Express News Service
Ahead of World Health Day (April 7), we speak to a few stakeholders on what can be done in ‘Building a fairer, healthier world’ — the World Health Organisation’s theme for the day this year.
Dr Geeta Grewal, Chief Consultant and Cosmetic Surgeon, 9Muses Wellness Clinic
Most people are unaware of how food affects their health and go on abusing their bodies by consuming junk food till disease is manifested in their body. The onus of educating the public about the importance of healthy nutrition lies both with healthcare workers as well as government. Each doctor has to play a role in it, and talk about the importance of good food habits to each and every patient, irrespective of the malady he/she has come with. The government must enforce some regulations on ads of soft drinks and junk food – these products are endorsed by celebrities and hugely impact impressionable minds. Shop-owners should not be allowed to stock sugar-loaded junk foods at the entrance as it acts as an enticement.
Dr Tanveer Aujla, Senior Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida
The pandemic has brought forth the fact that the world is unfair when it comes to the right to good health, but this is totally preventable. Everyone’s life should have living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. Various stakeholders in the health sector must work towards achieving this goal of a fairer and healthier world, and serve the community at their individual levels, such as holding free camps, giving free consultation and performing free surgeries wherever and whenever required.
Dr Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, New Delhi
An equal stress needs to be laid on reproductive health, as it is the most neglected aspect of health today. The need of the hour is to tell people that reproductive health issues do exist, and after the advent of Covid, these have been quite pronounced. Just like people go for health checkups, they should also get themselves scanned for reproductive health. Especially those who are on the verge of parenthood or are trying for conception must go for their reproductive health evaluation.
Dr Tushar Grover, Medical Director, Vision Eye Centre, New Delhi
The first thing is to have a uniform and equitable distribution of affordable healthcare services to all sections of the society at the primary level. This would help detect various diseases at the initial stages. Preventive healthcare is the best one can do to build a healthier society. This is not just the responsibility of the government, but also of the NGOs and other social organisations, as well as the private healthcare sector.Secondly, stress on overall sanitation and hygiene as a lot of health issues erupt because of unhygienic conditions. Measures like Swachh Bharat are a good step. Promoting awareness about various health issues is another major aspect. The Government must encourage the private healthcare sector to build affordable healthcare systems for poor sections of society.
Dr Vishal Sehgal, Medical Director, Portea Medical
A fairer and healthier world is one in which everyone has access to quality healthcare services irrespective of their socio-economic conditions. To ensure this, there is a need for public and private sector entities to collaborate and supplement the efforts by the governments in their respective countries. For instance, last year we partnered with various state governments to screen people for Covid-19. This is just one of the many ways in which similar partnerships can enable people to access services – even in the comfort of their homes. The need of the hour is to monitor health inequities and help provide better access to affordable and quality healthcare globally.
Dr Harshit Jain, Founder and CEO, Doceree
The government support towards start-ups is critical in further development of the healthcare sector. The rules, regulations and red tape must be eased so that start-ups do not work in a constrained environment and they have ample flexibility in availing the benefits announced by the government with a view to encouraging them to work on their innovative solutions. It is crucial that innovative healthcare start-ups that are working to promote accessibility and affordability should be encouraged by way of tax benefits and tax holidays, so that government and private partners can work together to improve the condition of Indian healthcare system.
Dr Navneet Kaur, General Physician, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Nehru Enclave
This involves designing strategies such as having access to better health services when it comes to people below the poverty line. Many people in India struggle to meet their daily needs and lack essential facilities and sanitization. Their suffering can harm society and even the economy of the country. Each and everyone should have access to food, clothing, and shelter. It is the need of the hour for people to enhance their immunity, have a well-balanced diet, get vaccinated to keep vaccine-preventable diseases at bay, and reduce the burden of non-communicable and metabolic diseases to lead a healthy life.