The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for rethinking the planning and construction approach of houses to ensure proper air circulation and sunlight in indoor spaces. He said the COVID pandemic gave a timely reminder that the quality of air we breathe also determines our health and wellbeing.
Shri Naidu referred to research studies which show airborne transmission of viruses produced by even normal breathing or talking can happen as the viruses stay suspended in the air for hours. Crowded spaces with poor ventilation can pose high infection risk to individuals exposed to the stagnant air, he noted.
In this regard, he called for creating living and working spaces with ample ventilation and natural light, and urged the medical fraternity to take this message to the people.
Inaugurating the 2nd Annual International Conference on Interventional Pulmonology- BRONCHUS 2021 virtually from Upa Rashtrapati Nivas, Shri Naidu observed that people are much more aware of the importance of respiratory health after the pandemic. He remarked that there has to be greater public outreach – both by the government and the civic society – on lung and throat cancer caused by the use of tobacco.
Shri Naidu expressed concern about the deteriorating outdoor air quality in major cities, especially during the winter months. Pointing to climate change and vehicular pollution as important contributing factors, he stressed the need for a serious rethink to our approach towards development from a sustainability standpoint. He also called upon people to evaluate one’s lifestyle and try to reduce their carbon footprint to the extent possible.
Noting the advancements in the field of pulmonology such as robotics and confocal microscopy, Shri Naidu said India houses many advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and is fast becoming the favorite medical tourism destination in the world.
He also emphasised the need to set up good healthcare facilities in rural areas and urged the private sector to supplement the efforts of the government in this regard by opening satellite centres of their urban facilities. “India’s traditional strength in IT and telecommunication must be fully leveraged to provide world-class telemedicine facilities to our villages,” he said. He urged the stakeholders in the healthcare industry to reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare for the common man and to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all.
Expressing confidence that with rapid vaccination underway, India will overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic, he complimented all stakeholders for working as Team India to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
Observing the challenge of increasing non-communicable diseases in India, including respiratory disorders, the Vice President advised the youngsters to adopt a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. “Avoid sedentary habits, unhealthy diet and undertake regular physical activity like yoga or cycling,” he said.
Dr. Hari Kishan Gonuguntla, MD, DM, Congress President-BRONCHUS-2021, Prof. Mohammed Munavvar, President, European Association of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology, Dr. Pavan Gorukanti, Director, Yashoda Group of Hospitals, doctors, medical professionals and others participated in the event.