By Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 08th March:- It is a curtain raiser, not only for the 3rd symposium being held from 9th-10th March 2017, at Board Room, Kairon Block, PGIMER but for promoting health of people involving everyone, everywhere for ensuring healthy lives & to promote well-being for all at all ages.
Dr. Manmeet Kaur, Additional Professor of Health Promotion at School of Public Health, PGIMER mentioned that health promotion is empowering people to take control over their health and people can never have control without the enabling environment. “How can people have control over their health when health literacy levels of Chandigarh and Punjab are problematic for 42% people? Only 4% had excellent and about 20% had sufficient HLS levels” as reflected through preliminary results of a pilot study. These levels are much lower than the HLS of most Asian like Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar etc. and European countries but for Japan, Chandigarh and Punjab is better.
She asked, ‘’can media play some role?’’ and herself answered “Yes, there is a very important role of media in creating policy environment and providing information on disease prevention and behavior change.” Is media playing its role in India? “I can’t say”, she said, “Somewhere, media is playing a great role but not enough to protect and promote health.” How can they do and who else can do? “Probably, all the sectors need to look into their policies to ensure that people are able to live healthy lives and enjoy it to the fullest.”
She mentioned that though it has been established that the common modifiable risk factors for major chronic diseases are unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco and alcohol. One needs to understand that the factors that operate at individual levels have their roots in the social structures and systems. Therefore, working at only individual level without involving systems would not provide desired outcomes. In a resource limited setting like India the most important strategy would be to ensure that different sectors join hands to address the social determinants of health especially those that has led to chronic disease. ‘Health in All Policy approach’ visualise effect of other than health sectors on health such as agriculture, education, the environment, fiscal policies, housing, and transport.
While the experts from WHO, Universities and Government officials from different faculties and sectors are joining to deliberate, there are delegates from across seven states are also participating in the two day symposium.
The symposium has newness in its design. The experts will discuss the challenges involved in addressing social determinants of health and promoting health promotion in India. The opportunities for other than health sector will be explored and advocated for promoting health. A way forward will be drawn so as the public health system is not health and health system but is able to involve all other potential sectors.