Aao School Chalen Project on 5th September

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“Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Lifestyle Diseases”

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA

Childhood obesity is increasing worldwide at an alarming pace. India has not been spared either. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children is steadily increasing. A multifactorial disorder, unhealthy diet – eating foods high in fats, sugar and salt (junk food, processed food) and a sedentary lifestyle contribute significantly to this escalating epidemic. Today, TV, internet, computer and mobile games have taken precedence over outdoor sports. Childhood obesity is well-recognized as a precursor to obesity in adulthood. Most obese children grow up to be obese adults. Overweight and obesity in childhood also predispose children to other lifestyle disorders such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome later on in life. Hence, there is an urgent need to prevent and control obesity in children.

Prevention of lifestyle diseases starts in childhood itself. Schools shape the lives of their students and so have a very important role to play in this battle against childhood obesity in creating health awareness among children. Healthy habits in childhood lay a foundation for a healthier adulthood.

As you are aware, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has initiated a nationwide “Aao School Chalen Project” beginning last month. The 5th of every month has been chosen as the day for any activity related to this project across the country. The topic in focus last month was ‘Vector-borne diseases’ and the related activities were successfully conducted in over 200 plus schools.

The next date for this project is therefore 5th September 2017. The topic is “Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Lifestyle Diseases”. 5th September also happens to be Teacher’s Day.

The talk should revolve around the following guidelines:

• Respect the Laws of Nature and eat seasonal locally grown fruits and vegetables.
• Consume all sever colors and six tastes in food.
• Avoid refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white maida and white rice).
• Reduce the quantity of salt by 40% in diet.
• Walk or move whenever you get an opportunity.
• There are no medicinal advantages of consuming tobacco in any form. It only harms.
• While eating out follow the principle “Heat it/Cook it/ boil it /Peel It /Forget it”.
• Get up at same time every day.
• Don’t forget to practice yoga and meditation learned in school, while at home.
• Don’t miss playing in the sun during school break & do not miss mid-day meal.

You can visit/adopt a school for this activity. Visit the school assembly every 5th of the month and talk about the health messages that are uniform across the country. You can also be a moderator and let students interact with each other on these important topics.

States and Local Branches of IMA are requested to circulate this information to all the members.

I hope that you will participate maximally in this national health initiative of IMA to make it a success.

Head of institutes or associations should avoid chairing routine meetings

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Dr KK Aggarwal

Some days back I attended a function, where Prof NK Ganguly, Former Director General (ICMR) also spoke.

He said something very interesting. He said that he tried to avoid chairing committee meetings as the head of the organization unless absolutely required to do so.

“I preferred constituting expert committees instead as I can’t be an expert in all fields.” The reasoning behind this approach is clear. If the head of the institution is chairing an expert committee meeting, all those attending the meeting hesitate to speak up and they tend to defer to the views of the institute head. “I want their views, not just my views,” he said.

It was a lesson for me. At IMA we have different committees, each with different assigned functions such as family welfare, medical education, medical ethics, anti-quackery, rural health and national plans, to name a few and each with a designated Chair.

As National President, I have been chairing many meetings and now I personally feel that this may not always be the right way to look for ways to solve a problem or any issue.

The more junior staff tend to defer to the Chair or more senior colleagues. The right way to do it is to involve experts. This is what we routinely follow in standing committees for finance and building.

Diversity of ideas, even if dissenting views, can change the way we think.

Brainstorming or ideas and viewpoints gathered from a group of people give different perspectives, different interpretations of any given situation and different ways of solving that particular situation. Diversity leads to creative and innovative thinking as ideas that come up are often original in thought.

In the remaining term of my tenure, this is what I will try to do i.e. chair fewer meetings and attempt to gather more wide ranging ideas by letting experts take the chair and tap into their knowledge for the benefit of the Association and in turn the fraternity as well as the community.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own and do not represent in any way the official stand of the IMA.

Celebrate the centenary year of IMA’s All India Medical Conference: Wear Khadi

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In September this year, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) will hold the 218th meeting of its Central Working Committee (CWC) in New Delhi.

This year also marks the 100 years of IMA’s All India Medical Conference, the first of which was held at Calcutta in 1917.

The concept of IMA was born out of these conferences in response to a need of a national organization of doctors. A resolution adopted at the 5th All India Medical conference held at Calcutta in the year1928 led to the formation of an All India Medical Association. The objectives were to improve medical education, promote medical and allied sciences in their different branches and safeguard interests of the medical profession. The All Indian Medical Association and the body were duly registered in the year 1930 under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860.

At its inception, the Association had only 222 members. But since then it has only grown from strength to strength.

Today, IMA has more than 2.5 lakh doctors as its members through more than 1765 active local branches spread across the country. It is the only national voluntary organization representing the collective consciousness of doctors of modern scientific system of medicine in the country, with its Headquarters in New Delhi.

This is also a time to remember the struggles and sacrifices of the founding members, both before and post-independence, not only in the formation of the Association, but also for the independence of our country as many of the stalwarts of the medical profession in those days had also served time in jail for their participation in India’s freedom movement.

In this centenary year of the All India Medical Conference, we can pay our tribute to our founding fathers by promoting our national heritage.

Khadi is one way by which we can do this. It is not merely a piece of fabric, khadi is a powerful symbol of “self-rule” and “self-reliance” of the freedom movement propagated by Mahatma Gandhi as a means to boycott the British textiles.

Khadi is made of natural fiber and is non-allergenic; it keeps the body cool as it allows better air circulation with less sweating. Being hand woven and hand spun makes it environment-friendly. By virtue of these properties, does khadi prevent skin infections? This can be a subject of research.

All of us should consider wearing Khadi voluntarily, and include it in our daily wear, as much as possible. And, I request all members to wear a ‘Khadi apron’, particularly during the centenary celebrations. And, also on 2nd October, when all doctors of modern medicine in the country will undertake a dawn to dusk fast in continuation of our Dilli Chalo movement.

This initiative will be a good way to not only honor our cultural heritage, but also preserve this invaluable legacy and carry it forward. Also, by wearing khadi, doctors can make their contribution in empowering khadi weavers.

Wear Khadi with flair, wear khadi with pride…

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI

Recipient of Padma Shri, Dr BC Roy National Award, Vishwa Hindi Samman, National Science Communication Award & FICCI Health Care Personality of the Year Award
Vice President Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Past Honorary Secretary General IMA
Past Senior National Vice President IMA
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Gold Medalist Nagpur University
Limca Book of Record Holder in CPR 10
Honorary Professor of Bioethics SRM Medical College Hospital & Research Centre
Sr. Consultant Medicine & Cardiology, Dean Board of Medical Education, Moolchand
Editor in Chief IJCP Group of Publications & eMedinewS
Member Ethics Committee Medical Council of India (2013-14)
Chairman Ethics Committee Delhi Medical Council (2009-15)
Elected Member Delhi Medical Council (2004-2009)
Chairman IMSA Delhi Chapter (March 10- March 13)
Director IMA AKN Sinha Institute (08-09)
Finance Secretary IMA (07-08)
Chairman IMAAMS (06-07)
President Delhi Medical Association (05-06)

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