‘India Needs Affordable, Accessible & Acceptable Health Care for the Vast Majority of the Poor’- Dr R S Phaneendra Rao-Former Professor of Community & Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal during his talk at the 3rd Dr B S Sajjan Endowment Oration on the topic ‘ PUBLIC HEALTH: THEN, NOW and the FUTURE’ organized by Kasturba Medical College, Department of Community Medicine held on Wednesday, 15 March 2023 at the KMC MEU AV Hall
Mangaluru: The department of Community Medicine of Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru organized a talk on the topic ” Public Health: Then, Now and the Future” at the 3rd Dr B S Sajjan Endowment Oration, delivered by Dr R S Phaneendra Rao-Former Professor of Community & Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, on Wednesday, 15 March 2023 at the MEU AV Hall of KMC, Mangaluru. Dr B S Sajjan was HoD of the Community Medicine from 2000-2008.
The programme began with an invocation seeking God’s blessings by Dr Saraswati M V, from the Dept of Community Medicine, followed by a welcome address by Dr B Unnikrishnan-the Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru. The dignitaries present on the dais were – Dr Dilip G Naik- Pro Vice-Chancellor (Mangalore Campus), Manipal Academy of Higher Education, (MAHE) Manipal who was the Chief Guest; joined by guests of honor-Dr B Unnikrishnan-Dean, KMC, Mangaluru; Dr RSP Rao- the Resource Person and Former Professor of Community & Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal; Dr Prasanna Mithra P- Organizing secretary & Additional Professor, KMC, Mangaluru; and Dr Rekha T- Organizing Chairperson and Professor and HoD Community Medicine, KMC, Mangaluru
The programme was inaugurated by the lighting of the lamp by the chief guest and other dignitaries on the dais, which was followed by the overview of the department of Community Medicine by Dr Rekha T. In his inaugural address, Dr Dilip G Naik said, ” I was overwhelmed when I heard that Dr RSP Rao was the resource person for this endowment oration, since he happened to be my dean, and it was a pleasure to be here as the chief guest. You are all lucky to have Dr Rao as the speaker since he is a knowledgeable person and a good orator. The Department of Community Medicine at KMC Mangaluru established in 1977 plays a vital role in providing high-quality training in Community Medicine to undergraduate medical students and postgraduate students of allied health science specialities. The Department is also involved in various research projects funded by national and international funding agencies. It encourages undergraduates to be part of ICMR-STS projects. It is also involved in providing promotive, preventive and curative health services to the community through different tiers of health care delivery systems”.
“The department has also published various publications, and I am proud of this department for their great service and commitment towards KMC, Mangaluru. Our world today is undeniably digital. New technologies – from social media and GPS systems to artificial intelligence and digital twins – make the planet we inhabit unrecognisable from even 20 years ago. The pace at which disruptive technologies are arriving is accelerating – and they’re changing how we live. Today, you don’t have to be a digital native to behave like one. Transforming for tomorrow – Digital is at the core, and we need to adapt to the digital lifestyle. To transform for tomorrow, you must look beyond experimentation and towards the complete reinvention of your organisation”, added Dr Dilip Naik.
On the occasion, felicitation and the Award of Dr B S Sajjan Endowment Oration were given to Dr R S Phaneendra Rao. Following the introduction of the resource person Dr RSP Rao by Dr Animesh Jain, the professor of Community Medicine, KMC, Mangaluru the endowment oration on the topic ” Public Health: Then, Now and the Future was delivered by Dr RSP Rao, where said, “I am very happy that quite a few of my students are here to listen to my talk, which is a great pleasure. We have observed a high level of awareness and knowledge created on public health due to COVID-19, and it brought public health to the forefront. However, acceptance towards digital health services was low. If you go back to 4000 BC, India had a wonderful civilization, where people were well organized, there was good town planning and a good drainage system. But presently, it is all lacking”.
“Providing healthcare to the people is part of public health. We should know that Covid-19 will remain for some time, and we need to cope with it, by taking preventive measures. In India, a majority of the poor need Affordable, Accessible and Acceptable Health Care, which is very much lacking. The future of public health in India needs- Epidemiological transition, Demographic changes, Environmental issues, improving public health infrastructure, manpower, and government spending on healthcare. The essence of Public Health Services is Monitor health, Diagnose and investigate, inform, educate and empower, mobilize community partnership, develop policies, Enforce laws, Link to/provide care, Assure a competent workforce and evaluate”. added Dr Rao.
He further said, “The science and art of public health are in preventing diseases, Prolonging Life, and promoting health through organized community efforts in order to improve the health of the poor. There should be control of communicable diseases, Educate individuals about personal hygiene, organization of medical services for early diagnosis and treatment of diseases, Develop machinery to ensure every individual a good standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health to enable him/her to realize his/her birth of rights and longevity. Role of Social factors in the causation of disease, like Lifestyle-related diseases namely Diabetes, Hypertension, Coronary heart disease, Obesity, Oral cancer and Breast cancer. Public health is concerned about the Health of the people, Health problems of the people, Finding solutions and improving the health of the people”.
On the occasion, the unveiling ceremony of the book ‘Physiotherapy for Adult Neurological Condition’ by Dr Abraham M Joshua-the associate professor/senior scale/Dept of Physiotherapy, KMC, Mangaluru was done by Dr Unnikrishnan -Dean, KMC; and Dr Anand Venugopal- Chief Operating Officer of teaching hospitals. MAHE, Manipal. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Prasanna Mithra P; and the formal function was eloquently and meticulously compered by Dr Ajay Mallya- Senior Resident; and Dr Sara J Ommen- Post Graduate; both of them in the department of Community Medicine, KMC, Mangaluru.
L-R: Dr Ananthesh G Barkur; Surgeon Vice Admiral (Retd) (Dr) Sheila Samanta Mathai; Dr R S P Rao and Dr Unnikrishnan B
After a break for high tea, Dr Ananthesh G Barkur- Surveillance Medical Officer, NPSP-WHO, Mangaluru Unit spoke on the topic “Roadmap to Measles and Rubella Elimination-2023”, and Surgeon Vice Admiral (Retd) (Dr) Sheila Samanta Mathai and professor and HoD Neonatology, KMC, Manipal spoke on “Foetal Malnutrition and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHAD)”.
ABOUT Dr R S PHANEENDRA RAO:
Dr R. S. Phaneendra Rao, M.D Dr R S Phaneendra Rao, better known as “Dr R.S.P.Rao” and popular as RSP Sir, completed his MD in Preventive & Social Medicine/Community Medicine from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi. India. Dr Rao had been a faculty member in the department of Community Medicine at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, for over 3 decades serving in various capacities and being the Head of the department for 9 years. He also rose to the coveted position of Dean of Kasturba Medical College Manipal and served the institution as the Dean from April 2001 until December 2007. He has a vast experience of over three decades in teaching, administration and medical research. He has trained generations of undergraduates and postgraduates in the speciality of Community Medicine Epidemiology and Research methodology has been his forte.
He has planned and executed several community-based research projects, funded by national and international agencies. Notable among them are the Study of infant mortality in Dakshina Kannada and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka funded by the International Development Research Centre Canada and an epidemiological survey in and around the Kaiga nuclear power plant, funded by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Government of India. He has been the Director of Community Health projects funded by USAID and Ford Foundation and the Government of India, The USAID project helped the Department of Community Medicine at KMC Manipal to establish a Rural health centre at Karkala and strengthen the existing Rural Maternity and Child Welfare homes in Udupi taluk. The Ford Foundation project was an innovative community-based self-financing health project providing health care to the people in Thirthahalli taluk in the Shivamogga district.
Dr Rao has also been a visiting Professor at the School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California, U.S.A. He has been also an honorary consultant to the World Bank, DFID, W.H.O, and Govt. of India, to review Public health programs and Public health education. He has been a member of the Knowledge Commission constituted by the Government of Karnataka. Dr Rao has to his credit many publications in indexed peer-reviewed national and international journals. He has been awarded a WHO fellowship for training in Maternal and child health. As a post-retirement engagement, he has served as Professor & Chairperson at, the Department of Community Medicine and also the Dean of Institutional Research, at Ras-Al-Khaimah College of Medical Sciences (RAKCOMS) U A E from 2010 to 2014. Dr Rao is a life member of IAPSM, IPHA, the Indian Association of Maternal and Child Health and the Indian Association of Epidemiologists. He has been on the editorial board of IJCM and served as Vice president of IAPSM. He is an active Rotarian.