February 13, 2010
Amrita School of Medicine, Kochi
Every year, noted academicians from around the country are honored with the Bharat Shiksha Ratna Award. This year, Amrita’s Dr. B. Prabha Rao, was also chosen, among others, for this top honor.
Dr. Rao first began teaching in 1969. She joined Amrita in 2002 as Head of the Department of Pharmacology. The award is then, perhaps a fitting culmination to nearly four decades of a distinguished teaching and professional career.
The award was given to Dr. Rao on January 18, 2010 during the 30th National Seminar on Individual Achievements and National Development organized by the Global Society for Health and Educational Growth.
One of Dr. Rao’s noted accomplishments in Amrita has been the enhancement of curriculum in accordance with modern developments. She had prior experience of developing and implementing such curricular changes for medical colleges affiliated to Kathmandu University.
“I was exposed to problem-based learning and integrated teaching methods while teaching in Pokhara, Nepal during 1994 – 2000,” she shared. “This type of medical curriculum is encouraged by the World Health Organization (WHO).”
“At the institutional level, changes were easier to implement here, because Amrita had only one medical college affiliated to it,” she added. Dr. Rao retired as HoD at Amrita after attaining the age of 65. She continues teaching here, however, as Professor of Pharmacology.
At Amrita, Dr. Rao is also the coordinator of the Pharmaco-vigilance program. Started with funding by the World Bank, and guided by WHO experts, the program seeks to monitor, record and disseminate information about adverse drug reactions. Safety alerts are sent to physicians and medical errors are monitored and recorded.
“Amrita is the only approved Peripheral Pharmaco-vigilance Centre in Kerala under the National Pharmaco-vigilance Program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India,” Dr. Rao added. Due, perhaps in no small measure, to the determined efforts of this tireless crusader, this status enables Amrita contribute even more to the nation’s public health.
How does she spend her free time?
“By writing health-education related articles for the Amrita Journal of Medicine.” The Journal, published by the Amrita School of Medicine, is fast gaining in readership and subscription base. “Also presenting segments on drug-use for Amrita TV’s Good Health program.”
Amrita honors the life-long public health commitment of this outstanding individual and congratulates her on the award received.