“All roads on earth lead to securing basic public health first”
Dr Edmond Fernandes, CEO, Center for Health and Development (CHD-India)
One may speak of the sexiest of innovations that may define the 21st century commerce, we may also talk about how the American presidency is influencing foreign policy and how the world teeters on the brink of a nuclear crisis, but all of this put together cannot suppress the importance of public health which champions the lives of individuals and sustains human progress besides defining survival, happiness and above all mental peace.
If you are looking at technical solutions towards health systems and human health, you will find none in this article. This is not the article for discussing health systems, but more importantly to recognize the complex situation in which we co-exist.
Mankind is at risk of destroying what it has built simply by exploiting nature and the ecological disaster due to industrial advancement. In the light of this, social environments have suffered severely. The challenges we face together are not stronger than the bonds which bring us together. We need to recognize the mountain moving truth that without a powerful health system and optimum individual health, we can do nothing.
Health is not merely the absence of disease, but more importantly must be viewed as an entity to protect the human family which is witnessing inequality, religious divisions, hatred from all corners, barbaric terrorism, hidden greed and political instability in many countries for want of power, for want of more and more at the expense of the other.
Our world is now going through evolution more than transition. We are working hard and working fast to go somewhere, in the bargain; we compromise our physical activity, our mental stability and our most prized asset which is the family. The internet has made our world smaller, but we have not been able to draw a line. Our priorities have over-lapped, the damage already done.
The guidelines for human development rest in the extra-ordinary power of the individual human soul to realize that we are programmed to lead ordinary lives and do extra-ordinary things. The gadgets and innovations must aid our path forward, but not at the cost of destroying families. Today we have married individuals living in different cities, children sent to far away holidays and often living in hostels. New form of universal solidarity which serves as a benchmark to protect our individuality through strengthening of families needs to be re-discovered. As countries and nations, we have not been able to preserve resources for generations to come, little have we done to recognize that burden of health problems are way too many and the soldiers of public health too little, and deeply divided on various parameters.
The nuts and bolts of sustainable human health can only be fixed by social integration and social cohesion which builds on the principles of fraternity and brotherhood. The rich must learn to give and those who take must learn to be accountable and transparent. Declining quality of human life, breakdown of societies and greed for more will not only affect our health but will ensure the route to eternal damnation. In protecting others, rests our own sustainability as well.
TIMES OF INDIA