Gratitude Week: Multi-pronged preparedness Cushioned COVID-19 Impact, But Need Empathy, says Doctors

Leading names in the medical community attending the ‘Gratitude Week – A Tribute to Health Guardians’ by Integrated Health and Well-being (IHW) Council today highlighted how multi-pronged preparedness to tackle medical and non-medical problems of the COVID-19 pandemic have helped in the recent months and that doctors deserve and need empathy from society to continue.

COVID-19 Gratitude Week: Multi-pronged preparedness Cushioned COVID-19 Impact, But Need Empathy, says Doctors

Dr B.N.Gangadhar, Director, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru said: “We have observed that the problems faced by people are more non-medical in nature and includes social and economic problems which have made mental health an important factor in our fight against COVID. We anticipated it early on and were asked to prepare a helpline for psycho-social issues –this helpline has received 7.5 lakh calls from all over India till now. Our government has been fairly responsive and timely action by the health department responding to COVID and psycho-social distress helped a lot. In future, lifestyle measures will become important to overcome the pandemic.”

Focus On Advance Healthcare Not Enough

Highlighting that the pandemic has not been able to bridge the trust deficit between doctors and patients, Dr Rajinder K. Dhamija, Head of Neurology Department, Lady Hardinge Hospital, New Delhi said: “The pandemic has underlined that our focus on advanced healthcare is not enough and the need to focus on primary and secondary care at the district level is very important. However, it calls for ‘Jan Bhagidari’ – people need to participate to enable doctors to discharge their duty. But the trust deficit between doctors and patients remains – there were incidents of violence in hospitals in the past, so we have these boards saying attacking doctors on duty is a criminal offence. When the pandemic came in, the government enacted a law criminalising attack on healthcare workers, but time will tell if it will work. We need to do more at society level, need to work collectively and follow the guidelines – these are evidence-based recommendations, we should realise and follow the principle of ‘I protect you and you protect me’.”

The 60-hour-long first-of-its-kind live web show has also initiated the process of crowd sourcing tributes for all healthcare workers and information about all doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who have fallen to COVID-19 to create a memorial that will provide people with an opportunity to share information, discuss and remember the work and sacrifice of these heroes.

Describing how AIIMS, Raipur managed the pandemic, Prof. Nitin M Nagarkar, Director, AIIMS Raipur said: “We have 600 COVID-19 admissions so far and the first case came on 18th March. We made sure that everyone working for COVID patients worked as a team, including doctors, housekeeping staff, security personnel and even who served food to the patient. We have a 200-bed COVID facility and a viral research and diagnostic (VRD) lab where we have conducted 60,000 tests, about 1000-1200 tests daily. We have conducted deliveries and all other processes on COVID patients and are currently admitting 150-170 patients, both COVID and non-COVID daily.”

Among those joining the virtual thanksgiving marathon till July 7, 2020 will also include patients, corona survivors, leading names from the business community, social influencers, celebrities, performers, and school children, and will draw doctors, nurses, top leadership of pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostic industries as well as researchers and scientists. IHW Council, a premier think tank that advocates for a healthy world through multilateral stakeholder engagement, has been at the forefront of advocating health for all.

Stretching Limits

Kamal Narayan, CEO, IHW Council said: “The pandemic has made our doctors and healthcare workers to stretch to their limits. It is time to think if as a society we are doing enough for those who have put themselves at a great risk and providing selfless service. We thank our  Minister of State for Health,  Ashwini Kumar Choubey for acknowledging IHW Council’s demand for a memorial for healthcare workers and consider it further. Healthcare leaders who have attended this 60-hour-long so far have also endorsed the idea. I am hopeful that by the end of the event, we will be have a consensus.”

Other dignitaries present today included Dr. Krishan Kumar Aggarwal, President, Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania & Heart Care Foundation of India; Dr Sanjiv Kumar, Chair, Indian Academy of Public Health; Dr Sampath Kumar, Senior Consultant & HOD, Nephrology, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre; Dr Nimesh G Desai, Director, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Science; Dr Narayan Prasad, Professor Department of Nephrology , Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences; Prof. Debashish Danda, Founder, Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology, CMC Vellore & President-Elect, Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology.

COVID-19 Gratitude Week: Multi-pronged preparedness Cushioned COVID-19 Impact, But Need Empathy, says Doctors

The concluding session today saw recovered corona patient Mr Rohit Datta sharing his experience with the disease and the doctors and school children Ansh Gupta and Faraaz Pashafrom St. Columba’s School and Manshita Dogra, AhlconPublic School, New Delhi, expressing their feelings for doctors and a performance by Taqdeerschool-band.

The event will have more than 25 interactive sessions that will draw 100+ speakers witness including top representatives from the government institutions, corporate organisations, social impact foundations, healthcare and educational institutions, as well as environmentalists, conservationists, musicians and artists expressing their gratitude through good wishes and kind words or performing live concert.

COVID-19 Gratitude Week: Multi-pronged preparedness Cushioned COVID-19 Impact, But Need Empathy, says Doctors

The web event will draw some of the most renowned doctors of India, including Dr. Sanjay K. Agarwal, Professor and Head, Department of Nephrology, AIIMS, New Delhi; Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, Professor and Head Department of Onco-Anaesthesia, Pain and Palliative care, AIIMS, New Delhi; Dr SumitMrig, Principal Consultant and Head ENT, Max Super Speciality Hospital; Dr Jeyaraj Durai Pandian, Principal and Professor of Neurology, CMC Ludhiana and Vice President, World Stroke Organization; Dr. P.P. Mohanan, President-Elect, Cardiological Society of India; Prof. OP Kharbanda, Dr. C G Pandit National Chair of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR); Prof. Sudhir Kumar Rawal, Medical Director & Chief of Genito Uro-Oncology Services, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute; and Dr HS Chabbra, Chief Spine Services & Medical Director, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre for panel discussions and share their behind-the-scenes experiences with more than 10,000 people on all 7 days from 10 AM to 6PM.

The gratitude partners for the include the prestigious Poddar Foundation, 91.1 Radio City, Paras Healthcare, Ujala Cygnus, IIHMR University, and Poddar Housing. The event will conclude on July 7, 2020.