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“Hygiene Is The First Step Of Preventive Healthcare,” Says Padma Shri Prof. (Dr) Indira Chakravarty

Dr Indira Chakravarty, who is a Public Health Specialist, said that the Banega Swasth India campaign has helped people understand the value of preventative healthcare to achieve the overall health and well-being targets

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New Delhi: “Preventive healthcare is the pillar of health in the world today,” said Padma Shri Prof. (Dr) Indira Chakravarty, Hygiene and Public Health Specialist on Banega Swasth India Season 9 finale. With the increase in population, climatic changes and pollution around us, preventive healthcare becomes more important and it will give respite to curative healthcare, the Padma awardee said. She said,

Public health has comprehensive coverage that includes nutrition, hygiene, environment, water and sanitation.

Talking about the significance of preventive healthcare, Dr Chakravarty said that, from a public health perspective, prevention remains primary, whereas cure is the secondary option, once the disease sets in.

Also Read: Decoding Gut Health With Padma Awardee Dr Nageshwar Reddy

Prof. (Dr) Indira Chakravarty is an Indian public health specialist, scholar and environmentalist, who was honoured with Padma Shri in 2014, for her contributions to the fields of public health and environment.

She has been active in the WASH and food safety milieu of India and has been the principal investigator of over 80 government and private research projects. Dr Chakravarty has written chapters in several books and has over 250 articles, published in national and international forums and journals.

Talking about contribution of the Banega Swasth India campaign, the Padma awardee said that the campaign has developed a sense among the people about preventive healthcare and its significance for good health and well-being. It has highlighted the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), maintaining a clean and safe environment around an individual to reduce the number of the diseases that may surround them.

Also Read: “Must Treat Each Cancer Patient Irrespective Of Socio-Economic Status,” Says Padma Shri Dr Ravi Kannan

Talking about the changes brought in the field of public healthcare and Reckitt’s efforts in elevating it, in India, Dr Chakravarty listed down the number of programmes launched, including the Diarrhoea Net Zero programme, the Hygiene Curriculum programme and the Birds And Bees programme, among others. All of these initiatives target a different set of problems by raising awareness and educating people.

Dr Chakravarty said that these programmes also had an impact on several government programmes and elevated them, such as Swachh Bharat Mission (government campaign working towards achieving the vision of a ‘Clean India’), Swachh Bharat 2.0 (garbage management), Jal Jeevan mission (mission to ensure potable drinking water security to every rural household and public institution). The Padma awardee said,

All these programmes are extremely important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay. They cater to environment, hygiene and health.

Also Read: This Doctor Is Serving The Tribals Of Wayanad In Kerala For Over Four Decades

Dr Chakravarty also said that there is need for intersectoral coordination among various health departments for the prevention and eradication of various diseases, promotion of nutrition, supply of safe water, enhancement of WASH facilities in hospitals, maternal and child health and immunisation programmes, among others. She added,

Hygiene has to be maintained to achieve the target of these programmes and health for all.

Dr Indira Chakravarty has been a consultant and adviser of several UN and other agencies like World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), etc. Her efforts have earned Dr Chakravarty many awards and honours, including Food and Agriculture Organization’s Eduardo Souma Award, Indira Gandhi National Priyadarshini Award of the All-India National Unity Council (AINUC), and The Global leadership award in Public Health from President of University of South Florida College of Public Health (USF), USA, among others.

Also Read: “Government Working On Increasing Healthcare Infrastructure And Accessibility,” Says Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya 

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toiletsare used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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