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The disease pattern in mountain village

THE DISEASE PATTERN IN AN ‘UNREACHED’
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE
*Department of Anatomy, University of Jos **Department of Medical Microbiology, University of ***C/O Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Polokwane Mankweng Hospital Complex, Pietersburg, Keywords: Unreached people group, Tagir Zangam, This project was carried out under a Medical mission by This work was conducted on a mountain village called Tagir-Zangam, also known as Mazan Dutse. This is a settlement of the Anaguta tribe about 30minutes by foot up the mountains across the back entrance gate of the University of Jos Senior Staff quarters, at Bauchi ring road Jos. The total population of that village was 83 people: 13 men, 33 women, 19 boys and 18 girls.
The people were informed about a month prior to the visit about the coming of a team of doctors and health workers and that treatment was free.
Our findings show that, although the Tagir-Zangam people are cut off from modern amenities such as light and pipe-borne water, they are fairly healthy. This could be attributed to their adaptation over the years to their lack and their frequent visits to town.
Their common health problems in the order of prevalence are malaria, followed by URTI, helminthiasis, dyspepsia and waist pain. The incidence of worm infestation is not conclusive since there was no confirmation by stool microscopy. This needs further proof. It was observed that over the years a greater part of the young proportion of the community have moved to town in order to enhance their lives particularly in secular education. This has left behind some elderly grandparents who are more We therefore concluded that the Tagir-Zangam people by virtue of the above have tried to solve their socio- economic problems by mass movement and frequent visits to town thereby reducing their hardship to a In the developing world (Nigeria as an example) the needs of people are basic and encompass all the necessities for human survival. Although it is the responsibility of the Nigeria government to meet the basic needs of its people, there is no doubt nevertheless that these needs remain basic and unmet to a large extent four decades after its independence.
One can ascertain that in order to bring all people to the same poverty levels in Nigeria, help must come from elsewhere. This is more so since the global cost of living has gone up and the third world countries have been left behind and needs are basic such as food, water, roads, Indigenous individuals, private sectors and communities on the other hand are overwhelmed with the level of poverty and ignorance in the society including their own family members. This poses a limitation on how much Money and its management are the key essentials in success and real advancement in research and so, society.
Unfortunately however, money is not ever enough to meet all the needs of any society, small or large but lack of money on the other hand is a hindrance to the actual existence of mankind. Manpower shortage in key aspects further hinder development in our society; building facilities and acquiring resources upon inadequate manpower for its usage and maintenance will not help advancement in science and/or society 1.
The lack of the facilities for secular education in a larger population of the country renders them ignorant of basic issues, increases their economic dependence, and promotes ignorance, poverty and poor hygiene.
A large proportion of our nation cannot be reached for lack of access roads and have no hope of rescue in the near future! They do not even need to be mentioned as regards improving technological advancement and/or science as is the trend outside our world. The unreached people groups have no access to any form of secular education or basic primary health care. They have no access to any form of medical care and so are at the mercy of herbalists whose claims we know are largely baseless, being unproven. Their fate would be worse but for the care of Christian churches. What is therefore the fate of these people as regards the fight against imminent issues and diseases particularly HIV/AIDS? These are people groups whose settlement extends from Plateau state eastward to the boarders of the Cameroon.
They are found in Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe Adamawa, Kaduna states and the Federal capital territory of Nigeria. There are altogether 32 people groups in the Plateau cluster of the unreached people This work was conducted on a mountain village called Tagir-Zangam, also known as Mazan Dutse. It is about 30minutes by foot up the mountains opposite the back entrance gate of the University of Jos Senior Staff The village is a settlement of the Anaguta tribe of Plateau State. It has a population size of 83 people with the following breakdown: 13 men, 33 women, 19 boys and 18 girls. Among the data for women, 8 are very old grand The age and sex distribution of the village is as below: Rural practice is almost absent in Nigeria for two reasons; there are not enough Medical Doctors to meet the needs of the sick so that rural and semi-urban communities usually have no Doctors in the clinics and Practitioners are unwilling to practice in the villages for lack of basic amenities, particularly electricity, pipe- The following information is from work carried out by the International Mission Board (IMB), a Southern Baptist Missionary group in Nigeria. It is an American What is the fate of these people, what do they believe in and what is their attitude towards modern issues like contraception and immunization of children for example? These are some of the questions we need to answer especially that that even more exposed communities in Nigeria are yet to settle; Efik men of Nigeria do not believe in family planning for women and children are necessities for maximum productivity.4 Each of these people have their own culture and culture affects all In the light of the above situation, healthcare workers should be particularly concerned about the rapid spread of diseases and particularly, HIV/AIDS among these people. Although they are cut off from modern civilization, they come in contact with nearby towns on market days. Moreover, these tribes are largely unaware of the health issues in the towns around them and the nation as a whole. Worse still is the difficulty posed by the rather huge claims of local herbal practitioners concerning cure for diseases. This problem is an urgent one because Alternate Practitioners have a great influence over the Nigerian people in the management of diseases. Awareness is a necessary preventive measure.
The lack of modernization among not a small proportion of Nigeria who is also unreachable as a result of their geographical location is an urgent issue and a hindrance to national development. Education creates the right mindset for programmes relevant to the societal development including policy making in government.
Never the less, most of these tribes lack basic educational training. Human resources in these places are therefore not tapped; the nation being the loser at this.
The research group was a team of 2 doctors, a Medical Microbiologist, 2 Medical and 2 pharmacy students.
There was routine consultation of all patients who presented at the camp clinic site which was within the Baptist church building in the village. All treatment was free. Total number of 57 patients came for consultation, 39 females and 18 males out of which only 1 female was from outside that village. Out of the 57 seen, 23 came because treatment was free and had no specific complaint. These 23 were however given anti- helminthics and multivitamins. Note that some of the remaining 34 patients presented with more than one S/No Diagnosis
Male Female Total
Helminthiasis
Dyspepsia
Ear wax

Ot externa
pp malaria
T coporis
waist pain
leg pain
others

From the above findings, it is obvious that more females than males presented for consultation. This is probably due to urban migration; there are more women in the village. Also, the men from Tagir-Zangam go out to seek jobs in the near by town of Jos, serving as day- pay Labourers, Masons and private Gardeners.
From the results, One could also say that despite the fact that these people are cut off from modern amenities such as light and pipe-born water, they are fairly healthy. This conclusion is based on the reason that, the economic status of individuals determine their welfare and that of parents therefore affect the nutrition of the entire family, particularly children5, 6. In a study, African America children weighed slightly less than their white peers between age 6-12years6, 7.
We however attribute this “healthiness” to their adaptation over the years to their lack and to their frequent visits to town. Furthermore, over the years a greater part of this community moved to town so as to enhance their lives particularly in circular education. The younger half of the settlement earn their day to day living as masons and houseboys/girls in the nearest part of Jos town and particularly, the Bauchi road University senior staff quarters. The Tagir-Zangam people by virtue of the above have tried to solve their socio-economic problems and so reduced their hardship to a bearable level.
From the above result, malaria tops the list of the problems of this people, followed by URTI, helminthiasis, dyspepsia and waist pain. There is no doubt that their problem with malaria is part of the nation’s one. Malaria may also be responsible for the incidence of dyspepsia. Their eating pattern which is scanty may contribute to this. The rather high incidence of worm infestation is not conclusive since there was no confirmation by stool microscopy. This needs further proof. It is a good idea nevertheless that all that came for consultation had a course of Vermox. Waist pain maybe due to their hard work at the farm and breaking of firewood for use and for sale. This is compounded by the In conclusion, what these people need is someone who will help them attain social and economic independence by the creation of access roads and small-scale enterprise, artisanship, co-operative business ventures thereby adding integrity to their lives. Along with the care being received from Christian groups, they will become worthy citizens of their community having a positive impact on Secondly, there is need for basic education in order to enhance their literacy level, develop their minds, and increasing their understanding in the face of the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
Government, individuals and NGOs need to assist communities such as these with community health care services and training on domestic hygiene, first aid, and the current problem of HIV/AIDS. This will enhance Finally, children of destitute parents and of people who are underprivileged if trained in circular education will be empowered to become more productive in society. This will create in them a sense of responsibility, enhance maximum manpower usage and reduce crime. This is the key to overcoming backwardness in any society, Nigeria inclusive.
1. Adadevoh, B. K. (1983); Medical Research in Nigeria- A tribute with historical and perspective 2. Atherton C, Stonecypher B, Clermont M; Thirty- one day prayer guide for the unreached people groups and the International Mission Board (IMB) 3. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); socio- cultural issues affecting attitude and behaviour regarding population and family life issues in 4. Hamil, P.V.V, Drizd, T.A, Johnson, C.L, Reed, NCHS, Growth charts, 1976, Monthly Vital Statistics Report (Washington, D.C: U.S. Dept of Health, 6. Height and Weight of Children: Socioeconomic Status United States (Washington D.C: U.S. Dept of Health, Education and Welfare, public health service, 7. Bodyweight, Stature, and Sitting height: White and States (Washington, D.C: U.S. Dept of health, Education and Welfare public health service, 1973).
We wish to thank Joseph Auta for his cooperation in this work. We also wish to thank Mr Philip Nongo and Ms Roseline Peters who despite their busy lecture Schedules were willing to join us on the project.

Source: http://www.jchpublication.co.za/The%20Disease%20Pattern%20in%20Mountain%20village-final%20to%20journal.pdf

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