Seventh MDRF-UAB Gold Medal Oration held

Conscious policy changes can make a radical difference to the health of the population of a country, said K. Srinath Reddy, cardiologist and president, Public Health Foundation of India.

Delivering the seventh MDRF-UAB Gold Medal Oration organised by the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation on Friday, Dr. Reddy said cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a major development threat to India. According to him, changing habits, sedentary lifestyles and inattention to changing healthcare policies to suit the need of the hour were pushing developing countries to the centre of epidemics such as diabetes and CVDs. In India, CVD is rising in both rural and urban areas.

Various factors

The epidemic has been propelled by various environmental factors, he said. Understanding this, countries such as Mauritius, Poland and Finland had made changes in their policies that allowed for import of vegetable oils, vegetables and fruits instead of depending on palm oil and meat, and this had resulted in improving the health of their population, he said.

‘Health a key pillar'

US Consul General Jennifer McIntyre, who inaugurated the 10th MDRF-UAB-FIU seminar on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and presented the 7th MDRF-UAB gold medal and certificate to Dr. Reddy, said that health was one of the key pillars of the US-India strategic partnerships. The US Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health worked closely with Indian counterparts.

A platform

The conference served as a platform for young researchers and public health professionals to come up with research ideas and write proposals which they could work on with support from the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation. The research questions would be evaluated by a panel of experts and the best papers would be considered for grants and pursued as projects. The seminar was organised in association with the University of Alabama and Florida International University.

Writing skills

Renu Garg, regional advisor for non-communicable diseases, World Health Organisation, South-East Asia, urged the participants to acquire the skill to write in peer reviewed and scientific journals as it would help them to think and articulate their ideas clearly. Keeping in mind the big picture while framing the research questions and understanding how the research can be applied to real life situation is important, she added. She exhorted the young professionals to work in partnership with state-level and public health programmes.

O. Dale Williams, professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Florida International University, explained the background of the seminar. MDRF president V. Mohan and vice president, R.M. Anjana participated.

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