode. What was striking is not just the fact that the virus went undetected for months, and spread quickly among countries in Africa, but also how the remaining population reacted. It was sad to see that the disease took away the lives and threatened the customs and traditions of many people, but sadder to see how isolated they were in their own struggles. In the eyes of those from developed countries, anyone who came from Africa threatened their survival and carried the virus with them at a high percentage and thus, they preferred to prevent contact even if that is not the reality. Moreover, international efforts to prevent the outbreak of Ebola went flat, more experimental in terms of saving the lives of those who are privileged rather than those most at risk. Therefore, the countries who suffered from the epidemic lacked the resources to beat Ebola, making the disease a much bigger problem than could have been prevented. Without the support of the international community, it would be impossible to tackle the virus and quash the epidemic in order to give those affected the courage and strength they need.

The second pressing problem of our time is cancer, an incurable disease that still plagues a lot of scientists. A lot of resources and funding have been poured into finding the cure for cancer. It is an urgent need as a lot of people die from cancer every minute, and early diagnosis has been the best form of treatment we have come up with these days. So is early detection the answer? Even with early diagnosis, cancer still rears its ugly head as it could still remain in the body with its roots even after having had it taken out of the body so the patient could have a “relapse.” The process of going back and forth with tests in order to tackle cancer diagnosis could prove tedious and inefficient, yet this is the closest thing we have to curing it.

Physical problems aside, another health care issues we need to tackle is mental health. Unlike epidemic or even incurable diseases, we could not see the problem manifest itself in the physical sense. Oftentimes, the dangers of mental illness are that the severity of it is downplayed and patients have trouble acknowledging their diseases or find treatments. However, in our modern society with high stress and pressure, mental health is becoming increasingly relevant. When individuals fail to address their mental issues, it affects their quality of lives regardless of income level or backgrounds or countries of origins. Mental health issues challenge the ability of human beings to think and create, posing a tremendous threat for humanity and society’s development. More and more people are slowly dying from mental illnesses, mostly because they sense a lack of compassion from those around them.