31 October, 2020

Doc Feels It In His Bones

It's India's secret malady—osteoporosis—that bothers him. Or rather, the elitism of its cure.

Doc Feels It In His Bones
In the hierarchy of diseases, much of our attention has been consumed by AIDS, polio or tuberculosis. Osteoporosis is undoubtedly on the backburner. Yet the true picture of this malady of the bones is very grim. According to who figures, one out of eight males and one out of three females in India suffers from osteoporosis, making India one of the largest affected countries in the world. The disease weakens the bones and in many cases even causes fatal disabilities. But if detected early, it can be treated. Often it’s the underprivileged who fall prey due to severe malnutrition and low calcium intake.

Orthopaedic care is costly, making it difficult if not outright impossible for many to avail of treatment. Government hospitals treating orthopaedic cases are overworked and hence it is often impossible for the poor to get succour. This ‘perpetual crisis’ is what prompted Dr Sushil Sharma, an orthopaedic surgeon, to start awareness camps and free weekly opds in east and central Delhi.

The Arthritis Foundation of India (AFI) was formed in September 2001. In the first...



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