Enriching Public Health through Ayurveda
Public Health is defined as the practice of improving and aiding the physiological wellness of community members through research, concentrated communication and specific programming. Some common public health indicators are birth rate, fertility rate, life expectancy, etc. In many of the developing and underdeveloped countries, these public health indicators present a poor picture.
Public health in India is at a nascent stage, finding its feet in working out public-private partnerships, after years of socialist/welfare state mindset. It recently scripted a huge success story in eliminating polio in early 2012. However, India is lagging behind dangerously, particular in the maternal and infant health sphere. In 2009, there were 2.6 million still births, 57 infants out of every 1000 live births died, and 450 out of 100,000 women die giving birth. Over 50 million people are suffering from diabetes. India loses 3 people every 2 minutes to tuberculosis. In 2004, Indians spent Rs 846 billion on healthcare expenses. Life expectancy varies across continents, with Europe leading the pack at nearly 80, whereas in Asia, it is around 70, and in Africa, it is at about 55. In ancient India, Ayurveda played an important role in the health of the society . In contemporary India, it is playing an active role in states which have good health indices such as Kerala. This is an attractive proposition, as it has been proved that Ayurveda can show results in faster time frames and at a far less cost, than it would have originally, taking into account factors like the infrastructure bond, high input and high cost of modern medical infrastructure.
The 5th WAC aspires to address the larger theme of 'Enriching Public Health through Ayurveda'. The Congress will not only dwell upon how health indices in India's poorer states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh can be revitalised, but also on maintaining and enriching the public health in states that traditionally perform well in health indices. It aspires to pitch the Indian experience as a model story for implementation and replication in countries with similar financial and infrastructural capabilities across the globe.
The Congress will cover all aspects of these through goal-oriented seminars in plenary and several of its parallel sessions. It will offer a converging stage to well-known researchers, academicians, public health experts, economists, physicians, scientists and other thought leaders. Research papers on the subject from various institutions will also be presented for deliberations.