CHANDIGARH, 08.04.22-‘We are committed to make Punjab the Healthiest State of India’, said Dr. Vijay Singla,the Hon’ble Health Minister of Punjab along with other newly elected representative doctors (MLAs) of Punjab during the consultation entitled “Politico-administrative commitment for saving our planet from rising NCDs’organized by the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh in collaboration with the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Chandigarh and Strategic Institute for Medical Education and Research (SIPHER), Chandigarh on the occasion of World Health Day, 2022 in Chandigarh Press Club. World Health Day (WHD) is celebrated every year on the 7th of April across the globe to raise awareness of diverse stakeholders on diverse public health issues. Based on the theme of World Health Day 2022, “Our Planet, Our Health”, the elected State Representative doctors were invited to share their ‘Health Vision’ for the state of Punjab.

Highlighting the need and objectives of the consultation, Dr. Sonu Goel, Professor, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh directed the attention of the elected doctor MLAs towards the alarming figures of Noncommunicable diseases in the state of Punjab. He emphasized that the discussions laid down during the consultation could be used as a blueprint to develop a action plan for ‘Healthy Punjab’ for the next five years. Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Director (Public Health) and President, SIPHER, Chandigarh enlisted the activities being undertaken by SIPHER for the prevention and control of Noncommunicable diseases in the state of Punjab over the last 3 years.

During the panel discussion, Dr. Charanjit Singh, elected doctor representative from Chamakur Sahib, put forward the vision and ideas for providing better healthcare services in the state of Punjab, with a special focus on noncommunicable diseases.Deliberations were held regarding the gaps in the infrastructure, supplies, human resources, policy, and implementation to provide quality and need-based health care services. Besides, a framework for the action plan for forthcoming years was also discussed.

During the consultation, the annual reports and newsletter of the two key projects on NCDs (Hypertension and Tobacco) undertaken by PGIMER, Chandigarh were also released. The key highlights were: establishment and operationalization of telemedicine ‘Hub and Spoke’ model in the state of Punjab, capacity building of 2000+ community health officers; creation of ‘Resource Center for Cardiovascular Health ( Resource Center for Tobacco Control(’; launch of various health campaigns such as ‘#transfatfreediwalicampaign’ ‘#yogahibpbyecampaign’;MoU between PGIMER and FDA Commissioner, Punjab for implementation of the transfat surveillance; liasoning with 30+media houses and publication of 250+ news articles; publication of special issue on hypertension in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care;creating a pool of 200+ ambassadors for prevention and management of hypertension, and many more.

Congratulating the PGIMER and SIPHER team, Dr.Ramneek Sharma, President, Indian Medical Association, Chandigarh applauded their efforts in organizing such kind of event in which the political advocates are taking ownership and being involved in the planning of activities for building Healthy Nation and Healthy Punjab. Dr. Baljit Kaur, Cabinet Minister, Dept. of Social Justice and Empowerment and Minorities, Guest of Honour, stated, “We aim to make Punjab No. 1 in terms of health care with the support of PGIMER and SIPHER.” Dr. Rana J Singh, Deputy Regional Director, the UNION-South East Asia, also highlighted the importance of tackling the risk factors of noncommunicable diseases in the state of Punjab.