World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 to raise awareness about global health and promote healthy living. This day also commemorates the founding anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO), which was established in 1948 by the first World Health Assembly.
The first World Health Assembly proposed the idea of World Health Day in 1948. They decided that April 7th would be celebrated annually to mark the founding of WHO. Since then, this day is celebrated every year with a different theme to highlight various aspects of global health.
World Health Day is significant as it focuses on the need for individuals, communities, and governments to take action to ensure access to quality healthcare services. The day also provides an opportunity to recognise the contributions of healthcare workers.
Theme for World Health Day 2023
The theme for World Health Day in 2023 is ‘Health For All.’ It highlights the importance of ensuring quality health care for all individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds or socio-economic status.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Message
On the occasion of World Health Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed gratitude to all healthcare workers who work tirelessly to make our planet healthier. He also emphasised the government’s commitment to ensuring quality health care for the people of India.
Utilisation of CSR Funds for Research in Healthcare
Research is a vital component in improving medical care and advancing public health. It helps us understand diseases, develop effective treatments, and ultimately save lives. However, research can be expensive and time-consuming, making it difficult for many institutions and organisations to undertake such initiatives. This is where Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) comes in, as companies can use their resources to support research in medical care, making a significant contribution to improving public health. On this note, let us explore some of the top CSR projects in India that are aimed at supporting research in medical care, highlighting the role of businesses in promoting public health.
Godrej Memorial Hospital – Preventive Healthcare Research
Godrej Memorial Hospital, a multi-speciality healthcare centre and a beneficiary of the Pirojsha Godrej Foundation, has introduced India’s first comprehensive genome testing that identifies an individual’s predisposition to over 150 conditions and genetic traits. The hospital has partnered with HaystackAnalytics, a health tech company based out of IIT Bombay, to launch the Health Genometer Smart Plan, a consumer-centric wellness solution developed on a fully automated AI-based bio-informatics platform. The preventive healthcare solution will provide a 360-degree view of individuals’ high-risk medical conditions by analysing present and future health risks through pathological and genomic tests.
The Health Genometer Smart Plan is the first-of-its-kind preventive healthcare genome test that helps analyse the whole exome, encompassing over 7000 genes, to understand the underlying disease predispositions. The test goes beyond screening health risks to covering 48 diagnostic medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, as well as other cardiovascular diseases, which are actionable and identify sensitivities and traits to enable holistic recommendations. It also provides over 50 diet and physical health-related characteristics.
The test comes with genetic counselling and physician consultations along with the curated genetic test report covering personal and family history to adopt preventative healthcare at an affordable cost. Other Products being launched at Godrej Memorial Hospital as a part of this partnership include a TB Whole Genome Sequencing test & Genomics-based Infectious Screening test for Sepsis patients. All these would be soon available to the patients of GMH.
Almost two-thirds of Indians, majorly in the age group of 25-60 years, suffer from non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), obesity, diabetes etc., affecting the most productive years of their life. Genome sequencing – once in a lifetime – can help predict the risk propensity towards cancers, hereditary metabolic disorders and nutritional deficiency diseases and is a breakthrough for preventive healthcare. This technology will play a significant role in revolutionising personalised medicine and pave the way for future advancements in the healthcare field.
Vedanta’s BALCO Medical Centre – Cancer Research
Vedanta’s BALCO Medical Centre (BMC) entered into a strategic collaboration with Anuva to build a Cancer Genomics Biobank for cancer research in India. The initiative aims to use the cancer bio/data bank for clinical research to identify relevant insights for precision medicine applications for cancer in India. The collaboration leverages the strengths of both organisations – the clinical expertise of BALCO Medical Centre and Anuva’s biobanking and genomic expertise.
The cancer-focused bio/data bank aims to help both organizations accelerate discoveries by bringing together biological factors with the background risk elements at a population level to find the critical genes that drive cancer. The resulting knowledge is expected to improve the understanding of how genetic variants influence cancer, thereby increasing the effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment.
This collaboration between BALCO Medical Centre and Anuva is expected to bring great benefits to cancer research in India. With the creation of a Cancer Genomics Biobank, they will be able to identify relevant insights for precision medicine applications for cancer in India. This will improve the effectiveness of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients in the country.
In addition, the initiative will bring together the clinical expertise of BALCO Medical Centre and Anuva’s biobanking and genomic expertise. This will not only help accelerate discoveries but also empower drug development opportunities, further contributing to the fight against cancer.