Air Pollution Session by DFCA in Jaipur

National Medical Associations' Leadership Conclave for Clean Air

Date: 24th Feb, 2020

Venue: Pride Plaza Hotel, New Delhi

Brief Program Report

Leaders of 18 National Medical Associations came together to be a part of the Leadership Conclave for Clean Air, a small group focused discussion to share with each other the leadership initiatives taken by their association in this field, brainstorm on unique ways in which the medical associations can take and build a common action agenda to plan steps to ensure that we can breathe clean & healthy air.

Participating Associations

  • Indian Chest Society
  • Indian Academy of Paediatrics
  • Medical Students Association of India
  • Indian Public Health Association
  • Vascular Society of India
  • National College of Chest Physicians
  • Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists
  • Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India
  • Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Association of Surgeons of India
  • National Board of Examination
  • Association of Physicians of India
  • Indian Radiological and Imaging Association
  • Indian Academy of Neurology
  • Neurological Society of India
  • Allergy Care India
  • Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine
  • Cardiology Society of India

Key highlights of the speaker presentations:

  • Dr. Arvind Kumar, Managing Trustee of Lung Care Foundation gave a brief about the inception of the Doctors for Clean Air (DFCA) program and spoke about the idea of the Doctors being the 'motivated motivators' who see the effect of air pollution first hand in their OPDs and have the ability to influence patients / general public / policy makers / local leaders and administrators to understand the gravity of the situation and work towards finding local solutions.
  • Chetan Bhattacharjee, Managing Editor – NDTV, spoke about how the doctors can use media effectively to amplify the message of health impact of air pollution. In order for the communication to be effective, Mr. Bhattacharji, suggested that Doctors should tell a story, build a narrative around the data they have. The impact of a narrative or a story is lot more impactful then presenting random data points.
  • Achievements of 2019 – Round table discussion. Each of the participating heads of association shared some of the initiatives / actions taken up by their respective association towards their fulfilling their pledge for Clean Air at the launch of the program on Dec 4, 2018.
  • Josh Karliner & Jennifer Wang, from Health Care Without Harm, shared the success stories from around the world where the healthcare professionals are making a significant contribution in fighting the battle against air pollution and climate change.
  • Dr. Srinath Reddy, President – Public Health Foundation of India, shared from his experience on how the medical associations can lead this initiative in India. He spoke about the successful initiatives in the past where the joint intervention by national medical associations have made a difference.
  • Dr. Parveen Bhatia, Chairman - Institute of Minimal Access Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, motivated the group into taking up the commitments made during the discussion to their logical conclusion and lead the change by creating more leaders who take up such social issues over and above their responsibility as a Healthcare Professional.
  • Rajiv Khurana, Founder Trustee – Lung Care Foundation, facilitated a design thinking session, where he posed thought provoking question to the group and led them to generate recommended actions that can be taken by each medical association at national and state level to fulfill their commitment towards achieving clean air.

Key Highlights

  • Dr. Salil Bhargava, Clean Air Champion DFCA Madhya Pradesh, gave a presentation on Air Pollution & its health-ill effects and Asthma and its prevention.
  • Mrs. Matrushri from DFCA Delhi team discussed the basics of Air Pollution, AQI and demonstrated how small things such as burning of incense sticks shoots up AQI levels around people causing serious harm to health and well-being of people.
  • Steps that common people can take to prevent themselves from harmful effects of Air Pollution and the ways to reduce Air Pollution around them were discussed with all the participants.
  • The participants then pledged to work towards Clean and Green Indore Initiative started by Dr. Salil Bhargava – Clean Air Champion , DFCA Madhya Pradesh.

Elected Heads / Representatives of 18 National Medical Associations representing over 180,000+ Doctors from across the country participated in the program (names of all the medical associations are mentioned in the end).

Key recommendations of heads of associations are mentioned below:

  • Introduce Air Pollution as an important part of the curriculum in schools & colleges.
  • Health Impact of Air Pollution sessions should be included in medical college curriculum and CMEs.
  • Include Air Pollution and health sessions in national and state level conferences of the associations.
  • Email campaign reaching out to all the association members seeking their support, and commitment
  • and action for clean air.
  • Promote plantation and nurturing of trees throughout life.
  • Promote Solar Energy and other forms of renewable energy over fossil fuels.
  • Encourage Hospitals and Institutions to lead initiatives to reduce air pollution and their own carbon footprint.
  • Positive measures taken by Clinics / Hospitals / Institutions should be certificates / ratings and the efforts should be incentivized.
  • Use the combined power of social media and medical expertise for increased awareness, commitment and societal accountability.
  • Promote clean energy vehicles like bicycles, electric buses and electric cars.
  • Pledge for electric cremation and club this with organ donation.
  • Promote clean cooking fuel, especially in villages and urban slums.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Stringent implementation of waste management policies.
  • Encourage a paperless world.
  • Promote Eco-friendly practices in conferences – reduce use of plastics and paper.
  • Public recognition of champions who are leading change.
  • Develop White paper for researchers and scientific community.
  • Conduct research studies on health impact of air pollution.
  • Related research articles in newspapers and journals.