- Doctors’ Day marks the birth and death anniversary of Dr BC Roy
- India has lost over 1,500 doctors to COVID-19
- Each doctor out there is doing a commendable job: IMA
New Delhi: Doctors have been fighting a long war from the frontlines against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives at the cost of their own. To pay a tribute to the selfless work done by doctors and to honour their dedication towards serving the humanity, the Government of India along with the Indian Medical Association (IMA), a national voluntary organisation of doctors in the country, celebrate National Doctors’ Day on July 1 every year. With the pandemic still far from over, this day is important to honour many doctors who have sacrificed their lives in the last year. Here is all you need to know about the National Doctors’ Day:
National Doctors’ Day 2021: History And Significance
National Doctors’ Day was established by the Government of India back in 1991 in honour of the birth and death anniversary of the physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. Since then, July 1 in India is marked as National Doctor’s Day to show gratitude to all doctors.
The day is observed on different dates across the world. In the United States, Doctor’s Day is observed on March 30, in Cuba on December 3 and in Iran on August 23.
National Doctors’ Day 2021 Theme: Save The Saviours
Being trapped in the uncomfortable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hours every day, treating COVID and non-COVID patients, taking online consultation, dealing with the shortage of medical supplies and staff, keeping up with everyday developments in the field of COVID-19 research, the pandemic has been hard on the doctors. During this long fight with COVID, the country has lost over 1,500 doctors to the pandemic, according to IMA. This includes 736 doctors during the first wave and 798 doctors since the first week of April till June 29. The highest number of deaths among doctors have been reported from Delhi (128), followed by Bihar (115). It is important to note here that the actual figure related to death of doctors during COVID-19 may be higher as IMA only keeps a record of its 3.27 lakh members. With an aim to dedicate the day to the doctors who succumbed to COVIID – 19, the theme of the day this year is ‘Save The Saviours’.
During his recent ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address on June 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed doctors for going out of their way for performing their duty. PM Modi had said,
A few days from now, on July 1, we will celebrate National Doctors’ Day. This day is dedicated to the birth anniversary of the great doctor and statesman of the country, Dr BC Roy. We are all grateful for the contribution of doctors during the Corona period. Our doctors have served us without caring about their lives. Therefore, this time National Doctors’ Day becomes even more special.
Acknowledging PM’s gesture, Dr J. A. Jayalal, President, IMA said that the PM has assured that doctors will be respected and protected. He said,
PM Modi ensured that doctors should be respected, protected and safeguarded. He also emphasised the need for vaccination. All the medical fraternity doing human service during the COVID pandemic is celebrating July 1 as Doctors’ Day. We are so much pleased that PM Modi greeted the medical fraternity for the Doctors’ Day.
While talking to NDTV, Dr Jayalal said that it is important that people understand and cooperate in the work of doctors by reducing the pressure by keeping oneself safe from catching the COVID-19 infection. He emphasised on getting vaccinated and urged people to continue following the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, keeping hands clean, maintaining social distancing, going out of the house only when necessary, among others.
Each doctor out there is doing a commendable job. Along with taking care of the patient, it is necessary to take care of yourself too. Take breaks and relax your mind whenever possible. Mindfulness exercises like meditation can be helpful during the stressful times and while facing exhaustion and burnout, Dr Jayalal said in his message to other doctors.
How Is India Celebrating The National Doctors’ Day
To mark the National Doctors’ Day on July 1, Prime Minister will be addressing the medical community at 3 pm. IMA will be organising an event to pay tribute to the Covid martyrs and felicitate corona warriors. The event is open for all and can be accessed online.
In Delhi, Lady Hardinge Medical College is organising a blood donation camp to honour the doctors. The Chhattisgarh Medical Teachers Association and Junior Doctors Association of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College is also organising a blood donation camp on July 1. Some other hospitals are conducting webinars.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are 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 become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.