Revisiting Health: Our Priority Listing

Health is a shaky situation in our nation with the increasing disease burden contributing to almost everything equally. The question I would like to raise here is, have we made health our priority listing? Or do we happily compromise it to meet our greed, our ambitions and our necessities.


With our changing tide of workload and the direction in which we are moving, it does not look very encouraging. It grossly appears as an under-belly of compromise.  7th of April is known as World Health Day, and it is a day which requests us to keep the things we need the most and not continue to ignore it till it hits us back very badly.


It is not a very difficult task to walk for half an hour a day, or do something creative which keeps the flame burning in you. The more you dwell on your hobbies, the more life appeals to you and the more meaning it adds, simply enhancing your inner health, mind and body, heart and soul. Now when I speak about health, it does not have a bracket definition, your mood, your physical status, your body metabolism within, your reactions to situations and circumstance, everything defines your health. Your health is like a beam balance, which way it turns depends largely on what you do with it.


The basic care that needs to be given to the body for nourishment is well known to all. We know very well that we should eat a balanced diet containing carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We also are aware that junk food must be avoided. But honestly, how many of us follow what we know?


We have only one life to live, is it worth so much of sacrifice? I would rather suggest you have the things you like, but let it be within acceptable limits. At the same time, give your body a run often. Walk up the stairs to your office or your flat, go to the places of worship by walk rather than taking your vehicle, avoid lifts unless very much in an urgency.  Your daily dose of nourishment is as important as you feel the air is for you. So giving the body, its needed nourishment is beyond the need to stress upon.


Smoking is something which influences health to a great extent. After knowing the ill-effects of tobacco and alcohol, there are lot of people who refuse to quit. While there are groups who help in ways manifolds, it needs a deeper questioning of one?s own self. I would like to talk about this at a later date.


Moving on, we have to also shift focus towards gossiping. Gossip is a dangerous disease which affects not only the psyche but also the mind. It consumes a person to such an extent that the daily life of the person begins to be influenced by such gossips. Ask yourself in such situation whether that gossip talk is really needed? Would it benefit anyone? Would it be best left unsaid?  If you get an answer to all these questions, perhaps you could afford to take it forward.


I have tried to suggest in broad strokes the philosophy of health and in what way it could be improved beyond the realms of medicine. I come to believe that you can do more to your health than what a over-worked doctor could ever do to you. It is a matter of un-professionalism that although doctors advice people on the importance of sleep, they are sleep deprived during their duty days and work for nearly 24 hours, often beyond. If that is not enough, they meet with inflated egos on a daily basis. Creativity is killed, and scientific research ignored. In the bargain, they often lose their springtime of their life in purposeless suffering due to poor governance and shaky decisions. I am convinced that World Health Day is a day for all to embrace, Doctors included to create a better world, a world where there is more confidence, more calmness, more peace and above all more hope.


The quintessence of a healthy life.



Dr Edmond Fernandes is a House Surgeon, Medical Journalist and Author based in Mangalore.

Author: Dr Edmond Fernandes