One of the many effects of man’s day to day interaction with his environment is that it easily tends to create new health challenges for man to cope with. Over the years, health challenges have always been a major issue, which often tends to have dire impact on the lives of individuals, communities, nations and the entire world at large. The reality of today is no different as we are currently faced with a host of health challenges of varying magnitude that continues to threaten our very existent. A good example is the infamous coronavirus which continues to spread across the globe like wildfire. Interestingly, despite the good efforts of medical science globally to provide cures to health challenges and to keep as many people safe, an alarming number of modern health problems remains without a cure.

In the face of a world that is increasingly booming with health challenges, how then can we protect ourselves to at least ensure that we live to a productive old age? The question of living a healthy life is perhaps not new to most people as virtually everyone must have come across or partook in a health talk program or at the very least read a material on how to live healthy. Therefore, almost everyone is aware of the importance of eating a balanced diet, the need to avoid smoking, the significance of staying away from dinking and lastly, the importance of regular medical check-up. Drawing from this, we can then infer that the question is not ‘how to live healthy’ rather, we should be looking at the reason people fail to make use of their knowledge about healthy living. In other words, why do people choose to not live healthy?

What makes the average smoker not to quit smoking, despite knowing the side effects of each cigarette to his lungs? Why won’t the drunkard that keeps stumbling on his way home not stay away from the beer parlour? A host of factors could be responsible for people’s failure to quit bad habits despite knowing how this bad habits negatively affect their physical and mental wellbeing. For some, it might be as a result of depression. Bad habits such as smoking or drinking tends to always provide temporary relief for people living with depression, it helps many to close their minds on whatever sorry situation they find themselves, while opening the gateway to an illusive world where all of their problems seem to no longer exist.

Furthermore, addiction is another key factor responsible for people’s failure to quite bad habits. Having developed the habit of smoking, drinking, gambling and so on over a long period of time, it then becomes difficult, sometimes almost impossible even when you are not ignorant of the negative effects of these habits.

Speaking of balanced diet, why do most people fail to eat balanced diet? Well, in most cases lack of deep concern and poverty are the major causes. Some people just fail to make conscious efforts to ensure that their meals are balanced while many others will claim that they lack the financial capability to afford a balanced meal. Both cases can be categorised under ignorance. Wealth and balanced diet are not mutually dependent, while you might need to be rich to eat large, you do not need riches to eat a balanced diet. Your meal doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be ‘continental’, it just needs to be nutritiously balanced.

Moving on to regular medical check-up, why do most people in our part of the world seem to be alien to medical check-up? To make things worse, most Nigerians only go to the hospital when they are seriously ill. On the other hand, medical science has proven time and again that early detection increases the chances of recovery even for chronic diseases such as cancer. How then do we often fail to regularly visit a medical centre for medical check-up? At this point, one can argue that periodic medical check-up isn’t historically a culture that we in this part of the world are accustomed. Additionally, the prevailing economic condition in which majority of the Nigerian population live below the United Nation’s poverty line as well as the relative lack of good and affordable health facilities particularly in rural areas and urban slums are all factors responsible for people’s failure to go for periodic medical check-up.

In conclusion, amidst all these pretext for unhealthy living, the importance of good heath cannot be overemphasized. Good health is not negotiable; it is your duty to protect yourself from the numerous health challenges of the 21st century, to keep your body safe and healthy at all times. While healthy living might seem inconvenient, expensive or superfluous, it remains our best hope of outliving the growing health challenges of today. Regardless of your ambition, hopes or dreams; irrespective of your present economic, social or political status, your health should always be your greatest concern.

From Fatherland Gazette we wish you a happy new month. Stay safe and stay healthy.

Fatherland Gazette’s March 2020 Editorial


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