Unless we pay more attention to risk factors and determinants of diseases, it will become economically non-viable for countries to cope with the increasing healthcare burden, said Soumya Swaminathan, Chairperson, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, at the Kanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust Hospital on Tuesday.
Inaugurating a new paediatric pulmonary lab at the hospital, she said on the occasion of World Asthma Day clinicians must think more about preventive aspects of diseases. “In India, with its huge and growing population, we need to think of health promotion and disease prevention as being equally important as managing diseases,” she said. The majority of Indians are not breathing clean air, adding to the problem of asthma, she said, adding that while policies such as the National Clean Air Programme were in place, there needed to be collective action.
The pulmonology lab was donated by Cognizant Foundation with support from the Rotary Club of Madras East under ‘Project Shwasam’. Costing nearly ₹45 lakh, the lab contains state-of-the-art facilities for children such as exhaled nitric oxide, forced oscillometry test, equipment to study sleep conditions, advanced pulse oximeter and bronchoscopy.
S.K. Kabra, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said Chennai was the first city to have a dedicated paediatric pulmonary facility. The lab will not only improve diagnostics, monitoring and treatment of children but will also help in training of paediatric pulmonology fellows, he said.
Rajashree N., CEO, Cognizant Foundation; Chandramohan, CEO, Kanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust Hospital; Ranganath N. Krishna, director, Cognizant Foundation; and T.V. Rama Kumar, president, Rotary Club of Madras East, were also present.