off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


 Modifying patient’s
behaviour to promote health


No country in the world even the richest nations can afford to provide curative services and that too free of cost to the entire population. Emphasis on preventive measures, promoting preventive health services pays rich dividends and reduces the overall disease burden. Modifying the patient’s behaviour to promote health is thus an important positive intervention.

For example establishing   Burns unit is very costly and treatment of burns patients not only takes weeks and months but disturbs the lives of the whole family. Hence a little care in promoting health education to escape from burns, may it be due to electricity, stoves, gas etc., will save many lives and reduce the overall patient workload.  Convincing the motorcycle riders to wear helmet, impressing upon the people to follow traffic rules, asking the youth to do away with dangerous sports like one wheelers, preventing road traffic accidents will go a long way in reducing trauma, fatal head injuries and also reduce the rush of serious head injury, trauma patients at Emergency and Accident Centers at the tertiary healthcare facilities.

Promoting hand hygiene, ensuring proper sterilization of equipment and instruments used in the Operation Theaters and procedures room by the healthcare professionals, establishing Infection Control Committees and ensuring their proper functioning will reduce the infections which is one of the important causes of increased morbidity and mortality. Measures to avoid availability of junk food in and around educational institutons, making sure that all schools have proper play grounds, building in the habit of regular exercise from the childhood will take care of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. King Saud University in Saudi Arabia has banned the availability of soft drinks at all the Restaurants at the university campus as a measure to control diabetes prevalence of which is already very high in the Kingdom and it is also spreading like an epidemic. Why we cannot undertake such preventive measures of banning soft drinks and junk food in hospitals and medical institutions. Establishing a proper documented referral system between the Basic Health Units, Rural Health Centers, Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals, District Headquarters Hospitals and tertiary care teaching hospitals will also improve patient care and ensure efficient functioning of the healthcare facilities.

Taking all these preventive precautionary measures is not the responsibility of healthcare professionals alone but Government agencies, regulatory bodies, each and every member of the society at large. If we all join hand in this movement to modify the patient’s behaviour as well as the general public, it will go a long way in promoting health. These are some of the most cost effective health interventions to ensure a healthier society.

Tail Piece: All those who consider themselves “Akle Kull” must realize that we in Pakistan already have a deeply polarized society. Instead of sowing the seeds of hatred they must promote harmony, concentrate on winning over the hearts and minds of the people.

© Professional Medical Publications. All rights reserved.