KMC Mangalore Holds First Dr B S Sajjan Endowment Oration with Theme ‘Public Health Leadership in COVID-19 Pandemic’
Mangaluru: The Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, organized the First Dr B S Sajjan Endowment Oration with the theme “Public Health Leadership in COVID-19 Pandemic”, at the Medical Education Unit AV Hall, Lighthouse Hill Road here on March 6.
The programme began with an invocation. Additional Dean, Professor Department of Community Medicine KMC Mangaluru Dr B Unnikrishnan, welcomed the gathering.
In his welcome address, Dr Unnikrishnan said, “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to the first Dr B S Sajjan Endowment Oration with the theme ‘Public Health Leadership in COVID-19 Pandemic.’ This oration is a befitting tribute to Dr Sajjan from the department of Community Medicine. Dr Sajjan had joined KMC Mangaluru in 1994 and was the Professor HOD of Community Medicine from 2000 to 2008. He had contributed immensely to public health both for the district and state. He was a very humble person and was ready to help anyone at any time”.
The programme was inaugurated by the District Health Officer Dr Ramachandra Bairy by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries on the dais. Dr Ramachandra Bairy and Mrs Dr B S Sajjan were felicitated by the Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Ramachandra Bairy said, “Last year, March 23, when I was in Bengaluru, the commissioner had called me to his chamber and said to go to Mangaluru. I told him that next year I would be retiring, and within a year, I cannot bring any changes in Mangaluru. I refused to go, but he insisted, saying that I knew Mangaluru geographically and had to go, and after three months, I will call you back to Bengaluru. But now I am still here in Mangaluru. I have worked for 27 years in the undivided districts. My first posting was in Kundapur Taluk, where I worked for 15 years.”
Dr Ramachandra Bairy further said, “After taking charge, I analyzed the strength and found that the cooperation was excellent in Mangaluru. We had a good team of Asha workers, Anganwadi teachers, the then DC Sindhu Roopesh and the present DC Dr Rajendra, the former CEO of ZP Dr Selvamani and Dr Kumar, the present CEO of Zilla Panchayat. The cooperation of the public and the department officers was very good. We have eight medical colleges, and their cooperation was our strength. We have the threat of COVID because we have an airport and a seaport, and people from other countries come here. Even when there was a single case, it was big news as it was complicated for us to trace the patients. In June and July, cases were increasing every day, and we were finding it difficult to accommodate COVID patients. Finally, the government took a good decision by permitting home isolation. It was very difficult for us to manage the patients because of lack of beds. I, myself, and the DC were searching for ICU and ventilators. Presently we have screened 93000 students, teachers and non-teaching staff and have found only 67 cases. The cases are more in students from Kerala who pursue their education here.”
Dr Ramachandra Bairy also said, “For one week, we started to check the students at the Talapady border, and I was doing the duty of the police. The Talapady border checking issue was taken to court, and yesterday there was a hearing in Bengaluru. I don’t know the result. The DC had attended the hearing in Bengaluru yesterday. Every day we are receiving five flights from Mumbai and six flights from the Middle east. They all come with a negative report, but screening the passengers is still done here. We need to increase the screening process. I should thank KMC Mangaluru for its cooperation during the pandemic. I also would like to thank all the other hospitals for their cooperation.”
While concluding, Dr Bairy said, “The government has started vaccinating for the front line workers, but only 60% of the health workers out of 52381 have received the vaccination. The good news is that the senior citizens come early in the morning to receive the jabs. The vaccination programme will continue till August, and the private hospitals will charge Rs 250. We need to improve the testing process and, at the same time, encourage the public to take the vaccine. Young doctors are intelligent but lack communication skills and are hesitant to take responsibility. Medical colleges should train students to improve their leadership qualities”.
Professor Head Lifecourse Epidemiology Indian Institute of Public Health PHFI Bengaluru and Member of Karnataka State Government State Vision Group, Dr Giridhara R Babu, delivered a guest lecture on “Lessons learnt from COVID-19 response in India”.
Associate professor Dept of Community Medicine KMC Mangaluru Dr Ramesh Holla delivered the vote of thanks. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Manipal Academy of Higher Education- Mangalore Campus Dr Dilip Naik, Head of Community Medicine Dr Rekha T, Dr Suresh Shetty and Dr Pramod Associate Dean’s KMC Mangalore were also present.
Pics by Astel Pereira, Team Mangalorean