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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/24/18

Environment and lung health are vital for sustainable societies

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The 24th National Conference on Environmental Sciences and Pulmonary Diseases (NESCON 2018) will be held in Mumbai, India during 24-26 August 2018. "Environment and lung health are inalienable, if we are to deliver on promises made in National Health Policy 2017 (NHP 2017) as well as UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)", said Dr Ishwar Gilada, Co-Chair of NESCON 2018 and President of AIDS Society of India (ASI), which is a national network of doctors and researchers in HIV care.


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Kerala floods are a grim reminder

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"Heads of over 190 countries will meet at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly next month to debate on 'sustainable societies'. Two UN High Level Meetings (UNHLMs) to end TB and beat non-communicable diseases will also be held. Lung health is directly linked to a clean environment. The recent Kerala floods are a grim reminder how environmental disasters can threaten health security. Compared to other states in India, Kerala was faring better in a range of health and development indicators, but environmental calamities pose a serious threat of upsurge in infectious diseases, if urgent actions are not taken to avert them. Governments must ensure coherence between policies on lung health and environment and prioritise protecting both, as they are critical for accelerating progress towards sustainable societies. Lung health is also vital for ending TB as well as preventing other chronic respiratory diseases (which are part of NCDs) to avert untimely deaths" added Dr Gilada.

Anil Kapoor - the lung health Ambassador!

It is noteworthy to underline that film-star and producer Anil Kapoor was made the Lung Health Ambassador at the 22nd NESCON in 2016. Thankfully, with efforts of groups such as Forum for International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), within a year, the first-ever World Lung Day was globally observed on 25 September 2017. Next month, in addition to World Lung Day on 25th September, lung health must be in spotlight at the UNGA as well as UNHLMs, said Dr Gilada.

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Dr Salil Bendre, co-Chair of NESCON 2018 said to CNS (Citizen News Service | www.citizen-news.org) that since last 24 years Environmental Medical Association (EMA) has hosted annual national conferences on environmental and respiratory diseases. "24th NESCON 2018 will be attended by over 300 doctors, researchers, scientists, policy makers and planners from all across the country. Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, will inaugurate NESCON 2018 on 25th August. NESON 2018 will also felicitate and confer Ati-Vishishtha Paryavaran Mitra Awards to recognize the contribution of Shri M N Deshmukh, senior advocate; Shri Quaiser Khalid, Inspector General of Police, Mumbai; Dr S Utture, President, Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC); and Dr Sanjay Arora, Director, Suburban Diagnostics."

Eminent plenary speakers of NESCON 2018 include Dr KS Sachdeva, Senior Deputy Director General and in-charge of Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; senior respiratory disease experts such as Dr D Behera from Chandigarh; Dr SK Katiyar from Kanpur and Dr Rajendra Prasad from Lucknow.

Drug resistant TB poses major public health challenge

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