Health and medicine have fascinated me and I have always wanted to pursue an education in the field of medicine. I ended up in the world of 32 teeth, and completed my undergraduate studies in Dental in 2011. During the course of my under graduate studies, I took various courses like Physiology, General medicine and surgery, Community dentistry and others but I truly excelled in cause’s regarding public health.
In 1994, a Pneumonic Plague epidemic broke out in Surat, an overcrowded city in the state of Gujarat (western part of India). More than the loss of life, it was the mismanagement of crisis and the utter confusion and chaos that followed that had huge repercussion on the country. Misinformation and mismanagement of the situatuon resulted in large scale rat killings, ineffective masks, disappearance of Tetracycline (an antibiotic for the plague treatment) and a mass exodus of the population from Surat resulted in a panic of the spread of the disease across the nation. This whole incident gripped the nation for a few weeks and the only respite came in when a large scale public health campaign was launched to clear the city of its debris, rats and clear the clogged drains. This incident showcased two things, first the huge implication of a public health disaster and how an oubreak of an infectious disease could grip an entire nation for months (Schools, colleges and movie halls were closed in cities as far north as Delhi). Secondly, how the disaster can be managed and eventually quarantined again through effective public health measures.
The surat incident brought home the impact of public health, the incident left personal scars on our family as my uncle was living in Surat at that time. After the incident my family, especially my father and grand father become active advocates of public health in our small town. Under the auspicies of the LIONS club they organized several public health campaigns including blood donation camps, school health camps,...
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