India Health & Wellness Summit 2015 pored over common tune
‘Myopia’ Ails Health for All Quest
New Delhi, September 11: If ‘Health for All’ was the overriding concern of India Health & Wellness Summit & Awards 2015, the very smart, fluent and intelligent moderator, Dr. Bobby John himself, unwittingly though, symbolized a contraindication. His confession to being myopic said it all in one stroke.
When Dr. John, founder, Global Health Advocates India, in the midst of a session, opened for house and asked audiences, who wanted to chip in, to raise hands, his ‘vision’ failed to see the spectrum of potential interlocutors who desperately waved to make him see their hands. Thanks to an error in his vision, he could see only hands within his range.
Connotatively, it underlined the dilemma that underpins the consistent shifting of the ‘health for all’ goal post. The Summit turned out a very enlightening discourse and underlined the need of a comprehensive, multi-sectoral and transformational approach to realize this long overdue goal.
The Summit, held Thursday, entailed discussion on all determinants that need to be addressed for the goal right from good food, Good water and good air to e-health for better healthcare everywhere anywhere, healthcare innovation and better non communicable diseases management.
The first session was on the subject- Good food, Good Water and Good Air: Better Health. Panelists included T. Nand Kumar, chairman, National Diary Development Board (NDDB), Aparajita Ramachandran from Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation, Sue J. Coats – Chief, Wash, UNICEF and Shirshendu Mukherji from Wellcome Trust underlined how important these social determinants are for health.
- Nand Kumar revealed that NDDB has proposed to devise a novel plan to provide poor school children milk because nutrition is a must for good health. For this end in view a NDDB Foundation for nutrition is underway. Similarly, efforts will have to be made for good water and good air, they held. Washing of hand was underlined as an effective tool to keep infections at bay. All stakeholders will have to join to create a healthy ecosystem. It was underlined that health and wellness is not only absence of illnesses but holistic well being.
The second session discussed the subject- ‘E health for Better Healthcare’. The panelists included Swadeep Srivastava, Country Head, A.D.A.M India and Vice President, Ebix Software India private ltd, USA, Vinit Goenka, Member, IT Task Force, Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport &Highways, Govt of India, Baljit Singh Bedi, Centre for Development for Advance computing and Dr. Shyama Nagarajan, executive director, Pubvlic Healthcare Advisory Services, Ernst and Young. They explored the need of health information Exchange that weaves in all elements of health administration.
In sum, it emerged that it was a summit for Wellness, not only for treating Illnesses. It was a congregation of policy experts who addressed different determinants of health, which go beyond curative. Unless all determinants of health are addressed fully, all efforts towards health for all will remain lop sided and a non starter.
The summit boiled down to the wisdom- Jack of all trades is the need of the hour, master of any One is a no go.