|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 291-292
MB Aswath Narayanan
President, IAPHD, Mathuram, Plot No. 161, Door No. 5, Murugu Nagar, 5thStreet, Velachery, Chennai - 600 042, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||13-Dec-2017|
Dr M B Aswath Narayanan
President, IAPHD, Mathuram, Plot No. 161, Door No. 5, Murugu Nagar, 5thStreet, Velachery, Chennai - 600 042, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Aswath Narayanan M B. President's Message. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2017;15:291-2
It gives me immense pleasure and a great sense of satisfaction as I lay down office as the President of this prestigious Organization–Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry–after a fruitful association of nearly 24 years in various capacities.
Public Health Dentistry was started as a separate specialty in our country by the pioneering efforts of Dr. Mohandas. K. Bhat at Government Dental College, Bengaluru, in 1968, under the WHO 208 scheme. From 1972 till date, this tender sapling has, under the able and deft leadership of the “Father of Public Health Dentistry in India” –Dr. M. R. Shankar Aradhya and our benevolent mentor Dr. R. K. Bali, grown into a flourishing banyan tree.
I am proud to inform that the Association which started with around 25 members in 1993 (Registration Number No. 777/93-94) has grown to a large professional body with around 1600 members today. It is a robust organization that has conducted 21 National Conferences (From Shimla in the North to Chennai in the South and from Bhubaneswar in the East to Mangalore in the West) and 11 PG conventions and numerous CDE programs. At present, there are 9 state chapters all over the country spreading the message of Public Health Dentistry. With around 72 postgraduate centers producing around 225 postgraduates every year, the future of Public Health Dentistry in India looks to be in capable hands.
Now that the specialty has gained its rightful place in all the Dental Colleges in the country, thanks in no small measure to Dr. Dibyendu Mazumder, the president, DCI, and our secretary Dr. Sabyasachi Saha who is also the secretary, DCI, it is time we start doing what we were trained to become-leaders of oral health care in our country.
The Association publishes the peer-reviewed “Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry” which is available online (jiaphd.org). Dr. Manjunath Puranik's contribution in his own characteristic dignified way has enabled it to rise on the charts of Medknow table.
A vibrant democratic atmosphere prevails in the Association today. The maturity of the members and the cordial relationship between all has enabled a full circle of events. From the conceptualization of the Association till the selection of office bearers in 2004, it was always unanimous and without elections. The last 13 years saw full-fledged elections allowing the members to consolidate their positions in the Association. Now after 13 years, history has been made by a smooth transfer of power, without elections. I am happy to be part of this change.
I would consider the National Oral Health Survey and Fluoride Mapping in 2004 and the “National tooth brushing day” inaugurated on November 7, 2014, as two of the most important public health measures undertaken by our Association. The accreditation mechanism for oral health-care products, which is underway now, will be next jewel.
Due to the sustained efforts of our esteemed member Dr. Utkal Mohanty, the Government of India has initiated the first-ever National tooth sealant programme at ten Government Dental Colleges in the country–the first major Governmental foray in Public Health Dentistry in India.
Academically, the next milestone was established by Dr SS Hiremath when he started the first Doctoral program in Public Health Dentistry in India.
Dr. Soben Peter's Textbook of Preventive and Community Dentistry that provided all the information related to our specialty in one source was the first ever Indian attempt and is yet another landmark.
The association has its own website (www.IAPHD.org) and another of our esteemed member, Dr. Vamsi Krishna Reddy's efforts resulted in our Association being the first in the country to start a mobile application. Public Health Dentistry moved digital.
The Association appreciates and encourages both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and faculty, interested in research work by offering them research grants. Furthermore, awards for the highest scores in University examinations and in essay writing contests are given. Deceased members' families are given a solatium.
Although I do miss those intimate earlier days when there were fewer members, the strength in numbers has had its own advantages.
I am reminded of the famous saying which was my motivation:
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
Leaving behind us, footprints on the sands of time.
I take this opportunity to thank my Professor and Head and guide, Dr. MR Shankar Aradhya and everyone in this Association for blessing me with such an opportunity. The infinite freedom and trust given by all made it possible.
Long live Public Health Dentistry
Long live Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry
Wishing you all everlasting health.