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Perspectives on World Health Day 2021

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While the WHO’s theme for world health Day April 7 is to build a fairer, healthier world post-COVID-19, Express Healthcare presents some industry perspectives on this theme

Rajesh Patel, CEO – IVD India, Trivitron Healthcare

Let us take a pledge that the most advanced healthcare services should reach every corner of the world to ensure that no one is deprived of medical attention. It is imperative that we too should take care of our health and practise a conscious healthy lifestyle. The equilibrium of a healthy lifestyle and effective diagnosis will define the importance of this day. In order to make this day successful, society needs to take a collective responsible approach for their well-being. We need to set an example for the rest of the world as a nation that medical awareness and state of the art technology will make us Atma Nirbhar.


Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of Population Foundation of India

The focus on public health today, brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, must be leveraged to improve access to quality health care, an essential service for all. Universal health coverage is critical and must reach the most vulnerable. This pandemic has underlined the need for a resilient health system – not as an option, but a necessity – to provide comprehensive, accountable, inclusive, and affordable quality health care to all.


Prateep Sen, Co-CEO, Tribeca Care

Having cared for thousands of seniors at TriBeCa Care, I understand better the secret to a long, happy and productive old age. A relentless and unwavering effort to tweak the lifestyle parameters that you control today, will better your own health, both physical and mental, when you are older. Being fit today will help you take long walks independently when you are 80.


Dr Sanish Davis, President, Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR)

World Health Day is an important day to take stock of where we are and what we need to do to create a stronger clinical research ecosystem in India, a country which has the world’s second largest population and the highest disease burden. We have seen several positive steps taken during the pandemic, particularly in digital adoption, to expedite approvals and conduct of clinical trials while ensuring adherence to ethics, quality and patient safety. We need to build on this further and ensure better and more widespread access to clinical trials across the country. I call upon all clinical research stakeholders to take learnings from the pandemic forward and collaborate with each other so that we can create a healthier future for everyone.


Prakriti Poddar, Global Head for Mental Health at Round Glass, Managing Trustee, Poddar Foundation

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the World Health Day emphasises the theme “Building a fairer, healthier world”. While some people across the world have access to better living conditions and health services, the same is not true for some groups who suffer the most from fewer employment opportunities, unsafe living conditions, inequality, clean air, water, and health services. Though the healthcare sector in India is one of the fastest growing in the world but according to a report by the National Survey Office, only 19.1 per cent urban Indians have some type of health coverage or insurance. To add to that, India has one of the highest disease burdens in the world. Many more die of preventable diseases in India than in other countries. The situation is further worsened by the increasing number of mental health issues faced by the country’s population. According to WHO, India has one of the largest populations affected by mental illness. Timely intervention, availability of professional help, awareness about the issue, and appropriate policies is the only way to improve the situation. This year, World Health Day focuses on creating awareness about such issues and urges world leaders to make sure that equity in health is the centrepiece of our COVID-19 recovery. With increasing focus and attention, it is indeed possible to create living and working conditions for all that are conducive to good health. It is the need of the hour to take immediate action to eliminate health inequalities and build a fairer, healthier world for everyone.


Vaibhav Bhosale, COO, Nightingales Home Health Services

With the world continuing to endure the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, the demand for home healthcare has been on an evident rise. To cater to the needs of our patients, Nightingales has not just recalibrated its offerings but has also created all-new products to serve the current patient needs. New initiatives are being consistently rolled out with well-designed plans and enhanced safety protocols. We even introduced critical care services such as ‘Intensive Care at Home’ that require deep clinical experience coupled with an understanding of exceptional standards of care. The importance of home healthcare had never been realized as acutely as in recent times. We, at Nightingales, have recognised this need and built out a wide array of home healthcare offerings including physiotherapy, nursing, caregiving, doctor visits etc. that allow patients to access quality and expert care in the convenience and comfort of one’s home.


Dr Harish Pillai, CEO – Aster India, Aster DM Healthcare

This year World Health Day comes at a very crucial time, we are in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic and our vaccination drive is still picking pace. My message today to everyone is we need to step up and do our bit to stop the virus, by following all COVID precautions and all eligible for vaccination to come forward and get vaccinated. We at Aster hospitals believe in celebrating every day as World Health Day and are committed to providing equitable and accessible healthcare to everyone. In the end, I also want to acknowledge the doctors, nurses and paramedics of the world, who are working day and night to keep us safe. Thank you, we stand with you and we count on you.


Dr Anup Warrier, Senior Consultant Infectious Diseases, Aster Medcity, Kochi

The COVID-19 pandemic has conclusively proven that the health of its citizens is crucial to a country for sustaining its economy, this has highlighted the need for health infrastructure development. The fact that it is the common man that drives economic growth and that unless a nation promotes and sustains the health of the common man, it cannot have a vibrant and growing economy, was evident during the pandemic. Thus, the WHO’s call for equity in health access is all the more relevant in these times.

Healthcare workers have been touted as “heroes” during this COVID-19 crisis; while for most of us, it was just the only way we know how to live and work. In terms of healthcare access, the private healthcare sector has had a major role – either by own volition or through governmental regulations. This included participation in the COVID-19 vaccination drive. The planning and implementation of the world’s largest vaccination drive was indeed laudable.


Dr J Hareendran Nair, Founder and MD, Pankajakasthuri Herbals

In the wake of the pandemic, there has been an impetus to healthy measures to boost immunity in these times. Ayurveda’s extensive knowledge research on effective measures and maintaining immunity is world-renowned. Therefore, Ayurveda is gaining momentum as an effective alternative to traditional medicine by virtue of optimum usage of natural resources. On the occasion of World Health Day, it is imperative for people to be aware and understand the efficacy and progressive solutions of Ayurveda in improving overall health. Ayurveda has not only sustained the changing outlook and demands for health services due to the invasion of modern methods of treatment but, it has grown to be renowned all across the world.

Consumer preference for chemical-free remedies and natural ingredients to manage lifestyle diseases is fuelling demand for immunity-boosting products. Pankajakasthuri Herbals manufactures over 450 Ayurvedic products spread across four categories – Ethical, Classical, FMCG and OTC. With a strong focus on Atmanirbhar Bharat, we have a well-equipped laboratory and trained chemists who ensure that all the input materials and finished products are of the best quality. The most advanced R&D technology at Pankajakasthuri has helped in improving the efficiency of production and acceptance among users, all of it without compromising on the essential character and basic tenets of Ayurveda. The Government has been undertaking steps to promote the Indian Ayurveda industry and we are putting our best foot forward to be one of the important players in the Ayurveda market.


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