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"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies"

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Shobha Shukla - CNS (Citizen News Service)

Dr KS Sachdeva, one of key leaders of India's AIDS programme
Dr KS Sachdeva, one of key leaders of India's AIDS programme
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(CNS): "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies" are the immortal words of Saint Mother Teresa, which sum up what Dr Kuldeep Singh Sachdeva asserts to hasten the pace of progress for a disease-free India. Dr KS Sachdeva has healed thousands of patients in a tertiary level hospital in India's capital Delhi, has served an illustrious inning at India's national tuberculosis programme and is now serving as Deputy Director General at the national AIDS programme in India.

He spoke with CNS (Citizen News Service) at the sidelines of the 9th National Conference of AIDS Society of India (ASICON 2016). This interview is part of CNS Inspire series -- featuring people who have decades of experience in health and development, and learning from them what went well and not-so-well and how can these learnings shape the responses for sustainable development over the next decade.

One who can move mountains starts with the little stones

Wisdom of Confucius has only gained relevance as ages whizzed by. Dr KS Sachdeva served as a senior clinician in a tertiary level hospital in Delhi for almost two decades. But a small quirk of fate, got him involved with Pulse Polio programme of Delhi state government and thus ushered his long inning in public health. It was not so easy for a doctor who thrived on curing patients, but persistence paid off well when major benefits to public health started appearing after years of efforts.

"I realized that the public health work is equally challenging and difficult to implement on the ground -- as difficult as making a difficult diagnosis in a clinic -- and also as interesting and enthralling as clinical medicine can be! One might be treating a thousand patients in clinical practice but one good decision at administrative or public health level can benefit and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. As years passed I gained confidence in public health policy making, making a difference and delivering things on the ground" said Dr KS Sachdeva.

Simple managerial processes helped save millions

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