Dr. Pratyush Kumar is a Family Physician and has completed DNB Family Medicine from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi where he was also awarded Best DNB Doctor. He is currently working as Senior Resident in the Department of Geriatrics at Patna Medical College Hospital.
Dr. Kumar is passionate about rural health, climate change and digital health. He has published several research papers on infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). as well as primary health care in India. Dr. Kumar is an executive member of WONCA (World Organisation of Family Doctors) and currently chairs WONCA Rural South Asia (WoRSA).
Here is a short Q&A with Dr. Kumar:
What inspired you to work on air pollution?
Rural and remote health has always been my interest area and that’s why I took family medicine by choice to practice as Generalist. I did my DNB at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi. During my stay in Delhi for approximately 4 years, my decision to return to my native village became more stronger. Realizing the adverse effects of pollution on health in Delhi, I joined global group on environment – WONCA (World Organisation of Family Doctors) Working Party on Environment. Then, I started reading available resources on pollution. There is huge gaps in terms education, research, data in India and other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) which needs to be bridged.
Are you also engaged in air pollution research?
Yes, Air pollution research tops my priority list. We have plans to do Nationwide needs assessment among healthcare providers to assess gaps in education, training etc.
Can you talk briefly about the WONCA training programme?
WONCA working party on Environment has taken this initiative to train the trainer globally. Family physicians from different part of the world are part of this project. Regular webinars, online resource materials, videos have been made available as part of training. It’s also expected of all the future trainers to conduct workshop, talks, awareness programs, research etc.
According to you, what are the three biggest challenges related to air pollution in India?
1. Lack of understanding and awareness among general public
2. Lack of political commitment and policy to curb pollution which partly due to to lack of public demand
3. Research and data gaps related to air pollution and health effects.
Any words of wisdom for your fellow physicians?
We must utilise every opportunity, every forum to educate, counsel and raise issue of air pollution – the invisible killer.
– Dr. Pratyush Kumar Tweet