How To Tackle The Pollution At Rise:Living in Baneshwor

 Life is all about finding your passion and driving towards it. I love to walk now.   As a kid, I never liked it. I wanted my parents to buy a car. Complained and sulked every time we had to walk around Kathmandu. The only automobiles that I have travelled in Kathmandu are the public transportation vehicles. It has been several years since then. I am shocked by the close proximity of the growth of my wisdom tooth and my ability to understand matters.

Baneshwor is my second home town after Mahankal. I have seen this place turn into one of the busiest places in Kathmandu. Initially it started off with different colleges and educational consultancies. It was decided; they made Baneshwor a hub for students. This was followed by few shopping malls and banks. When a town grows into a super town, serious repercussions are likely to be seen.

The old aged people and the young ones are the susceptible ones. Add some predisposing factors like smoking and genetic susceptibilities.  These individuals are likely to be the ones to be hit by the growing super town.

Possible predictions for the next ten years in a super town are very grim health wise. More respiratory tract symptoms will be evident in people who live around the busy road. Diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, Bronchial Asthma, and Chronic Bronchitis are more likely to be seen in them. Smoking associated with constant presence of polluted atmosphere more likely will lead to lung cancer. Other symptoms that are more likely to be seen by noise pollution are loss of concentration, irritability and fatigue. Zero pin drop silence is never possible, even in the night when the volume of vehicles decreases, the stray dogs make a good attempt, to produce noise as it was in the day time.

The maximum amount of pollution that one consumes is in the office hours when roads get blocked by all form of vehicles.  The Noise pollution not only creates fatigue but it decreases work capacity as well.  Talk about sexual frustration, recent news suggests that infertility cases are at rise in Nepal and one of the reasons why they can’t conceive is due to anxiety and frustration.

Everyone wants to get their own transport available. Ask a young fellow in the road why he bought a bike, he replies “I like to take my girlfriend around”.  When the young college goers decide to buy a bike just because of peer pressure it’s likely the number of vehicles in the city will robustly increase. “Have you heard about the bank loans that they give for cars these days?” says an aunt; she recently bought a car through that route.

Let’s get serious about it. Organize an awareness campaign. If possible, demonstrate the implications of the pollution that is slowly crippling the city. The community has to raise this issue to the municipality. Monitor the pollution; it’s possible by several devices that measure the amount of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. Keep a health track of the people who visit the hospitals and clinics around the busy roads. A comparative study from then to now can actually make people understand.  Restricting roads for automobiles and making them eco friendly by only offering walking and cycling serves the problem to a certain extent.  People who have predicated the future have started to wear masks and cover the faces by scarfs.

I am not a permanent settler in Nepal but every time I try to keep my cardio-reparatory exercise in routine, I fail terribly. I do not have enough money to own a personal gym space in my own home, so I have no other option but to walk around the city and inhale pollutants . But it’s high time the Nepalese people addressed this issue and take necessary intervention before it’s too late. When will the people be health wise?


When She Left Us, It Made A Difference: Ovarian Carcinoma

It was in the evening. We were asked to stay calm in the house. Mother said she was no longer alive. I remember crying, begging her to take me to Kathmandu. I wanted to be a part of that sadness; I did not want my father to leave, I wanted to accompany him. I can never imagine any situation as emotionally painful as this. It brings tears even when I decided to finally write about it.

She was in her mid fifties. I remember her smiling face and the love that she showered. They tried everything. I remember her baldness and the fake hair that she had to use. Other memories about her are mostly derived from my parents who share it over the years.

This is a case of Ovarian Carcinoma, that’s what they diagnosed. In order to get the best treatment that was available, she was brought to China to start a treatment protocol. Little did I know she was going through all that? When people ask if I have empathy for any patients? I reply with a high note saying, I do.

Ovarian Tumor is the most complex tumor that the human body can produce. Due to the wide variety of cells that are present, tumors can originate from any layer. It’s virtually a silent tumor. Women seldom complain of lower abdominal pain and because women hardly face any menstrual abnormalities, the diagnosis becomes delayed. Only when the tumor has substantially enlarged, and pressure symptoms caused by the tumor produces urinary disturbances and mild dull ache in the lower abdominal area.

There are three kinds of women in Nepal .The first: the educated, financial sound, ready to undergo regular gynecological assessment and the second : The uneducated, the financial sound and who are so entangled in house hold politics that they don’t making regular check up. The third, that hardly can offer any meals and is in search of free medical treatment despite getting a diagnosis.

Ovarian tumors have seen to occur in women aging between 40-60 years. A familial distribution is seen. If two first degree relatives have been affected by ovarian tumors then the risk is increased by fifty percentages and if only one first degree relative is affected the risk is increased by 2-4 fold. A first degree relative could be a parent, sibling or offspring. Abdominal distention seems to be the most common symptom noticed at first.

Education about this disease is only useful if people make time to get checked up. Certain markers like CA-125 have shown to be useful to clinically diagnose and confirm the tumor, but false positive results can also occur. Make time to feel your body, that’s the best advice for any tumor. Detecting a lump anywhere in the body? Get checked! The early you get diagnosed the better chances of survival.

When she left us, it made a difference. I will always support Cancer awareness campaigns in Nepal and so shall Health Nepal Foundation do in the future. Cancer just happens to be the worst disease that the human mankind has to endure.

Why Has Kathmandu Turned Into A City Of Fat People?

Obesity is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world. This heath menace is slowly catching up in Nepal as well. One is known to be Obese if their Body Mass Index is greater than 30 kg/m2.  Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing the weight of the person in kilogram’s by the height in meters.

Obesity is catching up in the middle-aged group, especially people who are reaching their forties and above. People who are nearing their middle age seem to be stressed by workload and find comfort in food. Also factors like inability to make time for regular exercise seem to be a contributory factor.

Females have a greater prevalence of obesity as compared to the males, the reasons for that could be due to the already stated reason of depression, Oral Contraceptive use, Hypothyroidism or genetic predisposition. However there is a minor degree of obesity among the youth as they like to keep their weight under check due to other obvious reasons of fashion concern.

But the growing trend of eating street food among the youth might make them more susceptible to obesity. Street food consists of momo, fried chicken and any other deep stirred food, consuming that on a regular basis might keep the hunger away but it welcomes other food borne diseases like hepatitis and typhoid fever.

The majority of the People in Nepal consume less meat and instead they consume large quantities of starch filled vegetables which can lead to the increase in weight.  Potato seems to be present in all of the major vegetable dishes which are an addition to the calorie intake.  According to some people, Chubbiness reflects a person’s wealth and social standard which gives them ease over their weight issue.

I was actually visiting my relatives, where I was offered so much food over a very short time. I was not even hungry but they insisted and I had no other option but to eat. Relatives also create unnecessary circumstances where one has to eat even with the full stomach. There is a common saying in Nepali ” Pet charkayera khana khanu ” meaning eat until your stomach bursts. People actually feed their guest to this level.

Increasing your weight and increasing your fat around the waist region is not the same thing. The fat that lies around the waist is the major contributory risk factor for diseases such as Diabetic Mellitus and Hypertension. The waist circumference indicates the amount of visceral fat that one has. Males are at risk if their circumference is above 37 inches and females are at risk if their waist line is above 32 inches.

Staying at risk for chronic diseases and getting the disease is two different things. When you are at risk, you have a very good chance of reversing back to the original state and when the risk attacks you; the chances of reversibility are less.

Maintaining a regular schedule for exercise or activities other than the normal” work to home” pattern can bring changes to your life.  Old age depression can also be tackled by doing regular cardio-respiratory centered exercises like yoga or walking for at least one hour.  Cutting down on the starch intake and taking a balanced diet are the main stay approaches to decrease the fat level in the body.

Kathmandu is a beautiful city but the people are slowly catching up with obesity and what people don’t understand is that, it is a silent killer.  It doesn’t create much hush before it takes toll. It’s preventable and people should be aware of this. The government should make awareness campaigns against obesity so that people can take an active approach from early stages.