Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Mental health is an area where Kerala lags behind both in terms of the number of doctors available and the level of public awareness about its importance, said the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, S.R. Bannurmath. He was inaugurating the new office complex of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Kochi branch here on Sunday.

The Chief Justice called on the medical fraternity to conduct more research into the area and to create awareness about the importance of mental health. He said that disorders of the mind posed as grave a threat to human welfare as cancer or tuberculosis.

The Chief Justice recalled how a survey of the situation was done in Karnataka with the help of the National Institute of Mental Health, Bangalore, and pointed out that a similar exercise could be done in Kerala. Justice Bannurmath also appealed to the Indian Medical Association to help curb medical scandals. He praised the IMA Kochi branch for the voluntary work it has been doing in the fields of blood donation, AIDS counselling and awareness programmes. C.M. Dinesh Mani and K. Babu, MLAs, and District Collector Dr. M. Beena were among the dignitaries present. Dr. Ashok Adhao, national president, IMA, was the special guest on the occasion. Dr. Abraham K. Paul, president of the Kochi branch of IMA, presided over the function. Dr. V.P. Kuryipe welcomed the gathering.

Earlier, Dr. Sachidananda Kamath gave an account of how the dream of the new IMA building was realised through the collective efforts made by the members of IMA. He thanked them for their efforts.