Theme: MANAGING CHRONIC ILLNESSES
Text: “And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean. (Leviticus 13:3) “And the priest shall look on him again the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean.” – Leviticus 13:6.
Comment: Because a number of diseases show similar symptoms, the major challenge medical personnel face today is that of identifying the particular disease a patient is suffering from. For instance, according to Encarta, it is difficult to distinguish, merely from the surface, killer diseases such as Ebola and Marburg diseases from malaria, typhoid fever, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, Lassa fever, fulminant viral hepatitis, etc. (Person-to-person spread and clinical signs suggestive of viral hemorrhagic fever may however provide the first indication.) Those who are down with chronic illnesses are advised to go for laboratory confirmation of clinical diagnosis using the advantage of modern technology. The clinician decides what tests to order to help refine the information gathered on the patient or identify the specific disease responsible for the patient’s complaints. The greater the sensitivity and the specificity of the test, the more useful it will be. Incidentally, God Almighty made laws in time of old for the priests to diagnose persons with skin diseases before they are pronounced to be sick of that ailment as in the citation for today. This ensures that further steps taken in terms of treatment would be right and effective by God’s grace. (Leviticus 13:2-50) King Solomon exhorts: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5, 6.