January 28, 2011
School of Medicine, Kochi
The Department of Community Medicine at Amrita’s School of Medicine recently organized a faculty orientation workshop as a part of implementing Quit Tobacco International-India (QTI-2) in the Health Sciences campus.
A tobacco cessation project of Arizona University, QTI-2 is being implemented worldwide in collaboration with NIH, USA and SCTIMST, Trivandrum.
Illnesses caused due to the use of tobacco entail a massive public expenditure. A couple years ago, the then Health Minister of India, had even linked 40% of India’s health problems to smoking.
As such, the need for doctors and health care professionals to be fully informed about the ills of tobacco and work to eradicate the use of tobacco, cannot be over emphasized.
Faculty from all departments in the School of Medicine, including General Medicine, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Dermatology, Radiation Oncology, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Biostatistics, Community Dentistry, Pulmonary Medicine and Community Medicine attended the workshop.
“Our main objective in the workshop was to provide an orientation to faculty that can then help with the development of a model tobacco education curriculum for medical schools in India,” informed Dr. K. Leelamoni, chief coordinator of QTI-2 at Amrita.
Dr. K. Leelamoni is also Professor and HoD of the Department of Community Medicine.
As an invited speaker, Dr. K. R. Thankappan, Professor and HoD of the Achutha Menon Center for Health Science Studies, Trivandrum, provided an overview of the implementation of QTI-2 in India.
“Doctors should become role models for tobacco control activities,” he emphasized.
Based on the student and faculty surveys on smoking, Dr. Thankappan noted that Amrita’s Health Sciences campus had the lowest rate of tobacco consumption among all partner medical colleges. He appreciated efforts taken at the campus for tobacco control.
“Due to this unique achievement, Amrita’s Health Sciences campus can be considered as a role model for other institutions,” he underlined.
Dr. Prathapan Nair, Principal, Amrita School of Medicine, also spoke, emphasizing the role of doctors in tobacco cessation projects.
Others who spoke included Dr. Yamini Thankachi, Senior Research Fellow, Achutha Menon Centre, Sree Chitra Institute, Trivandrum and Drs. Aswathy S. and Alexander John, Professors at the Department of Community Medicine, Amrita School of Medicine.