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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 189

President's Message

President, Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry, India

Date of Submission14-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance14-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication24-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
K Pushpanjali
President, Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.299009

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How to cite this article:
Pushpanjali K. President's Message. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2020;18:189

How to cite this URL:
Pushpanjali K. President's Message. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Feb 5];18:189. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2020/18/3/189/299009

Greetings to one and all!!

One of the most critical challenges the health systems world over are continuing to face during this pandemic is the scarcity of human resources. The shortage of trained health professionals is not just limited to the provision of COVID-related medical services, but also in delivery of myriad other public health services related to disease containment and mitigation including screening, contact tracing, data documentation, clinical and non-clinical research and also in the provision of essential non-Covid medical services. These critical times have thus brought to our attention the complex and diverse skill sets required to effectively navigate through a public health emergency.

During the past six months, I had the opportunity to have numerous cursory and deep conversations regarding the present circumstances and future implications of our profession with many of our esteemed senior colleagues. During the lock down and afterwards, I tried to be involved in as many discussions and dialogues as possible with many of my illustrious contemporaries and listened to the anxieties and expressed uncertainties of many juniors and students. A common thread that emerged from all these conversations was the pressing need to reinvent our profession in terms of its relevance and the skill set of our professionals.

I am sure all of you would agree with me when I say that the way our profession is positioned presently does not do adequate justice to the true potential of our workforce. We are significantly under-utilized and we are capable of so much more. The way I see it, there are few fundamental reasons for this. Public health, as the world has rightly started to recognize is so much more than just surveys or health camps. It is emerging to be one of the key pillars of a healthy society, especially now, when it is becoming increasing clear that climatic risks, newer infectious diseases and chronic non-communicable diseases are threatening the survival of humanity.

Another major reason could be the inadequate focus on skill building in our training. Public health skill set is a mixed bag ranging from advocacy and lobbying to advanced statistical modelling and geospatial mapping. Prioritizing public health skill development could make an ocean of a difference to the relevance of our profession and the career opportunities of our young and vibrant workforce. This not only mandates a change in the way our curriculum is currently configured, but also a paradigmatic shift from the traditional classroom-based, pedagogical training approaches to field-based, workshop-oriented models. Another vital departure we may need to consider urgently, is the initiation of strategies to actualize greater integration with other streams, like Community Medicine (MD) and Public Health (MPH). It is important that we acknowledge, that in order to stay relevant during these times of crisis, we need to find our allies and forge strategic partnerships. The professionals, departments and schools engaging in both of these streams have actively participated in and contributed to the pandemic response and such alliances, either formal or informal, could definitely open up greater opportunities to learn and grow.

As always, I look forward to learning your views and positions about these issues, along with any other concerns, triumphs, challenges and aspirations that you may have with regard to our wonderful profession. Our organization and all its endeavours are driven by the commitment and contributions of every single one of our members and so maintaining an open channel of communication is important. The need for change is real and imminent and it is palpably lurking in the horizon of Public Health Dentistry. I for one, is fully convinced that any change driven by a systematic, collective and planned endeavour towards a better future for our profession will bring spectacular returns to all of us. Our sincere endeavour as an organization will be to negotiate those partnerships and steward the changes. I expect the sincere cooperation of all our members and well-wishers in this exciting path ahead.

I urge all my fellow practitioners and colleagues to stay safe and follow all the necessary precautions in your practice. I assure the complete cooperation of the team of IAPHD in providing the necessary assistance and support to our professionals in coping with the pandemic.

”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”

-Charles Darwin


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