Comprehensive Primary Health Care, the only way forward for Universal Health Coverage?

Based on recent developments, and announcements in the public domain, including deliberations at the recent Indian Public Health Association Conference 2022 held at Pune, India from 23 Sep to 25 Sep 2022, it emerges that there is a welcome change in the planned approach of the Govt of India, possibly keeping in view the desire for Universal Health Coverage to which India is a signatory at the United Nations in 2019.

https://www.who.int/news/item/23-09-2019-who-welcomes-landmark-un-declaration-on-universal-health-coverage

It can be inferred that there is a paradigm shift to “All Services for All people” from the earlier “Some Services for Some People, More for those in need“.

By championing the Health and Wellness Centre concept, by pushing for health insurance provision at the family level, by focusing on the prevention paradigm, through the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the Govt of India apparently is moving towards the long awaited wellness concept instead of focusing on curing illnesses alone. Someday it will be time for the people too, to realise and appreciate that they now need to take their health in their own hands and be responsible themselves too, to lead healthy lives!

Reportedly, budgetary allocation is no longer being done disease or group wise (i.e not separately for Diabetes / Hypertension or Mother and child health or Mental health etc). The Central Govt has consolidated the myriad accounts that existed earlier, to streamline the entire process, and bring in more transparency and accountability. During the COVID pandemic, with increased awareness of all things related to health, many may now know that “Health” in India, is a ‘State’ subject, wherein State Govts assume responsibility for healthcare for people in their State, and where the States too have to contribute for Health budgets, and not just expend monies from the Central Govt. And more importantly, that on ground expenditure of Health budgets is done in a major proportion by the State Govts rather than by a distant ‘Kendriya Sarkar’ (central govt).

Reportedly, in 2022, more than INR 1.5 lakhs crores have been firmly allocated for infrastructure in the States under the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission & Fifteenth Finance Commission for the next four years, being monitored by the Govt of India through a dedicated web based Project Management System portal. 

It has clearly been communicated to the healthcare machinery & bureaucracy at the State levels, that the Govt of India is focusing on infrastructure while leaving provision of manpower and planning and delivery of healthcare services to the States as per the action plans for Comprehensive Primary Health Care.

Guidelines for Public Health cadres have also been promulgated by the central Govt in 2022. New components for the primary healthcare system such as Critical Care Blocks, and Block Public Health Units have been introduced. The States need to seize this opportunity (truly carpe diem), and revitalize their healthcare systems, leapfrogging over the infrastructure thrust of the central govt and emancipating their own peoples through proactive initiatives.

Our States must appreciate that this keeping pace with the aspirations of the people and a global thrust towards Universal Health Coverage, needs to be done on an urgent basis.

A potential approach with great promise, is to co-opt the extensive intellectual resource pool of Govt medical colleges to constitute state level think tanks to chart the way ahead.

For this, the Department of Medical Education and the Department of Public Health / National Health Mission team at the State level, need to work together, to collaborate, to synergise, and actually walk the talk! These both serve the same clientele and answer to the same hierarchy. Its just the silo walls between medical academia and the primary healthcare that need to be demolished. Easier said than done!

Think Global, Act Local!  Our people need to become vocal about this… thus the envisaged crucial and increasing role of Panchayati Raj Institutions and an empowered electorate to educate themselves.

Yeh Dil Maange More…. Till this is the clarion call of society, the pace will be laggardly and sluggish, despite best intentions of the Govt at the Centre.

Hence in summary, for the discerning reader, especially those in the corporate CSR  or philanthropic sector the relevant inferences  and actionable inputs for the future are as follows:-

  1. Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) is the only viable approach for the next 25 years at least, with all its components, made available to all people, including in cities (and not just in cities).
  2. Healthcare needs to be planned for hyperlocal delivery and finetuned to situational requirements and circumstances through a participatory approach including the local medical colleges and healthcare system and also NGOs and most importantly the people (and not just their elected representatives).
  3. Tribal areas, hilly areas, mountainous areas, LWE affected areas, riverine areas, deserts, peri urban underserved agglomerations, etc etc require specific approaches customised to their peculiar situations.
  4. A one size fits all, prescriptive , template based approach in healthcare will not work, and will definitely not sustain.
  5. Standalone vertical healthcare programs will eventually require to be subsumed with the CPHC approach.
  6. Seamless integration of activities, capabilities and facilities across the primary healthcare system, with decentralized implementation and dashboard based monitoring is the future. The Ayushman Bharat Digital Health ID will be the keystone of the ecosystem and will be a game changer for patient and healthcare provider alike
  7. Health & Wellness Centres should become the preferred mode of delivery of CPHC, with an emphasis on health promotion activities. The shift to seek to deliver or obtain only disease management through these HWCs needs to be resisted at all levels, despite the evident temptation.
  8. Overly ambitious expectations should not be retained for the HWCs. The service delivery depends entirely on a newly created cadre with unproven skillsets (the Community Health Officer) placed in challenging circumstances. These CHOs will require consistent technical support and handholding, besides motivation and morale boosting. Effective mentoring by appropriately qualified healthcare professionals is essential
  9. The AAA troika (ASHA, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife, Anganwadi Worker) are the most powerful women in India today, having the power to bring about change, and transform society. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister had aptly stated, possibly during his Independence Day speech of 2018, that these frontline workers need recognition from the community and the healthcare system, to motivate them (and of course, appropriate remuneration too). Just for the record, in 2022 ASHA workers have been conferred the WHO Director-General’s Global Health Leaders’ Award in recognition of their valuable health services to the people in rural areas.
  10. Capacity building and capacity maintenance of personnel at the peripheral echelons of the primary healthcare system, through academic partnerships and mentoring from the medical college network should be preferred to promote ownership and a feeling of belonging and involvement. NGOs and other international agencies can play a major role in facilitating this process of capacity building and its sustenance.
  11. Community mobilization and participation are going to become the key areas of focus in improving health of the nation, through strengthening of the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
  12. Human beings do not exist in isolation. They need potable water, safe food, clean air, comfortable habitation, hygienic surroundings, livelihoods , education, entertainment, to be (and remain) healthy.   
  13. Lateral integration with Swacch Bharat Mission is essential for any health focused initiatives. Health cannot exist in isolation. Health flourishes best with hygiene and sanitation- Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat. 
  14. There cannot be health without proper nutrition. The Poshan (nutrition) Abhiyaan is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure attainment of malnutrition free India soon. The time frame for achievement of this goal may be unrealistic, however it is inescapable that unless we have holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children, society cannot make the required strides towards an India wanting to own the 21st century.
  15. Human resources management, with a focus on attraction and retention of skilled personnel, needs to be accorded due importance and priority. Despite all technological advances, which patient or patient’s family in need of healthcare assistance will be truly satisfied without an engagement with a healthcare worker in person. Hi-Tech is fine, High-touch will remain equally and more important probably.
  16. Public Health personnel are to be compartmentalized into (a) healthcare professionals, (b) administrative professionals and (c) management professionals, (each group catering to different aspects of public health), instead of the current situation where Public Health graduates with non medical backgrounds are endeavouring to perform all roles with varying degrees of competence and capability. 
  17. Give healthcare workers of all categories, especially clinical doctors, the respect and recognition that is their due, and appropriately reimburse them for it. Ensure that remuneration for medical doctors is commensurate with Central Govt scales to ensure uniformity and to stem rural – urban ‘brain drain’.
  18. Administrative personnel must focus on working conditions at healthcare facilities and also not assign unrealistic workloads to Healthcare Workers at all levels including medical professionals.
  19. Regulation of the role and scope of NGOs should be a reality in the near future, to ensure not just synchronicity with the Govt’s vision for healthcare and the people’s aspirations for healthy lives, but also for compliance with public health ethics and population rights. 
  20.  Technological methods and innovations including apps and HMIS software in the arena of public health may be registered centrally, to ensure benefit across the nation. States may be encouraged to share plans and proposals for innovations in advance, to ensure no redundancy or overlap with existing innovations, which can then be scaled up and rolled out nationally by a coordinated initiative, instead of disjointed multiple approaches. With health data portability being essential in the future, it is prudent for this to be implemented sooner than later.

Please do connect with me for any further discussion or insight that you may desire. I will be glad to help your team chart out action plans to tackle areas of your interest in population health. I happily collaborate with anyone and everyone in the greater interest of Health for All!

The time for action is now, if we want to see the India we dream of at 100 years post Independence.

As a disclaimer, these above are my personal views based on an unbiased professional assessment of the current situation. And are not intended to be critical of, or reflective in any way or to be construed as representing any Govt policy.

Is “it” over? Is this ‘the end”?

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end

This epic rock song from ‘The Doors’ was mostly reserved for the grand finale of some of their concerts in the late ’60s.

So, is it the end of the pandemic, this (hopefully) once in a life time event of this century? Or are we just tired of the restrictions on our lives, fatigued from being fearful, exhausted from being on guard? We just want it all to end… Not us, just the pandemic.

The pandemic will be gone, when ‘panic’ is removed from peoples. (Pan-demos = Pandemic). A virus, any virus, cannot be allowed to dictate to humanity , can it? So what do we do? This post is for those of us who are not disease epidemiologists, for those of us who know naught about communicable diseases, for those of us who are as concerned as anyone else. I am all three, so you can take me at face value and assign credibility to what I am dreaming of.

Pragmatism and practicality should rule the day. However, to err on the side of caution, to live to fight another day, is not cowardly or foolhardy…. It is wise.

In an ideal world, this is what I would do….. (Disclaimer: While complying with Govt guidelines of course)

I would wear a mask when I am in close quarters with others , indoors. I would wear this mask to cover my nose and mouth. I would not be wearing this mask in the belief that this mask would safeguard me, as then I would have to wear this mask consistently throughout the day, tightly fitting with nary a gap, taped to my skin, to not allow any air to enter or exit from the sides. Realistically, I would be wearing this mask out of courtesy to others, when indoors. When outdoors, while exercising, or while not in close proximity to others, I would not wear a mask.

While preferring to greet everyone with folded hands (Namaskar), I would shake hands with those I like and respect, if they would want to shake hands with me. I would shake hands just to quench that longing of two years of pandemic restrictions, for the physical contact of personal interaction. And then after shaking hands, I would ensure that I would not touch my nose or eyes or mouth, without having first washed my hands.

I would not be obsessed with washing hands or using sanitizers. I would instead, focus on not touching my eyes, nose or mouth through the day, unless my hands were washed beforehand.

When touching high contact common surfaces such as the toilet flush, door handles or lift buttons, I would use my knuckles to press buttons or push surfaces. I would wash my hands before eating or drinking and before touching my eyes, nose or mouth.

When in a car, with others, I would keep the windows down, and the AC vent directed at me. I would prefer to sit at the window if a passenger on a vehicle.

When indoors with others, I would pay attention to ventilation and air circulation. I would prefer to keep windows open and the fan on. I would not switch off the AC if I am feeling cold. Instead I would keep the blower on, and figure something out for air changes and air circulation in the room.

I would meet my friends and family often. Just like any other human being , this pandemic has taught me the value of friends and family. I would prefer to meet them and hang out with them outdoors. Choose to meet, eat and make merry at outdoor venues.

I would choose to exercise in some form or the other, on most, if not all days of the week, for at least 30 minutes. I would choose to eat wisely, and make healthy food choices. I would eat in moderation, I would drink less and enjoy more. I would not consume any form of tobacco at all. I would meditate and do deep breathing exercises daily. I would be grateful for life, every day.

Here is a brief note for you to consider downloading and circulating amongst your friends , family and neighbours, and sharing with the management committee in your society. Or else, you can simply share this Blog post on social media.

Think Safe, Act Safe, Stay safe.

Third Wave!

Dear Reader , as we are well entrenched in the third wave of the pandemic in India as on 29 Jan 2022, it is important for all of us to discuss within our family , simple measures to stay safe.

From a WHO poster (www.who.int)
If you look at the rise and fall of the curve… you can easily discern the first wave, the second wave and now the third wave…… And it seems to have started its descent….. however too early to comment with certainty

Please have a quick look through this ready reference sheet and circulate to your family and friends.

Do educate your maids and feel free to have a conversation with our housekeeping staff and building security personnel too. Sharing information that is beneficial to everyone will always be received well, if the giver of info does so in a neutral and positive manner.

For those who have been infected with the coronavirus, or those who have been exposed to a case. Do not worry ; Do not get tested unnecessarily ; Seek medical advice from your preferred care provider .

In case you are unwell, just assume that you are infected , and refer to this handy Govt of India guideline of Jan 2022. Stay safe!

For those who reside in residential societies, you may please download the following document and forward to your Management Committees and to other residents.

Please dont hesitate to contact me directly on +91-8551095077 or drcariappa@deltazuluconsultancy.com for any additional information or updated guidelines.

How many more Waves will there be?


Possibly every child or even an adult today, towards end August 2021, has this very same question keeping them vexatiously perturbed!

What is probably foremost on everyone’s mind, is whether there will be a COVID Third Wave in India? When will this wave strike? Whom will it affect? No one is thinking of “are we ready” as we assume that someone , somewhere would be doing that for us!

If you look closely at the chart you can discern the multiple waves that UK and USA have had, with India having had only two waves so far. Please keep in mind that this data is not representative of absolute numbers, as it is converted into an easily comparable “rate per million population”

At this stage, all that we can be reasonably certain about is that the Coronavirus has not gone anywhere, a respite notwithstanding.

Learning from past experience, we will have to anticipate future waves, prepare ourselves suitably and reinforce COVID Appropriate Behaviours.

Source : Tata Trusts

Bottomline
COVID Appropriate Behaviour combined with vaccination, works to keep us safe! In this lull before the potential storm, it is advisable to make wise choices by staying away from Crowds, Crowded Places and coming in Close Contact with others.

Keep in mind that our safety lies in keeping everyone safe! Hence we must strive to get everyone around us, i.e our family, our domestic assistants, our neighbours, our friends, our security guards, our drivers, in short, just everyone must be vaccinated.

Vaccination is Win – Win

The highlight of my week has been perusing the publication of a ground breaking article in the Medical Journal of the Armed Forces of India. This article is all about the effectiveness of vaccination in safeguarding those vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine (Astra Zeneca- Serum Institute).

The Indian Armed Forces began vaccination with Covishield on 16 Jan 2021, and the data pertaining to vaccination done upto 30 May 2021 has been included in this study by Ghosh et al. This ‘VIN-WIN’ cohort study was carried out on anonymized data of 1,595,630 personnel of the Armed Forces.

Participants were deemed partially vaccinated (PV) and fully vaccinated (FV) two weeks after the first and second vaccine dose respectively. Any person who tested positive for COVID-19 after vaccination, was labelled as a case of breakthrough infection.

The results of the study confirmed what rational public health professionals across the world had a gut feeling about all along, i.e the vaccine protected individuals against infections and against death ! In this study, the vaccine effectiveness relating to prevention of COVID related deaths was 98.53% and for preventing of breakthrough infections was 91.8% to 94.9% ! What can be better news than this?

Plain language translation- the Covishield vaccine works . Don’t hesitate, vaccinate. Whether you choose Covishield or any other vaccine, keep in mind that you will be afforded ‘some’ protection for sure. And isnt some protection better than no protection?

However, the euphoria notwithstanding, we need to be aware of the limitations of this study too. This Armed Forces cohort differs from the broader Indian population as the participants have a younger age profile with minimal co-morbidities, being a generally ‘fit’ cohort. Also the findings ideally should not be extrapolated to other and older age groups.

For a quick overview of the study you can listen to Air Cmde Shankar, an infectious diseases expert from the Armed Forces, by clicking on this video

Ack: Air Cmde S Shankar and his colleagues in the AFMS

For those interested in dissecting the article and assimilating directly https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377123721001787

Bottomline: Vaccination is effective! Do not hesitate, Vaccinate! Persuade others around you to get vaccinated at the earliest. Your safety lies in everyone everywhere getting vaccinated, sooner than later.

You may like to have a quick read- through the Key Messages for this pandemic and decide how best to disseminate these key messages to your family, friends, relatives and colleagues.

Lightning Strikes but Once?

Every monsoon, across Northern India (mostly) we have lightning strikes injuring many and killing a few! There has even been a video circulated on WhatsApp in 2020, showing four labourers getting struck by lightning while taking shelter under a tree, in Gurgaon (captured by one of those ubiquitous CCTV cameras that abound in urban areas).

While researching for a chapter written for the Association of Physicians of India Textbook of Medicine, I learnt that lightning injuries are reported in the National Crime Records Bureau database! Go figure!

Lightning injuries and deaths are not that uncommon nowadays. We might have come across recent news reports of lightning strike deaths in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Some of these unfortunate deaths were due to taking ‘selfies’ outdoors during a thunderstorm and some were just folks doing routine field work in rural areas.

The first myth we need to dispel is that the tallest object only will be struck or that taking shelter under a tree will protect you. Keep in mind that lightning is impersonal. Try to picture someone sitting at 30,000 feet and trying to send down a targeted bolt of lightning to a precise spot! Unrealistic right?

Being outdoors during a thunderstorm is the biggest risk factor. When we anticipate lightning striking the ground near us, assume the “lightning position” at the earliest, and hope that we are not struck.

Source: Tata Trusts

Bottomline
Stay indoors when there is thunder and lightning around. Practice the simple Lightning Position.

Please do share the above info sheet developed by the Tata Trusts, with your family, friends and colleagues. And do suitably translate and convey verbally to guide those around you who will benefit from it, especially to your building gardener, handymen, assistants, security guards, housekeeping staff.

Staying Safe : Key Messages for these Pandemic Times

Let us be the Change we want to see!

Every contribution to controlling this pandemic is vital, so do not under rate your own role! You are the Change that you want to see!

To keep us and our loved ones safe, just practicing COVID Appropriate Behaviour is not enough! We need to vaccinate ourselves and our loved ones, as and when eligible, and also get others in our society to adopt COVID Appropriate Behaviour as a part of their lifestyle, and get vaccinated too.

Medical experts after analyzing all the evidence so far, have recommended that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the minor side effects that may arise after vaccination. Be wise, listen to the people who know their science !

To build up on the stellar work done in reaching out to the community across India in the early part of the pandemic in Apr- May 2020, the Tata Trusts have further developed the Key Messages which are required to be assimilated at the community and individual level across India. #OneAgainstCOVID

Source : Tata Trusts

The first set of Five Key Messages are about simple steps to be taken by everyone to keep themselves safe in these pandemic times.

Source: Tata Trusts

The next Two Key Messages, are about stigma and discrimination (about cases, amongst those infected and those not infected, the vaccinated and those not vaccinated), which we need to focus on as the days unfold into weeks and months of the pandemic. Human beings are quick to stigmatize and discriminate! We need to resist this temptation, and express our solidarity with each other.

Source: Tata Trusts

The last One Key Message is to get everyone vaccinated!

We all will be safe, when everyone , everywhere is safe! That’s the catchphrase with any pandemic control.

Bottomline
Use every opportunity you get, to spread the 5 + 2 + 1 Key Messages to all those you know. Not just once, but again and again.

Please DO NOT share the above info sheet (s) with your family, friends and colleagues. Instead TRANSLATE into your own words and convey verbally to those around you who will benefit from it.

We need you to take action, today, tomorrow and every day!

An earlier post on the same theme, with a single poster conveying the Key Messages is available at https://deltazuluconsultancy.com/2021/06/11/key-messages-for-these-pandemic-times/

Please connect with us to discuss how we can assist you in planning and implementing a low cost yet highly effective Health Risk Communication and Community Engagement campaign focused on people you are concerned about, i.e your Company staff, your Society, your community, your school etc.

Domestic Assistants- Take care of them !

Work from Home, and even otherwise, most of us fully appreciate the unacknowledged contribution of our Domestic Assistants in making sure that all is well on the household front.

Source: Tata Trusts

We have a responsibility in taking care of our Domestic Assistants, to reciprocate their taking care of us and our families. Let us make all efforts to get them and their eligible family members vaccinated at the earliest, and guide them on a daily basis to adopt COVID Appropriate Behaviour, not just around us, but at home in their personal spaces too.

During this pandemic, in civil society, it has been observed that there is a tendency for regulation and enforcement to go overboard at times, driven by misplaced apprehensions and baseless fears. Let us work together with the volunteers in society and in our Housing Societies, to dispel misconceptions by providing clear and actionable guidance within and outside the house.

Source: Tata Trusts

Bottomline
Simple steps to maintain personal safety and hygiene at home start with guiding our Domestic Assistants suitably. Guide, encourage and support them to keep everyone safe.

Please do share the info sheets with your family, friends and colleagues. And do suitably translate and convey verbally to those around you who will benefit from it.

Already had COVID-19? What next?

In India as of 19th Jun 2021, though we have had many cases of COVID-19 across the country, affecting all strata of society (2,98,23,546 cases to date- as per mohfw.gov.in) , to give us a reality check, just about 2 out of every 100 Indians has experienced the disease, and the large majority of those, have got through unscathed with mild or asymptomatic infections. Maybe an even larger number did not get diagnosed, but suffered all the same. This would indeed be the most likely scenario given the state of reporting of diseases and the fragmented healthcare system.

By now, over a year and a half into the pandemic, we may personally know someone who has had COVID-19, or we may ourselves have been affected.

Even if you have been infected, and recovered, you still need to wear a mask at all times, when interacting with others, while maintaining physical distance. It is also advisable to take the vaccine (any), about 90 days after recovery. However, do check with your doctor, as these recommendations are evolving and updated frequently by the Govt of India based on emerging evidence.

Source : Tata Trusts

If you are one of those who has recovered, you need to pay special attention to avoiding known long-term effects on your respiratory system, by continuing efforts at deep breathing exercises and eating healthy.

Bottomline Those who have recovered from COVID-19, can get infected again. They need to continue COVID Appropriate Behaviour and take a vaccine when available / when due.

Recovery and restoration of baseline health and fitness after COVID-19 is a challenge for many. Fortunately, a sensible approach will reap dividends when prudence is kept the bedrock.

For those who have never exercised or just waddled their way through life so far, before COVID, this is the time to seriously consider taking up some form of exercise that is sustainable. Do not rush into a gym membership, or buy that expensive cycle, without first figuring out what should be the path to exercise that you will tread on nimbly, in the decades ahead, to stay healthy.

For those of you, who were “into fitness”, reconsider your goals, and reset your standards.

You must and should take it slowly!

“Listen to your body” – this is keystone of any approach that you choose to adopt in the days ahead.

We have become accustomed to hearing ever so often, “No Pain, No Gain”, however our new lexicon has to adapt and evolve to the new mantra “Pain, No Gain!”, meaning that if you are finding any exercise or exercise level ‘hard’, it is definitely not good for you, especially if you are recovering from COVID-19!

If you have any medical problem with your heart from before, or had any effect on your heart while you were sick with COVID-19, it is essential that you consult an allopathic medical professional to ascertain your fitness to resume physical exertion.

Please get active!

Note to Self: this is different from exerting! Whatever your medical condition, you will benefit from making a beginning, with baby steps at first, to move around. Begin first by getting around your house, indoors, and then move outdoors. Exertion can be a later step.

You can begin with deep breathing exercises, do these at home, while seated comfortably, do these daily. Applicable for everyone, irrespective of whether you have had COVID-19 or not.

Source: Tata Trusts

Bottomline
Now is the time to contemplate taking up some form of exercise in a graded manner after you recover from COVID-19. Listen to your body carefully. Don’t push yourself!

Modern times, pandemic times, as people constantly in search of quick fixes, for everything in our life, we would be searching online for what we can do to get back into ‘shape’ (whatever that may mean to you personally!) . Hence this next section is just what the doctor prescribed!

Your health is in your hands (or your legs), but every journey in your life, begins with making up your mind first! You are the one who has to undertake all required actions to keep yourself healthy and well.

So, why waste further time. Just do it!

Exercise is beneficial not just for promoting recovery from COVID-19, but also serves to safeguard you from many lifestyle and other diseases.

The right time to start is now.

Source: Tata Trusts

Bottomline
Exercise is good for you. Begin any exercise with the intent of sustaining a healthy lifestyle through old age too.

Just begin whatever it is you choose to do, today. Listen to your body , while at it!

Please do share the above info sheets with your family, friends and colleagues. And do suitably translate and convey verbally to those around you who will benefit from it.

You can very easily sign up to these infrequent posts to get up to date, authentic information, from a Public Health Physician, who cares ! Sign up by scrolling down to enter your e-mail ID.

Stressful times these!

After having lived through these pandemic times since early 2020, by now, irrespective of where we are in our lives, or where we are in India or in the world, we would have begun to appreciate that health is the only true wealth we can possess. 

We would now be acutely aware of the importance that Wellness has for our Wellbeing.  However, the human mind is rather fickle and we will just as easily forget the hard learnt lessons of today. 

Wellness and Wellbeing are in your hands!

Source: Tata Trusts

 Stress is an inescapable part of our lives today, with the unfolding pandemic keeping us on tenterhooks. In normal times, a modicum of stress would always be welcome, to keep the excitement level up. However in these challenging times, we worry every day, for ourselves, for our loved ones and some may even worry for humankind in general.

Periodically, we need to take a deep breath and look within, to find strength, for ourselves and others. Having a daily routine helps, it gives a structure to our day, it may even give us a semblance of the feeling that we can at least control some part of our existence.

We must all try to find our own ways to strike a balance, however impossible that may seem. We can start with simple steps, such as writing down a routine, for us to broadly follow, the best that we can. 

A daily routine helps in dealing with the stress of life in these challenging times.  

Source : Tata Trusts

In these stressful times, we may have also begun to appreciate that peace of mind is invaluable.  We have to tap into our innate strength (yes, all of us have reserves of emotional and mental strength, which we may not be aware of) and get through each day, with a positive frame of mind. 

Think positive (attitude), Stay negative (Corona).

Use simple approaches such as the 5 Cs to work on yourself. You have the ability, believe in yourself. 

Source : Tata Trusts

The ongoing pandemic is undoubtedly one of the most challenging events of our lives, and its prolongation is only compounding the difficulty of coping.

We need to recognize and acknowledge that all of us handle stress differently. We need to learn to handle the situation within the context of our personal and work life. Work-Life Balance seems to be a very simplistic term, however it is most crucial for us to strike a balance that works for us as individuals.

More than anything, this pandemic has taught us that we need each other more than anything else in the world. We need to reach out more, to our loved ones, to our friends, to our relatives, to our colleagues. Reach out often, simply through a personal message (and not a forward) or a phone call. Just do it!

Source: Tata Trusts

Please do share the attached info sheets with your family, friends and colleagues. And do suitably translate and convey verbally to those around you who will benefit from it.  

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