more than treat illnesses: they promote overall well-being

## Doctors face violence and deification in India

### Introduction
Another Doctor’s Day has just gone past (July 1), a day to celebrate the work that doctors are taught to do. In a country like India, there are many variables that can be frustrating: the sheer volume of people who come in for care, their ability to pay or continue the treatment, the quality of infrastructure at the health centres, the advanced nature of the disease they come with when they are finally forced to seek treatment for. Not to mention the anger of a mob, if an unfortunate event or complication were to occur in the process.

### Violence against doctors
In a survey conducted at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, it turned out that two out of every five doctors had experienced some form of aggression or violence at the workplace in the last year alone. Shockingly, this comprised verbal abuse (nearly 54%), verbal threats (40%), intimidation (27.8%), physical violence (5.7%) and cyberbullying (nearly 5%). Violence was experienced more by those in the government sector (84%) than those in the private sector (68%).

### Deification of doctors
Not that there is just gloom and doom on that front, let’s record the deification aspect as well. People do have great regard for doctors and the work they do, tending to treat some of them as they would their gods.

### Policy changes for tackling diabetes
Speaking at a press conference, last weekend, a team of experts, including doctors at CMC Vellore made the point that policy changes to make healthy food cheaper are the need of the hour to tackle the diabetes epidemic. On the basis of two papers published in The Lancet seeking to establish the global inequity in diabetes, doctors said foods high in carbohydrates were cheap, whereas food that is high in fibre, and therefore healthier, are more expensive, making this one of the factors driving diabetes and pre-diabetes number up in India.

### Re-evaluating BMI as a measure of health
Simultaneously looking at what has come to be seen as a measure of health, the BMI might quite not be what it is supposed to be. At its best, BMI clumsily threads the needle between obesity and mortality, mistaking correlation for causation: people who are obese have a high BMI, but it is not necessarily true that a high BMI implies obesity. Simpler measures such as also measuring body fat and waist circumference, particularly in an Indian population set have been recommended.

### Concerns over infectious diseases
It’s not as if society has evolved to leave all the bugs behind, buried or eliminated; in fact, the new emergence of cases in hitherto unaffected areas continues to be a source of worry for public health managers across the world. Which is why, this unexpected surge of cases of malaria in the United States is worrisome. Similarly, Kerala’s doctors have expressed concern over the rise in influenza-related encephalitis in children in the State.

### Other health news
– IISc project looks at the possibility of using smartphones for the early detection and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.
– Indian drug makers are under the lens, find out the details here.
– The use of dark web for drug purchases seems to be more popular among young adults aged 25 to 34.
– The latest World Drug Report 2023 on the prevalence of opioid use disorders in India.
– Web-enabled modules to track the Amarnath yatris’ health.

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