The World Health Organization(WHO) has released a special Report on Climate Change and Health propose a set of priority actions from the global health community to governments and policy makers, calling on them to act with urgency on the current climate and health crises today (11th October 2021). The report lists 10 recommendations for priority action and is available here.
Prior to the publication a public consultation was conducted by the WHO in which I provided feedback in individual capacity (acknowledged in WHO report) . The feedback revolved around the following themes(full submission available for download):
need for developing global, regional and national agendas for climate crisis preparedness, support for more interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary collaboration,
recognition of rights and dignity of health workforce in our path to climate resilience,
greater recognition of the impact of climate change on non-communicable diseases and injuries, particularly chronic kidney disease, snakebite, and cardiovascular diseases needs priority attention.
higher taxation of app-based food delivery business which has higher carbon footprint;
stop promotion of vegetarian diets which amounts to cultural imperialism by suppression of food practices of minorities, tribal, Adivasi and Indigenous populations who are being being attacked for their traditional meat-based food practices by removing words like “eating less meat” & “largely plant-based diet”;
ensure food security of vulnerable people by providing guarantee against price fluctuations through development of appropriate investment and legal mechanisms.
It is pleasing to note that the WHO has involved stakeholders meaningfully and inculcated feedback in letter and spirit. The removal of terms “eating less meat” is welcome, but more work needs to be done to prevent climate action being used as an opportunity for cultural imperialism. Continuing to work with stakeholders to understand the several issues better, as evidence evolves will be key to climate action. We have to grapple the defining issue of our generation together.
In this recent correspondence by Dr. Soumyadeep B and his colleagues published in the Lancet Global Health :
A decrease in research funding is a matter of urgent concern, but research funding and funding to increase access to health-care information need not be mutually competitive. No suggestions to divert funds from basic or clinical research to ensure access have been made. However, the very point of research will be nullified if the results do not reach the end-users who put evidence into practice; thus a balance between the generation and the dissemination of health-care information is of utmost importance. Although the importance of generation of health-care information is self-evident, the matter of dissemination has always been put on the sidelines. Information dissemination is a complex, dynamic process, which is controlled by sociocultural, economic, and political agendas. Therefore, the wisdom generated from research does often not distill down to the end-users, the physicians, and other medical professionals who are fighting the battle at the bedside. Painstaking policy making, ensured implementation, quality assurance, monitoring, and reviewing are necessary to ensure that the endpoint is reached.
With a shift in disease epidemiology trends, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are fast becoming leaders in the global burden of disease. NCDs are estimated to cause 36 million deaths annually and have become the focal point of concern for global public health. To meet the increasing challenge, WHO plans to rope in innovative technologies to aid its fight against NCDs.
Dr. Soumyadeep B’s response to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wale’s “Integrated health and post modern medicine” plan has been published in the Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine in its latest issue.
In an era of evidence based medicine clinical trials hold the key to validate or negate a medical intervention, whatsoever is its nature. However, clinical trials have been under increased scrutiny in the recent past due to concerns over violations of ethical concerns and research related injury. Thus it has become imperative on the part of those at the helm of affairs of clinical trials (drug makers as well as non-governmental organisations and governments which funds such studies) to make available the full and complete information of clinical trial available in public domain.
Making clinical trial data available right from the initial phase’s right till its end in the public domain not only enhances the transparency and validity of the trial it is also beneficial to those running the trial itself. It helps to improve the quality of clinical trials by making it possible to identify potential problems as well as allow health care practitioners to identify researchers related to their field.
We are often pulled in different, opposing directions, and take time to find the balance between acceptance and anger, surrender and control, individual and group, being and thinking, living and dying. How we find balance and what that balance is influences our attitude. Continue reading “Dualities : Living with Cancer”
Wrong Site Surgery WSS (and wrong site procedures: wrong site anaesthetic, implement fitting, etc) might not be as uncommon as you think. Here is an insight into the problem.Continue reading “Wrong Site Surgery”
World AIDS Day is back again-this time with the theme of ” Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero deaths from AIDS-related illness. Zero discrimination ” .
Zero – the number discovered by the Indians and which numerically holds no value is infact the most significant value of all times. While antiretroviral therapy which has now a strong evidence base to rely upon has made possible for mankind to speak of Zero infections and zero deaths from HIV and AIDS related infections what worries me is to how to achieve the” Zero Discrimination” goal.Continue reading “Zero Discrimination , Zero Infections : World AIDS Day”
We all know that there are generic drugs available , which cost a fraction of what the expensive branded drugs do, but are as effective as them. Even though a considerable amount of money would be saved if doctors prescribed only generics, why do doctors continue to prescribe the expensive branded drugs ?Continue reading “Why do doctors prescribe expensive branded drugs ?”