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Yesterday, the Heart Care Foundation of India launched three new initiatives.
The 5th of September holds special significance for me not just because it happens to be my birth date, but also because the day is celebrated across the country as Teachers’ Day. And the year I was born, it happened to be Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, that day and hence, my given name Krishan. This day therefore is very auspicious to me and this is why I chose it to announce the launch of three very important new initiatives of the Heart Care Foundation of India.
The first is “Health Patrol”. We are in the midst of an unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. When it first came to light in December last year, it was identified as a new disease, not known previously. While the disease has rampaged across the world, so has the information about the disease causing a parallel “infodemic”. The media, especially the social media, has been flooded with information and it is difficult to sift out the authentic from the misinformation. The outcomes of fake news can be distressing and have sometimes dangerous consequences. Fear, depression, anxiety, suicides etc. abound among the public. Hence, a platform, which can give correct information based on facts and is medically proven, is the need of the hour.
We decided to create “Health Patrol”, a unique platform to bust fake health news and tips and empower people to separate fake from the truth.
You can post any news/information, which you would like to check, on the Health Patrol website (www.healthpatrol.in) or share it on our face book, Twitter and Instagram accounts or on Whatsapp. It will be verified by a team of qualified doctors and subject matter experts who’ll be providing the necessary knowledge and expertise required to investigate the authenticity of any piece of health news in circulation. The validated information will not only be shared with the sender but posted online as well for the benefit of the people at large.
We also launched the “Heart Care Foundation of India Dr KK Aggarwal Research Fund” to promote research, which is the basis of learning. The Fund will provide complete solution, from writers to statisticians. We hope that this will encourage many, who are hesitant and unsure about how to assimilate their data, to come forward. The Fund will help them build on their research. With this initiative, we hope to promote a research culture in the country.
Our third initiative is the “International Journal of Pandemic Research”. It is an online monthly journal under the banner of HCFI Dr KK Aggarwal Research Fund. It is a platform where preliminary data (Reviews, Case Reports, Original Research, Clinical Studies, View points, Letters to Editor etc.) related to Covid-19 or any pandemic “as it is, where it is” can be published with no waiting time. The articles would be subsequently peer reviewed. The objective of this journal is to make information immediately accessible to all. Sharing of evidence allows better management of patients, saves lives and also improves implementation of public health measures. Findings coming in from Italy, with scores of deaths, have been critical towards understanding of the disease pathology and shaped the response to the current pandemic.
Only together, can we defeat this pandemic and meet many more such challenges in the future. It’s not your or my battle alone.
I look forward to your support and participation in these initiatives.
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA