The Indian scenario of neurological disorders and why are they still stigmatized?
Neurological disorders are defined as diseases which affect the brain, spine, and the nerves connecting both of them. Such disorders strike at the body’s central and peripheral nervous system leading to symptoms such as epilepsy, dementia, Alzheimer disease, and cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease to name a few.
Neurological disorders can occur as a result of certain infections. They are as follows:
- Bacterial infections such as Mycobacterial tuberculosis, and Neisseria meningitides
- Viral infections such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Enteroviruses, West Nile Virus, and Zika
- Fungal infections such as Cryptococcus, and Aspergillus
- Parasitic infections such as Malaria, and Chagas
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that neurological disorders impact millions around the world. WHO further reports that more than 6 million people die every year, with 80% of the incidents taking place in developing nations. Epilepsy affects more than 50 million and dementia with more than 47.5 million worldwide.
In India, reports saythat there are more than 30 million people who suffer from various neurological disorders with an average prevalence rate of approximately 2,394 patients out of 1, 00,000. Although there are treatments available, Indians face a challenge availing them due to prevalent social taboos.
Here are some of the taboos which Indians face when afflicted with neurological disorders:
- It is believed that people with neurological disorders like epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease have a weaker mind and lower IQ levels than the average person. As a result, they are treated as inferior to others.
- Due to illiteracy and a lack of awareness, especially in the remote and rural areas of India, neurological disorders are perceived as a result of demonic possession. Patients are made to endure horrific situations and at times, mutilated as well.
- It is believed that a neurological disorder is uncurable. It is not a valid argument due to developments in the neurology industry. Once a patient undergoes diagnosis of any ailment, it is believed that they will carry the disease throughout life.
- Many people in the country disassociate themselves from the ones who are suffering from neurological disorders. This severely affects the afflicted as they don’t have any support while battling the disease.
Diagnosis of neurological diseases is being done effectively due to innovative medical products like Charmant micro-scissors, which are available at companies such as Medikabazaar. Uncurable neurological disorders are a myth. If India can free itself from such social taboos, then many can take the appropriate diagnosis to live a better life.
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