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National Level Seminar on Health Held at Salem

Informative booklet: Periyar University Vice Chancellor K. Muthuchelian (third right) released a souvenir at the National Seminar on Health and Society, held at the University in Salem recently. – Photo: Special Arrangement

Periyar University Vice Chancellor K. Muthuchelian (third right) released a souvenir at the National Seminar on Health and Society, held at the University in Salem recently. – Photo: Special Arrangement

“By ensuring good health, one can make sure that one will lead a healthy life and live as long as one wants. Certain conditions like hypertension and cardiac diseases have their roots in unhealthy practices. With health education, one can also learn what should be known and practiced, to avoid having health complications,” said Periyar University Vice Chancellor K. Muthuchelian.

Delivering the inaugural address at a national seminar on ‘Health and Society,’ organised by Department of Sociology of Salem Periyar University, here recently, the Vice Chancellor said that health education would help a person play their role in society better, as they would be fit enough to do a lot of things that they otherwise could not do if they got sick all the time.

He said that at the time of creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, health was defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

The four general determinants of health were human biology, environment, lifestyle, and healthcare services.

Health was maintained and improved not only through advancement and application of health science, but also through the efforts and intelligent lifestyle choices of the individual and society.

“According to the World Health Organization, the main determinants of health include the social and economic environment, the physical environment and the person’s individual characteristics and behaviours.

“Generally, the context in which an individual lives is of great importance to his life quality and health status. The social and economic environment are key factors in determining the health status of individuals given the fact that higher education levels are linked with a higher standard of life as well as a higher income.

“Generally, people who finish higher education are more likely to get a better job and therefore are less prone to stress compared to individuals with low education levels,” he pointed out.

Mr. Muthuchelian further added that the physical environment was perhaps the most important factor that should be considered when classifying the health status of an individual.

This included factors such as clean water and air, safe houses, communities and roads all contribute to good health.

“Genetics are also part of the system based on which the health of the population can be established. Genetics are closely related to the habits and behaviours that individuals develop during their life, particularly in terms of lifestyle choices,” he added.

The WHO had listed a wide range of other factors that could influence the well being of a person.

According to WHO, the gender, social support networks and health services in terms of both quality and access to them were to be considered as health determinants.

Access to health care was one of the large issues of the nowadays society, maybe even greater than the quality of the service.

Individuals in developing countries were more to suffer from different health conditions because their access to the health care system was restricted mostly from financial reasons.

“It is a sad reality that some people just take their health for granted. They do not exercise. They do not observe proper diet. Instead, they indulge themselves in things that are not good for the body. It is because they have not been taught what exactly is the importance of their body’s well-being.

“It will hamper their ability to do their work. This would cause a chain reaction: the productivity of the company they works for will be negatively affected by their absences and in turn their reputation will be impacted. They may end up losing their job because of their sporadic attendance caused by being sick a lot of times,” he stated.

He also released a souvenir and Madurai Kamaraj University former professor Venkatarathnam received it.



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