Gandhi had a vision towards health promotion of the society

Gandhi had a vision towards health promotion of the society


When we think about Gandhi, what are all the things which come to our mind? Father of the nation, fought for independence, non-violence movement, his adherence to truth, etc. we never realized the immense knowledge on health he had. Yes, he had a vision towards health promotion of the society. Though initially, he hated modern medicine, at the end he himself stressed the need for an evidence-based medicine

My life experiences on Gandhi:

My first experience is with our ENT department. In our college ENT department, there will be a quote told by Gandhi. He says, “It is not our patient who is dependent on us, but we who are dependent on him. By serving him, we are not obliging him; rather, by giving us the privilege to serve him, he is obliging us “. The need for a patient-centered healthcare facility is insisted on by him long ago. This quote is also inscribed in the OP suite at AIIMS, New Delhi.

My second experience was in Velammal Medical College, Madurai in a neurology quiz. There was a question called what are Gandhi neurons. I didn’t expect that question. I was like, there is a neuron named after him? They told those mirror neurons, appears to underlie feelings of empathy was named so by Indian born American neuroscientist Ramachandran on 2008

Keys to health:

Gandhi’s book on “keys to health” is one of his most famous writings. He believed in the 5 element concept of human body earth, water, vacancy, air, light.

  • Air: he insisted on breathing exercises, cleaning the nostrils and the importance of sleeping under the open sky.
  • Water: he insisted that everyone have the right to get pure water and proper drainage facility. It is the duty of government to provide that. He also believed in hydrotherapy
  • Earth: he believed that mud has the potential to cure scorpion sting, constipation, boils, etc.
  • Light: he had faith in yoga and sunbath.
  • Vacancy: it is also called Aakash or ether. Gandhi believed that brahmacharya led to a healthy life.

He insists that we should not abuse the body we have. He says” everything in the world can be used and abused and it applies to our body too. We abuse it when we use it for selfish purposes, in order to harm our body. It is put to right use if we exercise self-restraint and dedicate ourselves to the service of the whole world ”.He wrote about his experiences in his publication, ’Indian option’ under the title ‘guide to health’ and some articles on nature cure and five elements and their effects. Those articles were published in Aga Khan Palace in 1942.

His approach towards diet:

Nowadays people are very concerned about their diet. Now we have paleo diet, Atkins diet, etc. Gandhi during his period stressed the importance of dietary habits in the health of a person. He divides people into vegetarian, flesh and mixed and considered vegetarian diet the best. He insisted on the importance of adequate nutritional proportion in food. Regarding sweets, he supported jiggery, yes the only sweet which contains lots of iron content. He insisted to avoid fried food. Gandhi says,” Food should be taken as a matter of duty even as a medicine to sustain the body, never for the satisfaction of palate. There should be self-control as such habits of elders influence children to some extent”.

His approach towards smoking and drinking alcohol:

Gandhi states that ” Drugs and drink are the two arms of the devil with which he strikes his helpless slaves into stupefaction and intoxication ” .At that time people were drinking to get attention from British, social availability etc. police training schools made it compulsory to drink wine and eat meat. This makes the individual health and the community health in question. He starts that prohibition should start from not selling in shops, etc. he asks the women to actively participate against alcoholism.

He opposed smoking explaining the ill effects of it. The British tobacco company humiliated him by selling cigarettes named “Mahatma Gandhi” cigarettes. But he didn’t lose hope. He fought against tobacco throughout his life. He says,” He opposed smoking explaining the ill effects of it. The British tobacco company humiliated him by selling cigarettes named “Mahatma Gandhi” cigarettes. But he didn’t lose hope. He fought against tobacco throughout his life. He says, “if every smoker stopped the dirty habit of making his mouth a chimney to foul breath by making a present of his savings to some national cause, he would benefit both himself and the nation “.

Hygiene and health, the universal principles:

Gandhi made committees in Africa and Ahmadabad to conduct surveillance on open defecating areas and to promote sanitation there. Today around Tanjore we can see lots of villages with signboards promoting construction of latrines in the home and to avoid open-air defecation. Still, we cannot make people avoid open-air defecation and we cannot expect Gandhi to successfully establish that long ago. But we should never forget his ceaseless effort for health promotion.

Though he had a strong belief in God, he hated the untidy pilgrimage practices in India. He incorporated health education and hygiene in his 18 points constructive programmes

His initial disappointment over Western Medicine:

He suffered from digestive complaints while practicing law in South Africa. He took some medicine but they were ineffective. One of his friends gave him a book “Return to Nature” by Adolf. The book told about dietary reforms, mud application over the abdomen, use of wet compresses, etc. he got relief from these. He insisted that such drugless therapy is needed in countries like India where people don’t have access to the healthcare facility. But in this view, I bet to differ from Gandhi. We need to establish evidence-based medicine all over the country. In Tamil Nadu lots of quarks have arisen to provide the cure for jaundice, AIDS, etc. recently a person calling himself healer Baskar promoted the state to practice domiciliary delivery and as a result, a woman from Thiruppur lost her life. He also claims that sambhar vada is the cure for gallstones. We should never promote such evidence less medicine

His later positive attitude towards modern medicine:

In his 50s he suffered from hemorrhoids he first went seeking a solution from naturopathy. Then he went to Dr.Dalai and he underwent surgery and got cured of the illness. He even suggested others suffering from hemorrhoids to go for surgery. In January 1924, in Yerwada jail, he suffered from appendicitis and was operated by British surgeon Maddock. This life-saving surgery promoted his mind the need for modern medicine.

Gandhi against ancient medicine:

While opening an ayurvedic pharmacy in Chennai, he spoke that Ayurvedic physicians are just living by the glory of their past. The system is less evidence-based than the western system. He wanted the Ayurvedic practitioners to practice research and give evidence for modern medicine practitioners.

The next month he wrote to an ayurvedic physician,” I have faith in the Ayurvedic drugs, but very little in the diagnosis of physicians. I therefore never feel sure about a patient under an Ayurvedic physician if his diagnosis is not checked by a trustworthy practitioner under the Western system “.

My Gandhian views regarding independence for doctors:

As a third-year Medical student, I ‘ve been traveling to lots of colleges for intercollegiate conferences. I’ve seen lots of interesting research papers and case presentation from various Medical Colleges. But when I discuss with them and ask about their ambition most of them would like to join PG in central University in India like AIIMS JIPMER etc or to clear international exams to pursue their career abroad.

Lack of Professional security, unfair wages are some of the few reasons that implant the dream of USMLE(USA), GMC(UK), AMC(AUS) ,AIIMS and JIPMER in the mind of the young medical students and doctors in Tamil Nadu who don’t see or don’t want a future here.

I didn’t say such aims are wrong. But I question why a young medic with great rank which would allow him/her to choose their favorite PG course in their own state, where they tend to interact with their patients in their own language, to choose a college where they must learn a new language, culture, epidemiology difference, climatic variations etc.

And when all the competent Doctors our state for a place with better job security, job satisfaction, pay grade, respect then Tamil Nadu will be left with lack of manpower and will go through a medical crisis with lack of manpower.

Let’s see the PG stipend across the country

Sino. state Stipend for MD/MS 1st yr Stipend for DM/Mch 1st yr
1 Tamilnadu 27,100 32,800
2 Central government 86,335 89,634
3 Kerala 43k 47k
4 Maharashtra 53,360 48,413
5 Madhya Pradesh 45k 50k
6 Rajasthan 47k 54k
7 Uttar Pradesh 55,830 62,633
8 Bihar 50k 90,411
9 Goa 60k 71,238

Of course, after a lot of struggle, the stipend was increased to 40k 45k for PG and superspeciality respectively. Still, this is very low when compared around the country.

Across the world, Indian doctors are paid less. Across the country, TN doctors are being paid less. This is one of the reasons which implant the dream of studying abroad in young minds.

People may argue “Doctors should not work for money, they should do well to the society,” I ask WHY? Does anyone tell the society to provide all services to doctors free of cost for “betterment of the society”? OR ask the banks to give away money to all doctors for the same cause. No!

I would tell you an anecdote of myself. I finished my schooling in my hometown which is Mannargudi. I’ve chosen to study at Tanjore MC because it was the best College near my home. I didn’t think of studying in central University or in big cities. I really saw and I really wanted my future here. I didn’t have any calculation to join here; I got an emotional bonding which made me choose here.

I really wanted to join MD pediatry here in our college after I finish my MBBS. But when I came to know about the stipend paid across the country and the situation of TN, my dreams shattered. As a student from the middle class, I would rather sacrifice the comfort of living in my dream College over an increased stipend to support my family economical

So should I choose to join AIIMS or JIPMER? The answer is a big NO. We know the status of TN medical postgraduates in central Universities. Every month we are seeing at least one death news regarding PG death in AIIMS who is from Tamil Nadu. I had a senior friend who joined MD pathology in KEM Mumbai, whose bike was shattered just because it got a number plate TN. We have such a welcome from North Indian states. After all hard work, I don’t want to die in a central University.

The assault on doctors is not restricted to TN doctors alone. These past few years in India have witnessed growing instances of assault on doctors. Many newspaper columns have been devoted to the issue. Recently a doctor in Maharashtra’s Dhulia lost his eye after being assaulted by the relatives of a patient. Assault on doctors by angry patients and their kin is only a reflection of the issues troubling the healthcare system.

Let’s continue my story, where should I pursue my post graduation now? This pushes me to think that I should try writing USMLE. Let’s jump to my statement in the beginning of my essay.

Lack of Professional security, unfair wages are some of the few reasons that implant the dream of USMLE(USA), GMC(UK), AMC(AUS) ,AIIMS and JIPMER in the mind of the young medical students and doctors in Tamil Nadu who don’t see or don’t want a future here.

Do I see a future here? NO. Do I want a future here? NO. But this is my new ambition. This is what I should answer when a stranger asks me what you are going to do after finishing MBBS. I’ve been pushed like the majority of students in TN.

We must accept that corruption has found its way in the health sector too. However, I will be unfair in not adding that majority of the doctors remain committed to the ethics of the profession.

Let’s see another scenario; young Indian doctors are making the country proud through their work in developed countries such as Canada, the US, and many European countries. These doctors are working in a better medical ecosystem unlike doctors in India, who are forced to continuously fight unheeding authorities both for the rights of unaware citizens and overworked doctors.

Only 1.3 percent of the GDP is directed towards healthcare. As per the Universal Health Coverage NHP (National Health Policy) in 2017, four percent of GDP should be allocated for health. This data doesn’t reflect that health is a priority for the country.

India has only 10 lakh doctors working in government and private sectors. According to the World Health Organization, the doctor to patient ratio should be 1:1000. Which means India cannot afford the migration of young minds abroad.

We must find a way to prevent this migration. I didn’t mean preventing the true ambition of students who really know and want a career abroad. I want to stop the migration of students like me who are pushed out due to insecurity.

Recently the NMC Bill was tabled in Parliament and sent to the parliamentary standing committee. The panel has advocated “bridge courses” for indigenous and alternative medicine practitioners such as Ayurveda, and Homeopathy. If bridge courses could have been a real solution then I want a bridge course for local panchayat leaders to fix the shortage of judges in the country.

Thus we are facing a major crisis in TN of loosing young talented doctors to central Universities and abroad. We need to increase the stipend and salary of doctors here and we must provide a safe environment for the doctors. For this, we need a strong political will and planning to prevent such migration.

The basic concept is – rather than counting on what others can do for you, make your life count


It is better to die on your feet rather live on your knees. Gandhi is an iconic man the world has ever seen. The time when people believed that war was the only solution, there stood a man against violence and proved to the world that humanity, love, and non-violence can win too. He stood up to his lines “Be the change that you wish to see in the world. “ His life itself was a message. In this essay, I have dealt my best to explain my life experiences and my Gandhian principles and Gandhi’s contribution to medicine.


Gandhi M. K., “An Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments with Truth”, Navajivan Publisihng House, Ahmedabad, India, 1927.

Gandhi M. K., “Keys to Health”, Navjivan Publishing House, Ahmadabad, India, 1948.

Gandhi M. K., “Social Service, Work and Reform” (Vol-1), Navjivan Publishing House, Ahmadabad, India, 1976.

Gandhi M. K., “Diet and Diet Reform”, Navjivan Publishing House, Ahmadabad, India, 1949.

Keywords: Gandhi Health, Health promotion by Gandhi


A Doctor’s View on Doctor – Patient Relationship

A Doctor’s View on Doctor – Patient Relationship

MBBS (Bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery ) the most inspiring and attractive word for me throughout my whole childhood. But it becomes toughest on 5th June 2015 when the first time I was successfully failed to get an eligible rank in my West Bengal joint entrance examination for medical. Though the word inspiring was existing in my life for MBBS. I desperately accumulate all my courage and restart my preparation to crack the same examination for the next year.  And that time I successfully able to get the entry in my childhood wish. I was started my journey as an MBBS student at the BURDWAN MEDICAL COLLEGE, WEST BENGAL and from the beginning of that, I was an active part of the world medical association.

‘Doctor Babu ‘when I heard the word indicating to me for the first time it was such a pleasure to feel that astounding feeling. In the first year one day I went to visit the hospital for the first time with my white apron. Then a short height, an unhygienic man came towards me and ask for ECG room. But at that time I was not able to help that man because I also didn’t know this. As a doctor, my duty was to help that man.

A healthy doctor patients relationship is the most important part of treatment. Healthy means professional. Some foremost characters should have to be developed to become a successful doctor. At first, a doctor must have to be helpful towards his patients but obvious within his professional limit. Secondly, justice with patients, equality among patients, and equal division of limited resources only and only based on priority need and next one is fidelity means the ability to truths about our each and every action because mistakes are forgiven but lies are strongly punishable. We must have to be understood that patients are not help-seeking rather we are the help provider.

Doctor patients relationships are of different types. One may be doctor-centric in which doctors are superior and patient must have to follow doctors advice and another one is patients centric in this doctors are flexible in their point of views and they give opportunities to his patients to choose their options.

A doctor can play different roles in appearance to influence his patients. We must have to be flexible in our behavior and it will be the strongest ladder to achieve effective care. The term ‘placebo’ is a substantial term conjoin with the medical profession. Sometimes we have to use strongly directive approach to make better treatment. Some pessimistic patients are not aware of their health so they ignore the treatment process. It is our duty to strongly put our advice and make the better health of the patient. But as besides this, it is also important to remember that the right to refuse is the personal choice of the patient. We can’t pressurize them in any aspect rather we can motivate them. As a good doctor, we have to use tremendous politeness and respect during the treatment of geriatric patients and it is an appropriate doctor-patient relationship.  Another one is protectively paternalistic approach and this is maximally used in pediatric treatment. A doctor can advise his patients by gathering kindness, protection, strength, and patience. Because pain is the fearest foe of a child and as a doctor, our responsibility is not to destroy the fear but to achieve the power to fight against it so that he can tolerate it in his upcoming life. Some other aspect is the supportively directive approach. In this type, doctors believe in patient’s choice along with providing reassurance and guidance. Another example of the perfect doctor-patient relationship is the relationship between doctor and female patients. Most of the female patients always choose female gynecologists for their treatment but as a male doctor also our duty is to provide equal safety and security to them so they can trust us . A doctor can play an active role in the treatment of terminally ill patients. As a doctor, our responsibility not only in cure purpose but also provide the hand in care. In the case of terminally ill patients, we can’t stop our treatment by accepting upcoming death but it is our duty to provide a peaceful death to our patients.

Relationship means the mutual connection between two peoples. So both sides effort is necessary to make a relationship healthy. Patients also have to believe in the doctor to make the relationship more trustworthy. Some people told that feel your patients as your family members but I think rather it is important to feel our family members as our patients when they suffer from disease because a professional relationship can handle effective treatment rather than a coherent relationship. As besides the importance of establishing relationships, it is also important to perfectly terminate our relationship with our patients because we can’t expose us as available and as sympathetic so that we become emotional during termination.

As a future doctor, I will definitely maintain these in my working phase and I wish my other co-workers who are reading this may also influence through my words.







     Days passed by hearing the sudden death news of Celebrities like Michael Jackson, Sri Devi, Sema Lagoo, Om Puri due to Heart Disease. Heart disease can occur in 2 ways:  One by birth, family history, diabetes mellitus type 1. Second by cholesterol, lack of exercise, overweight, smoking, diabetes mellitus type 2.  Nowadays a heart attack by diabetes mellitus is getting worse. If we think twice or thrice, the common effect for this disease can be the mistakes and discipline of our daily life activities.

Recently, ‘diabetic heart disease’ is the highly ranked disease crawling among the adults with an age of 45 to 55. Sadly, this evil that will be been weaving around us at the youthful age. As laziness and unhealthy diet take a major place in your life, the art of heart disease gives birth in your body.

Every profession got its own way of stress, tension, sleepless tasks in simpler word ‘difficulties’ as an employee pressurized by the boss, as a boss stressed in maintaining company statistics, as a student tensed about career and future, a doctor diagnosing patients’ diseases we cannot blame anyone for this. But by these effects of stress, tensions, staying in a stationary position for extended periods of time, our body will be prone to chronic disease like diabetes. Diabetes mellitus type 2 is the most entertained disease in our body. How about the stress of the work which damages your nervous system, increases your blood pressure, constricts your blood vessels? Have you ever thought that not only the junk in your body but even the stress, fear, tension taken up during the work affects your body in a soothing way?

How Diabetes Mellitus type 2 starts?

You get to work and end up the day with an entire body filled with tiredness. All this time the brain helped in thinking, calculating, decision making; digestive system extracted some enzymes from food which helps the other organs to work in a proper way and energy distributed all over so that you may not faint in the middle of your work, but stress disturbed them. As tension and stress make your heart beats fast soon blood pumps fast and your blood vessels constrict by pressure, as the blood moves fast in your body the organs of your body attempts to work fast. This means the body is working more than needed. Eventually, the pituitary gland (master gland of the body) secretes hormones in large amount which means hyperfunction takes places in the organ. As concerned to the pancreas, sometimes it cannot be capable of secreting insulin and the glucose cannot be converted into glycogen that brings changes to the blood sugar level. By this, you will be affected by diabetes mellitus type 2.

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus type 2:

If you have diabetes mellitus type 2 you will have an Increased thirst and frequent urination (Excess sugar building up in your bloodstream causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues), Increased hunger, Weight loss (Calories are lost as excess glucose is released into the urine), Fatigue, blurred vision (If blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your eyes. This may affect your ability to focus), Slow-healing sores or frequent infections, Areas of darkened skin (patches of dark, velvety skin in the folds and creases of their bodies — usually in the armpits and neck. This condition, called acanthosis nigricans, may be a sign of insulin resistance). These symptoms of diabetes mellitus type 2 can affect your heart.


How Diabetes Mellitus type 2 affects your Heart?

By regular fast pumping of the heart, it can become weak and irregularity of heartbeat takes place, which may lead to arrhythmia (irregularity of heartbeat) or dilated cardiomyopathy (heart chambers become dilated because of heart muscle weakness and cannot pump blood properly) sometimes heart failure(insufficient supply of oxygen).

As a foodie, a chicken burger with extra cheese in right hand and a cola in the left hand or trying out new fast food seems to be a magic ‘mantra’ for after work stress-relief. You may enjoy that plate of delicious food and get back to sleep. What about the fat summed up in your body?  There is no way for the calories to burn up!

First, calories pile up and there will be no scope to run out of the body. These tiny calories turn and convert into a thick creamy unwanted layer of fat in the body. The unwanted fat slowly turns into cholesterol and lead to obesity. Some of the diluted fats go around the body and stays at a place like heart, bundles up into cholesterol, mostly in a coronary artery, one of the main arteries of the heart. This leads to improper pumping of the blood leading to coronary heart disease. Sometimes, myocardial infarction (heart attack) caused by a blood clot that develops in one of the coronary arteries and can also occur if an artery suddenly narrows or spasms occur.


Symptoms of Heart Disease:

You should be aware of what is happening in your body.

When you feel an unbearable pain that travels through the body (for example from the chest to the arms, neck, back, abdomen, or jaw) light-headedness and dizzy sensationsprofuse sweating nausea, and vomiting clearly shows that your heart is in trouble. It is not getting enough oxygen to pump up the blood. Immediately run to the hospital.


Medications for Heart Disease:

The main medications in use are statins (for lowering cholesterol), aspirin, clopidogrel, and warfarin, (for preventing blood clots), beta-blockers (for treating heart attack, heart failure, and high blood pressure), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (for heart failure and high blood pressure). The doctor will work to find a medication that is safe and effective. They will also use medications to treat underlying conditions that can affect the heart, such as diabetes before they become problematic.


‘Prevention is better than cure’

The only way to get rid of the disease is proper diet and regular exercise. When you wake up a 5-minute meditation or yoga will give fresh start and calmness to your mind which controls your anxiety, stress, tension for the entire day, regular breakfast, minimum 30-minutes exercise per day, power naps, healthy diet, avoid smoking, avoiding or reducing junk food and soda will be helpful to get a good health. By this, you will be healthy and have a great immunity in your body.




I’ve dealt my experiences and knowledge with WHO’s this year theme Health for all

Let`s define Health for all-“Attainment of a level of health that will enable every individual to lead a socially and economically productive life”

When wealth is lost nothing is lost

When health is lost something is lost

When a character is lost everything is lost

Last year WHO stressed on the character aspect that too in individual level through the topic, ”Depression-Let’s talk”. This year we are dealing with the health aspect in community level and the wealth which is needed to establish the health system

“WHO was founded in 1948 to make health a human right and not as a privilege. We’ve crossed 70 years and still the conviction is as strong as ever”, these are the words of WHO director Dr.Tedros

As a third-year medical student, PSM is the subject which gave me the most joy as it dealt with health in community level. Health is something which is to be learned at a community level for the overall health promotion. Health is the only thing which is needed by the richest and also the poorest in the country without any compromise. It would be ruthless and barbaric to put an option like health or food/education/basic needs among the poor. That’s why this year WHO insisted on Health for all everyone everywhere

Now I’ll tell you my real life impact on community health during my 3rd-year ward posting. 8 year old female named Dhivya came to the pediatric OPD with chief complaints of respiratory distress. She is a known case of spastic cerebral palsy who had lost her mother during labor and father to an accident. She is now under the care of her grandmother. On head to foot examination, we found severe pediculosis affecting her scalp and eyebrows. We asked her caretaker to maintain proper hygiene by providing her regular bath and prescribed her ketoconazole shampoo to be bought outside (as it was not available in the hospital pharmacy). But she didn’t take the prescription and wept about her poor socioeconomic status to buy the shampoo which costs Rs.180. This patients history raised me questions in my mind. Why should the innocent girl suffer this? Is this any incurable medical condition like malignancy or AIDS? NO INDEED. Then there is no point in her suffering. The entire humanity should feel ashamed for her suffering as we are spending millions in finding and drug and testing it by clinical trials. Yet this Rs.180 made pushed the therapy to an unreachable altitude.

Sometimes I get inspired by watching medical series like HOUSE MD and got inspired by the American health care system. But after doing research regarding that I came to know that the health insurance companies only cover those people who are in good jobs. What about the homeless old man wandering in their streets? Does their insurance companies think that is a life not worthy of a medical care? We need a policy from our leaders which establishes equity among people. This year is the time to ask our leaders our basic right, OUR HEALTH.

For a good health care facility, we need people, services, products, finances and information and everything is needed especially in times of an outbreak. A good example of our health care system can be explained by the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala. This is a deadly virus an too difficult to establish a diagnosis in index and primary cases. But our health care facility was able to tackle the situation and saved millions in spite of losing a few.

Here we are providing health care free of cost and health insurance also free of cost. As a medico from a government institution, I came across a lot of people from low socioeconomic class (as per modified Kuppusamy scale) seeking medical attention and they were given excellent care under free of cost. Few cost expensive services like MRI are covered under their insurance scheme. But still, we are not providing some advanced services like bone marrow transplantation, gene therapy, etc. which are provided by corporate hospitals. This is one milestone we need to achieve.

When we went to field trips to PHC, ICDS, Health sub-centre during field visits, I can see that at least essential health care is accessible to all individuals and families in an acceptable and affordable way with their full participation. We have launched a sustaining primary health care by formulating national policies, strategies, and plans of action as per Alma-Ata-conference. In spite of inequality among education, social status, economic status, etc, Healthcare is the only this we`ve tried to establish some equality and equity among people.

Regarding the inspiring 2018 theme of WHO I came to know that half of the world`s population don’t have access to a proper healthcare facility. Millions are pushed to poverty due to money spent on food. WHO insisted the need that No one should have to choose between health and food/education/shelter. Then what is the solution? The answer is to establish affordable health services for EVERYWHERE, EVERYONE. This universal health coverage can be achieved if and only if the political will is strong. WHO is calling leaders this year to make universal health coverage a reality for everyone, everywhere.

The very special 2 things in 2018 universal health coverage concept:

  • First, this stresses the importance of nurses and midwives in the health care system. Generally, they are underrated. They are the pillars of our health care system. I’ve seen a Nurses strike in my college. The whole hospital was stranded. They have the number and knowledge for our health infrastructure.
  • Second, universal health coverage stresses the importance of healthcare for older people. It considers their health issues in a novel approach. WHO does not want them to seek a doctor for their diabetes another doctor for arthritis and another doctor for hypertension. It wants them to have a health coverage in such a way that they can whatever the services they need in a single institution with their health-related data and treatment history being synchronized among different specialties.

Countries with universal health care include

Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

There is a very peculiar thing about this list of countries. Have you noticed any South East Asian county on the list? The answer is a big NO. In South East Asia over 800 million people don’t have full coverage of essential health services. 65 million people are pushed to poverty because of the health costs. We cannot accept or afford a world like this. Especially as a South Asian Country, India cannot accept this atrocious state of us and our neighborhood. That’s why we should make health services universal so that these people do not suffer from financial hardship. By tracking who is not getting health care and who is being improvised by health care, we can make policy to establish this system. This would pave a way for a fairer and healthier world.

Health is a human right. No one should get sick and die just because they are poor or because they cannot access the health services they need. 97 million deaths can be prevented worldwide when the global community makes the right investments in the right health care system. This is quite a big number. The SDG or Sustainable Development Goals insists on making the right investment in the next 15 years to prevent this death. The SDG price tag in 67 countries which has 75% of the world`s population is 3.9 trillion dollars for the 15 years. These countries don’t have the economic source to pay the price tag (India is not one of those countries we have enough resources). But most other countries have the fund to make an investment in these countries. By giving economic assistance is theoretically proven that SDG can be established worldwide. This could add 535 million extra years of healthy living to the world’s population.

People-centered care:

Recently a lot of money invested in health has been wasted due to unnecessary investigations etc. To avoid this year WHO insists on people-centered care. People-centered care means health services are ensured to people’s needs and provided in partnership with them rather than simply given to them. It means the care where people, community, and families were respected informed engaged and treated with dignity and compassion. This improves the trust, experience, and outcome from people and gives confidence and job satisfaction among professionals. This would also improve the quality and efficiency of the healthcare system

Let’s take a look at these facts by WHO:

  • 5 million people don’t receive treatment for TB
  • 17 million people do not receive treatment for HIV
  • 20 million infants are not vaccinated against DPT
  • 204 million women do not receive adequate family planning
  • 1.1 billion people are living with uncontrolled hypertension
  • 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation

What do we infer from these points? All the above-mentioned care is available now that’s what we are thinking, isn’t it? What is the whole point in developing a care that is not reaching millions and billions of people? We have the good knowledge I accept but we need to make this knowledge useful to the community. Otherwise, all these knowledge are vain.

Social media and mass media: Boon or ban for HEALTH FOR ALL:

Everyone will think that social media and mass media will be useful in spreading knowledge and improving the concept of health for all. But my point is they are better in collapsing the health care system rather than promoting it.

A good example is the MMR vaccination program last year. It was a great program to prevent 3 deadly childhood diseases Mumps, Measles, and Rubella. But it was a failed program. Because of fake what’s app message telling about researches in which they’ve proven that this MMR has lots of ADR?

My cousin refused to vaccinate her child with MMR.

I’ve shown her the researches about the vaccine in PubMed and yet she insisted on that wapp message and ignored me. In the history, there were a lot of failure programs due to mass media also.

. Universal health coverage is more than just health insurance, more than just health care. It means people can get quality health services where and when they need them without suffering financial hardship. Half of the population have no access to healthcare and millions are pushed to poverty due to health expenses. Universal health coverage is the solution to all this problem. Evidence and experience show that all countries at all income levels can make progress with the resources they have also show us that there is no single path to Universal health coverage. All countries must find their own way in their own political social and economic circumstances. Let`s take Ghana and Rwanda as examples,

In Ghana, a remote household receives support from community healthcare workers. They help people to receive relevant health care. I’ve read an interesting story about a 16-year-old boy, Shaibu, who was found to have a deadly skin disease and was spotted during such visits. He was referred to hospital to get specialized quality care. Ghana`s National Health Insurance provides free health services for children under 18. Since 2003, this health insurance covered over 6000 patients.

In Rwanda, Dr.Olushayo Olu WHO representative in Rwanda really wanted to create a community where everybody has a good access to health care, basic services like water and sanitation. He developed a system in which financial barriers are removed. The main problem is lots of their people were working in the informal sector. Generally, health insurance schemes focus on people who are working. So the government decided to create different categories called “UBUDEHE”. This classified people according to socioeconomic status and to know who needs assistance and what level of assistance they need. And the Community based health insurance scheme was rolled out. Now they have a coverage of over 80% which by African standards and by any standards represent a great number and they are now progressing towards 100%.

In India, states like our Tamil Nadu have the glory of having a state government implemented a government insurance scheme. Now the central government also made an initiative, Ayshman Bharat which could be the world’s largest health insurance program.


Universal health coverage not only improves health. It reduces poverty, creates jobs, spares inclusive economic growth and increases gender equality. Strong healthcare systems based on the foundation of primary care are also the best defense against outbreaks and other health emergencies. Universal health coverage and health security are truly two sides of the same coin. Now it is the time for all countries to invest in universal health coverage.

It`s time to talk about the best ways to get health services to all.

Time to remind the world leaders “Health is a human right”

It’s time to have the Right care in Right time in the Right place.




In the recent past, a large number of neuroscience studies have revealed that “happiness” is the default state of the brain. That means happiness is a natural state of our being just like to radiate light is the natural state of sun, to rain is the natural state of clouds, to grow and bring fruits and flowers is the natural state of trees.

In a newborn’s brain, two hemispheres are in sync and work as one entity; firing neurotransmitters and electrical activity in rhythm to manifest a constant state of happiness, joy and an overflowing of energy. This is one of the reasons little children are always overloaded with extra stamina and energy.

Unfortunately, as we grow up, many limiting programs are forced in our mind from society and family. For example, in comparison with siblings/peers, pressure to be a good child and sometimes to meet irrelevant expectations of parents, threat upon committing a mistake, conditional gifts, and rewards, etc. “Be good and we will buy you a bicycle, otherwise not.”

Over the years of this unexpected scarcity and pain, a child absorbs myriad unnatural and unhealthy patterns in one’s unconscious mind. Eventually, she/he ends up living in a state of deep fear, anxiety, and lack of self-love.

Our brain which was once unified organism in early childhood, it is now divided into many fear-based personalities in our unconscious mind.

To regain control and balance in your life, it’s tremendously necessary to free yourself from traumatic experiences and memories of the past which serve you no more. A person who has freed himself/herself from the grip of fear-based obsessive and emotional unconscious drive is able to make decisions based on their heart, truth and need of the moment. She/he is no more a slave of the biochemical rush.

Whole Brain & Heart-Focused (WBHF) is the healing and meditation technique to heal your deeply negative thoughts and feelings. It is backed by latest neuroscience as well ancient Buddhism, Hinduism, and Chinese traditions.

Learning and practicing this meditation, most participants experience a breakthrough quickly. They are reported to have experienced a deep silence and bliss never felt before.


Sit or lie down. Close your eyes. Relax your body. Take some slow and deep breathing from belly. Now cross your ankles and wrists. Left ankle over right and left wrist over right as shown in left side of picture below. Crossing ankles and wrists create a bridge between left and right electric circuits of body. In other words, it integrates both hemispheres of brain for faster change as seen in qEEG.

Once you are settled in this posture, now find out any negative or uneasy emotions/feelings/thoughts that you are going through right now. It may be any problem that you encountered in the morning or some work stress or fear of illness, anger or disappointment in a relationship(s), low self-esteem or loneliness, or fear of future, concern about children, or concern and fear about money.

Once you recollect any one or more uneasy experiences, be aware that it is there in your mind and body. Be aware of the thoughts, feelings, sensations, images, and voices attached to the problem. For example, if you are holding a fear of losing money or a job, think about this situation. How do you feel about it? Do you notice anxiety somewhere in the body? It could be in the face or hands, or chest or legs or it could be possibly scattered in the whole body.

What images do you see? What voices do you hear? What you are saying to yourself or what others are saying to you? What loss or sabotage have you experienced or still experiencing? This is how mind functions, it creates a movie inside your head with a series of images, voices, feelings, and actions. In Whole Brain state, stay aware of this phenomenon going on within you, whatsoever.

Our normal approach is to escape from it using various means like turning to music, going shopping, watching TV, driving, sex, alcohol, smoking, chatting on WhatsApp/Facebook unnecessarily. These are few of the mind’s tricks to run away from pain.

In this meditation technique, don’t run away from it. It is there, let it be so. Let the pain and stress stay while you are in Whole Brain State. Be one with the discomfort. Allow it. Welcome to it. Serve it. Surrender to it. Amplify it to its pinnacle. Resist not.

Watching and feeling it with zero resistance and a zero need to escape from it, it is bound to calm down on its own in few minutes. This is the nature of things. In the words of Carl G. Jung, “What you resist, it persists. What you look at, it disappears.” You will observe that the intensity of pain or discomfort has gone down or maybe it has completely disappeared.

Once you are more or less calm, bring your whole focus on the heart area or feel the heartbeat/pulsation for 5-10 minutes.

When you are ready, you can open your eyes and uncross your legs and wrists putting together your fingers touching tips of each other for 10 seconds (as shown in right side of above picture). Breathe deeply for the next one minute.

“Wound is the place where light enters” – Rumi




“Mental Health”, a serious issue, something that we all have read about, the pathology, clinical features what not??

But what is it actually? How does a person affected by a mental illness feel?

I don’t wish to go into the “medicine” aspect of it, as you all might have guessed, my knowledge there is kind of minimal.


We have had psychiatry postings, where we got a chance to encounter many patients… Schizophrenics, Maniacs, Depressive patients. Let me stop you right there.


“DEPRESSION “. (Why are you saying that loud? Its a taboo topic don’t you know?)

That’s what I want to talk about. So, what is depression?

Oh, My God! Relax! I was not asking the definition. I don’t plan to conduct a Viva.


So, in a layman point of view, depression is something undefinable, the feeling that you are being pulled down, that weight over your chest when everything seems dark, and you stop doing things you love doing, lose sleep. Basically, life seems pointless. Endless sadness without any reason.


” How do you know about this?”You might ask. Well, I will give you 3 guesses.


So, basically, it’s a hard time. Do you know when it becomes harder? When people around you, your friends and family, don’t realize what’s going on with you. When they contribute further towards your heart-wrenching feeling.

And when you finally decide to open up, the response goes something like. “Stop being a drama queen”. Or        ” See I have had bigger problems than you, you should be happy ”

And you feel this is going to make them alright?


“What? You are crying because a dog bit you? Yesterday, one elephant wrapped it’s trunk around me, stabbed me 3 times and I died. And see still I’m alive”.

Is that an advice? How can that be an antidote to her pain? Honestly not going to help, guys.


Just because you have had bigger problems or you feel this other person is having a perfect life, doesn’t make it okay.


I want you all to repeat this after me.

” it’s not what I feel about him that matters, it’s what he feels about himself that matters”.

You can even write an imposition, say 100 times, for it to stick.


I would like to quote a stanza from one of my poems. ( Honestly! Not trying to be narcissistic)


“I committed a sin

When I decided his problem is less than mine

And preached him on that

That’s when I committed a sin”


I don’t know what you are feeling after reading this. I don’t even know how many people left midway. But, for all those who are with me, who did bear me so long, Please one request!

Help them out, Listen to them, Take care.

We don’t want to lose another life over depression.

Hear us out!

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits of Breastfeeding

What is breast milk?
It is the milk produced in the mammary gland (breast) by a lactating women during pregnancy to feed the child.

Why is breast milk important for the baby?
Breast milk is important because:
1. It is species appropriate milk. Human milk is meant for human babies.
2. It contains exactly the right levels of nutrients that the baby needs, unlike the formula which is present in cow’s milk and tailored to a calf.
3. It contains long chain fatty acids required for are essential for human brain growth,which are not included in most formulas.
4. It contains antibodies against disease and white blood cells for the immune system, which is also not present in formula.
5. It fulfils a baby’s biological need to breast feed from it’s mother and helps to safeguard the baby’s emotional health throughout life.
6. Breast feeding mother’s  don’t get as much breast cancer as mother’s who have never breast fed.

How is the breast milk produced?
Under the influence of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, women produce milk after childbirth to feed the baby. The Milk ejection reflex mechanism-  The milk is transported from the breast alveoli to the nipple sucked by the baby which stimulates the paraventricular nucleus and supraoptic nucleus in the hypothalamus which signals to the posterior pituitary gland to produce oxytocin. Oxytocin stimulates contraction of the Myoepithelial cells surrounding the alveoli which already holds the milk. The increased pressure causes milk to flow through the duct system and get released through the nipple. This response can be conditioned, for example to the cry of the baby.

A healthy mother will produce about 500 to 800 ml of milk per day with about 500 kilo calorie per day.

What is the composition of Breast milk?

Composition of human breast milk-
Fat (g/100 ml)-
•total 4.2
•fatty acids – length 8C trace
•polyunsaturated fatty acids 0,6
•cholesterol 0,016
Protein (g/100 ml)
•total 1.1
•casein 0.4
•a-lactalbumin 0.3
•lactoferrin (apolactoferrin) 0.2
•IgA 0.1
•IgG 0.001
•lysozyme 0.05
•serum albumin 0.05
Carbohydrate (g/100 ml)
•lactose 7
•oligosaccharides 0.5
Minerals (g/100 ml)
•calcium 0.03
•phosphorus 0.014
•sodium 0.015
•potassium 0.055
•chlorine 0.043
Breast milk contains complex proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and other biologically active components. The composition changes over a single feed as well as over the period of lactation.

What is colostrum?

The initial milk produced is referred to as colostrum, which is high in the immunoglobulin IgA, which coats the gastrointestinal tract. This helps to protect the newborn until its own immune system is functioning properly. It also creates a mild laxative effect, expelling meconium and helping to prevent the buildup of bilirubin (a contributory factor in jaundice). Colostrum will gradually change to become mature milk. In the first 3–4 days it will appear thin and watery and will taste very sweet; later, the milk will be thicker and creamier. Human milk quenches the baby’s thirst and hunger and provides the proteins, sugar, minerals, and antibodies that the baby needs.

What are the diseases preventable by breast milk?
In addition to providing essential nourishment to infants, human milk; i.e., breast milk, has a number of valuable uses, especially medicinal uses, for both children and adults. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years.

Breast milk contains strong antibodies and antitoxins that many people believe promote healing and better overall health. However, breast milk lacks sterile and antiseptic properties if a nursing mother is infected with certain communicable diseases, such as HIV and CMV, as breast milk can transmit such diseases to infants and other people. Breast milk has been used as a home remedy for minor ailments, such as conjunctivitis, insect bites and stings, contact dermatitis, and infected wounds, burns, and abrasions. Breast milk has also been used alternatively to boost the immune system of ill persons having  viral gastroenteritis, influenza, the common cold, pneumonia, etc., because of its immunologic properties.

However, breast milk should never be seen or construed as a “cure-all”. Some medical experts are convinced that breast milk can induce apoptosis in some types of cancer cells. However, more research and evidence are needed in this area of cancer treatment.

What is the right time to start breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding should ideally start within 1hour after your baby is born for all conditions including normal delivery, forcep delivery and cesarean section delivery. A baby is usually alert after birth and will spontaneously seek the breast if left undisturbed in skin-to-skin contact with their mother’s body.
For Normal delivery cases:-
Breastfeeding within the first hour or so after birth is important because:

  1. It makes you as the mother more confident that you can breastfeed.
  2. Your baby starts to receive the immunological effects of colostrum.
  3. Your baby’s digestion and bowels are stimulated.
  4. Sucking reflex is higher during this period. so sucking difficulties can be avoided if the baby feeds properly at this stage.
  5. The bond between you and your baby is enhanced.

For Cesarean section
The first breastfeed may occur in the operating room with the baby passed under the sterile drapes while you are being stitched up. When this is not possible, it will commonly occur in the recovery room, as soon as possible after delivery, or as soon as you return to your room.
Benefits of breastfeeding after C-section:

  • Improves neurological development of the baby’s brain.
  • Benefits the newborn’s cardiovascular health.
  • Stabilizes the infant’s body temperature due to the skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding.
  • Helps establish a healthy breastfeeding behavior and effective suckling by the infant.
  • Boosts the production of milk.
  • Provides optimum maternal satisfaction.

What are conditions when you should not breast feed your child?
Breastfeeding is NOT advisable if one or more of the following conditions is true:

  1. An infant diagnosed with galactosemia, a rare genetic metabolic disorder.
  2. The infant whose mother:
    ~ Has been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
    ~ Is taking antiretroviral medications.
    ~ Has untreated, active tuberculosis.
    ~ Is infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I or type II.
    ~ Is using or is dependent upon an illicit drug.
    ~ Is taking prescribed cancer chemotherapy agents, such as antimetabolites that interfere with DNA replication and cell division.
    ~ Is undergoing radiation therapies; however, such nuclear medicine therapies require only a temporary interruption in breastfeeding.
8 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Spine

8 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Spine

Back pain is one of the most common problem of many people. Among them low back pain is most common reasons for a visit to the doctor these days. Here is the #8 tips for healthy and strong spine.

1. Stand straight– Correct posture can prevent all back pain.

2. Sleep properly–  Adequate sleep required for overall health. But beside this, sleeping in a good posture is a valuable thing to maintain spine health. Sleep on your side, not your stomach: Sleeping on your stomach puts too much pressure on your spine. Sleeping on your side also reduces upper airway collapse, helping to prevent sleep apnea symptoms and give you a better night’s rest, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Or if you sleep on your back try to place pillow under your knees.


3. Lift Right–  Lifting an object in a wrong manner can easily damage your back spine. Try to lift a heavy object in this way given here. Direction-  When lifting heavy objects, kneel to lift the object, keeping the weight close to your body while using the legs to lift rather than the back.

4. Sitting– We office workers spend most of the time by sitting infront of laptop or PC. But they should maintain a proper postion to eliminate the back pain. Direction-Feet should touch the floor or be supported. Keep Spine straight. Look straight without neck strain
Adjust your chair’s lumbar and armrests. Keep monitor at arms’ length. Position monitor & document holders even or slightly below line of sight.

5. Holding mobile– Hold your mobile devices correctly. Sit up when texting or reading. Keep device at chest or eye level to decrease neck and back stress.Use a hands-free device instead of holder to your ear.

6. Stay hydrated– Our vertebral column is 88% made of water. So dehydration can lead degenaration of discs, herniated discs. According to American academy of orthopedics a herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica, a specific type of back pain that radiates down one of the leg. So drink more to reduce back pain.

7. Maintain weight– The topmost goal to eliminate back pain is to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese, or quickly gaining a significant amount of weight, are risk factors for low back pain can put added stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your lower back.

8. Stay Active– You’ll be at a great risk of back pain if you are not physically active or fit. The best excersice routine for back is one that combines stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity.

Here are pictures of some exercise examples-




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