Of technology, science and human sufferings

Undeniably, every step forward in the development of technology and science aimed at bringing more comfort, alleviating sufferings… is a piece of heartening news

By Nita Chicooree-Mercier

Undeniably, every step forward in the development of technology and science aimed at bringing more comfort, removing obstacles, alleviating sufferings and improving health generally is a piece of heartening news. Neuroscience is one challenging area of medical science which loads of folks across the world look up to with the hope of finding even a slight improvement in the treatment of conditions like epilepsy, blindness, Alzheimer, Parkinsonism, and various physical handicaps and paralysis.

Just imagine the emotion of a disabled person when he can stand on his feet and walk on his own thanks to an apparatus he carries on his back. It may sound fastidious and complicated but to those who have the misfortune of relying on crutches and wheelchairs to move around, it is a glimmer of hope that makes all the difference and opens a window on a new life.

Such an apparatus comes from an Israeli laboratory and though it is presented with a forbidding price which is far above the reach of most people who need it, it bodes well for a simpler version and lower cost in the future. A few medical establishments are already testing it positively on their patients. With amazing efficiency it magically changes the life of an Israeli soldier who can now leave behind his wheelchair and move around freely. A medical wonder that rekindles the joys of life, and the soldier apparently takes full advantage of it, packs up and goes on vacation to India on his own, with a feeling of liberation to keep walking the long march of life. In effect, tourism between India and Israel has been flourishing for the past years, benefitting citizens of both countries.

It is most unfortunate that the Health Ministry in Mauritius has still not provided for adequate physiotherapy treatment for patients who suffer from partial paralysis of limbs caused by strokes and accidents. They are left to their own fate and suffer in silence for the rest of their life. In the first place, it seems that there are few therapists in the country. Indeed, it is an urgent issue to be examined in terms of trained physiotherapists and budget allocation to help patients.

How science intervenes between the brain and the limbs is amazing. The possibility to stimulate the brain to cure blindness was aired from an Indian lab some time back. From whatever part of the world medical progress keeps advancing, it is music to our ears which are daily strained with distressing news of calamities of all sorts, natural disasters, warmongering countries, uprisings and what not.

Israel and its people represent 0.25 % of world population but have an astounding energy for technological and scientific inventions of all kinds. Little wonder that since the creation of Nobel Prize, Jews worldwide have carried off 300 of them and most of them in Chemistry and Physics. What a people! US and Israeli labs are carrying advanced research in cancer vaccination. Five years of testing the new vaccines in Israeli labs may come out with definite promising results to treat a number of cancer diseases. At the peak of economic recession in drought-afflicted Iran last June, Israel sent a software on management of drought and water to the Iranian people while continuously combating the destruction of agriculture on its own soil by fire kites launched by Palestinian Hamas militants, and at the same time, finding new techniques to counter-attack fire kites. It closes its gates to attackers but lets in those who still knock at its door for cancer treatment.

The terrible pain in the back caused by kidney cancer is currently treated with pills, but after some time the body gets used to it and nullifies its effects. Another solution to alleviate the pain by getting to the backbone itself has proved to be effective in a French hospital. Patients have to travel to the only hospital for treatment, and the social security system bears most of the cost.

All medication is not perfect and some of them produced by big pharma industries cause more health damage than benefit. Yet awareness of unrelentless research work being carried out to offer new medicines raises hopes for millions of people. Surgery has kept advancing in long strides with tremendous success over decades. Bruised faces, inner bleedings, failing organs, broken arms, you name it, surgeons worldwide from Europe, South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel to China, Japan, India and many other countries big and small are doing excellent jobs in repairing and restoring damaged bodies.

Traditional medical knowledge in the prevention and natural cure of diseases is a key factor in the promotion of good health, of course. Every country has its own experience of herbal medicine and healthy food alternatives based on local resources, something which tends to be disregarded. There has been too much dependence on quick medical treatment for benign disorders. Currently, there is widespread renewed attention to prevention and cure of a few illnesses through natural therapy.

* * *

Sometimes, it takes one person to make the difference in healing suffering and pain. Doctor Denis Mukwegge is a beacon of hope to thousands of women who are victims of rape in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. The recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace treats damaged bodies with care and tenderness, and brings smiles on desperate and distressed faces. His deep commitment to the cause of women arouses fierce political animosity against him. Despite death threats, the doctor keeps denouncing the political issue of civil war which is the root cause of the rape of thousands of women. It takes just one brave individual to face an army of evil-doers and bring hope to his fellow countrymen and women.

For millennia women have been targets of warring factions who dehumanize the female body and consider it as a war trophy and territorial conquest. A most barbaric practice which still prevails in some countries rife with hatred and violence. The Nobel Peace Prize was also awarded to Nadia Murad, a young woman hailing from the Yezidi community in Iraq and who was abducted and sold as a sex slave.

Hers is a too horrifying personal tragedy of being dehumanized and reduced to a mere commodity. One can imagine the terrible psychological and physical suffering she was made to undergo, and the trauma she has to live with for the rest of her life. The Peace Prize rings like an alarm bell reminding humanity of barbaric practices still prevailing in some parts of the world, and also gives recognizance to oppressed minorities by making them visible on the world stage.

The healing process of wounded souls is an even more challenging task. It is a marvel in this world that at the end of the day or many years, the light of knowledge lifts people out of despair, repairs damages, restores physical mobility and cures hitherto incurable diseases. Despite darkness created by evil forces and vicious ideologies which dream of wiping out fellow countries from the world map and eliminating fellow men and women, there is enough spiritual energy to chase away malevolence and bring hope to mankind.

Some countries bravely stand for their principles and engage an almost epic battle to face several challenges at the same time, use technology and science to build economic prosperity, boost military capacity to deter enemies, constantly invest in high-tech research in every field to improve lives and are in the forefront of modern inventions. There are huge pools of untapped spiritual energy which need to be liberated to enlighten the world. It is almost prophetic that some countries and people stand out in a special role they are chosen to play for material and spiritual progress on world stage despite all odds in different periods of history.

* Published in print edition on 14 December 2018

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