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DR. J E PARK MEMORIAL ORATION
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 403-406

Looking back to move forward: A travel rule underlined by the current pandemic


Distinguished Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. AS Paintal Distinguished Scientist Chair, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Samiran Panda
Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. AS Paintal Distinguished Scientist Chair, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.ijph_1513_22

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Learning from the past – is easier said than done. In this narrative, “travel” refers to the forward movement of the society at large on the path of health and development. It is suggested that looking back and learning from the lived experiences of the past outbreaks could help generating public health insights and incorporating them in planning for a better future. In the process, a country may choose to revisit what took place in the recent past during the COVID-19 pandemic within its boundary and beyond. However, unfolding of events in the past, which is not as immediate as COVID neither too far as the flu pandemic of 1918, also has lessons to offer. Recognizably, a few alarms, that rang in the recent past and cried for mass attention towards beefed up public health preparedness, were missed. It is therefore necessary now to critically examine the past-efforts to eradicate, eliminate or control diseases such as small pox, polio, HIV, tuberculosis, leprosy, measles or malaria. Results of such evaluation could inform the future courses of actions around disease elimination science and health (DESH) and help develop better nations.


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