Lower Respiratory Tract Infections: An Overview
Which type of infections falls under this category? This is the first and most important question that needs to be answered in this discussion. Well, any infections targeting lung tissues or the region below the voice box fall under the category of lower respiratory tract infections. You might be familiar with some of these infections already. Bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis. Familiar names that ring a bell? Well, even if these terms sound a bit vague to some of you, don’t worry. This discussion is all about lower respiratory tract infections and how they have assumed the position of one of the leading causes of death in countries like Pakistan.
Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in Numbers
We have mentioned in the opening lines that lower respiratory tract infections are a leading cause of death worldwide. Let us back this statement with some numbers before we proceed further. The Global Burden of Disease study reports that lower respiratory tract infections claimed more than 2.74 million lives in the year 2015 alone. This meant that these infections were the fifth leading cause of mortality in that year! According to the World Health Organization, these infections claim more than four million lives on average, every year.
Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in Pakistan
While we are talking numbers, let us share some Pakistan-specific numbers as well. Pakistan is one of those countries on the global landscape which have a somewhat dilapidated healthcare infrastructure and systems. Not all patients suffering from a particular disease or disorder can afford treatment in world-class hospitals. Lower respiratory tract infection patients are no exception to this unfortunate reality, a tragedy that is reflected in the numbers shared by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. According to CDC, lower respiratory tract infections are ranked third among the top ten causes of death in Pakistan. Almost 8% of the total deaths are because of these infections, a scary percentage that gives a true estimate of the horrible situation on the ground.
Why Lower Respiratory Tract Infections Are A Leading Death Cause in Pakistan?
This is a pertinent question, answering it comprehensively is important in the context of this discussion’s scope. First, we need to recall what are some of the common causative factors for lower respiratory tract infections? Microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and mycoplasma) and pollutants like dust, chemicals, and vapours are chief causative factors for lower respiratory tract infections.
Now, have a look around yourself if you are reading these lines from somewhere in Pakistan. Are these factors prevalent in your surroundings or not? We are quite sure that a major percentage of our readers are nodding their heads in the affirmative. And that’s where the problem lies as well! Pakistan’s landscape is one where lower respiratory tract infections will continue to thrive for centuries if radical steps are not taken to change the situation. Whether it is keeping a check on environmental pollution or adopting preventive measures that we will discuss in the next section, controlling lower respiratory tract infections is something that needs a collective effort.
Preventive Measures That Pakistani Population Needs To Adopt
Prevention is better than treatment sounds cliché but always true. To make sure that you follow preventive measures so that you don’t have to look for treatment options later, we are going to discuss preventive measures before treatment. Act on the cliché statement for once, please!
- Wash your hands regularly
- Stay away from the proximity of people who have respiratory infections
- Disinfect surfaces regularly
- Getting flu shots every year is mandatory
These and many other preventive measures can help bring down the percentage of deaths claimed by lower respiratory tract infections considerably.
Treatment of Lower Respiratory Tract Infections
Sometimes, these infections will go away on just their own. But sometimes they won’t, which is why you need to read this section with great attention. When the lower respiratory infections are mild, you can rely on over-the-counter medicines for cough & fever. Drinking fluids will help your cause greatly as well. But visiting the doctor is the only option when things get out of hand. It is a must to get your doctor on board if you are over 65 years of age, have a weakened immune system, or are guardians of an infant who is suffering from a lower respiratory infection.
Treatment costs are normally minimal when it comes to lower respiratory infections. But when things become too complicated, then the costs can soar as well. The increased expenditures become a tough ask for the underprivileged patients who often have to rely on healthcare NGOs like Transparent Hands for funding their treatment. Read on to learn more about this healthcare NGO that has been making a difference in Pakistan’s healthcare system for some years now!
Transparent Hands is the largest technological platform for crowdfunding in the healthcare sector of Pakistan. It offers a complete range of free healthcare services including medical and surgical treatments, medical camps, and telehealth facilities to the underprivileged community of Pakistan. The platform provides visibility to underprivileged patients and builds a personal and trusted bond between patients and donors while ensuring complete transparency. It also sets up free medical camps in the rural areas of Pakistan in which, free medical consultation, free medicines, and free diagnostic tests are provided to deserving patients. Donors from all over the world can use the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal and donate through 100% secure payment modes. They could select any patient, fund the treatment, and receive regular feedback and updates until the patient has recovered completely.
That would be all from this discussion. We wish we could have gone on a bit more and talked about some of the other aspects of lower respiratory tract infections and the reasons behind their widespread prevalence in countries like Pakistan. Unfortunately, we have run out of the space and time we had for this article. Nevertheless, we are quite optimistic that you learned something if not everything new from this discussion. On that optimistic note, we bid you farewell from this space.