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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Vikram Patel

Patel is the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School and is affiliated with the Public Health Foundation of India and Sangath

Demonising freedom to love in New India will contribute to growing suicide toll of young people
Mon, Feb 22, 2021

The recent passage of the so-called ‘love jihad’ laws in three states of the country, imposing harsh penalties on ‘forced conversions’ under the pretext of marriage, represents a new and daunting challenge to love in India.

Covid vaccine is here, virus is already in retreat. Let’s just wait our turn
Wed, Jan 27, 2021

If there is one thing that the pandemic should have taught us, it must be to wait in line, patiently, with at least six feet in between. No matter when you get the jab, our victory is assured.

India must join other countries in decriminalising marijuana
Wed, Dec 02, 2020

Marijuana has a long and colourful history of use in India, dating back at least two millennia and the laws criminalising its use were imposed by foreigners.

Sushant Singh Rajput case mirrors an ailing nation. We need to build a more compassionate society
Thu, Sep 10, 2020

Imagine if all the effort and resources spent attacking one another could be turned towards building a compassionate society and fixing the ills which are making us all sick.

Reputation of scientists will be further muddied by our role in this pandemic
Thu, Jul 30, 2020

While science-informed policies are an aspiration, we also need to appreciate their limitations and assumptions to ensure that such policies do not lead to avoidable harms and promise unrealistic results.

This is a historic opportunity to transform India’s mental healthcare system
Sat, Jun 20, 2020

Mental health problems were already a major contributor to the burden of illness in India before the pandemic, with a third of all female and a quarter of all male suicide deaths in the world occurring in this country.

Data must be applied to context and societal response must be proportionate
Thu, Mar 26, 2020

One must wonder whether, given there was no evidence of widespread community transmission, we might have staved off the worst without a sledge-hammer approach, which no country at the stage of the epidemic we are in has imposed.

Response to COVID-19 shows India has the political will to control infectious diseases
Sat, Mar 14, 2020

All comparisons between COVID-19 and TB end with the superficial observation that they are both deadly respiratory tract infections.

We must try to understand how 2012 gangrape case convicts are products of a broken society
Sat, Jan 18, 2020

There were often clear pre-existing signals of disturbances in their behaviour or environments, but with a complete absence of any scaffolding to help them deal with these challenges when it mattered most.

Mental illness often stems from early-life trauma. It’s happening in Kashmir
Wed, Aug 07, 2019

We remember youth as the one period in which we were inspired by hope for our own future, and for our community. As a miasma of fear descends upon Kashmir, imagine the impact this would have on the minds of children and young people already damaged by two decades of conflict.

Acts of love and caring are the most potent influences on our well-being
Fri, Jan 18, 2019

As we mature into adulthood and older age, it is our social relationships, not the number but their quality, which will determine how long we live and the quality of these years of life.

A dose of hope
Thu, Dec 20, 2018

The discovery of the placebo response to these common surgical procedures adds to the mountain of evidence that hope is a major driver of recovery in response to many medical procedures. Hope is not, as it were, all in our minds. Thanks to novel neuro-imaging technologies.

The right to mental health
Wed, Oct 10, 2018

A new report shows how rising mental ill health is causing mounting disabilities, early deaths and fuelling cycles of poverty.

Starvation deaths in 2018
Thu, Jul 26, 2018

Stunting due to hunger also holds back the prospects of an entire generation.

When science masks hate
Sat, Feb 24, 2018

The medical legitimisation of prejudice was a major contributor to the stigma against homosexuality.

Compromising positions: Time to reclaim sexuality from the self-appointed guardians of morality
Thu, Dec 21, 2017

We should celebrate that young people are choosing to get married later in life, but reject the notion that this delay has any bearing on when consenting adults choose to engage in romance or sex.

Why they die young
Fri, Oct 27, 2017

Oppressive social norms are behind rising suicides among the youth.

Our best investment
Sun, Aug 13, 2017

To improve educational outcomes, policy must address deprivations in early years of children’s lives.

Time for reflection, fellow doctors
Sat, Jun 10, 2017

The medical sector needs to think about why it is seen in poor light — by patients and government.

An inconvenient truth
Sat, Jan 28, 2017

India is one of the most unequal countries in the world — the richest 1 per cent own 60 per cent of its wealth

Dana Majhi’s India
Thu, Sep 22, 2016

It has not harnessed its economic success to secure better health for its citizens

The terror on our roads
Mon, Jun 13, 2016

We need to ask why India is one of the most harrowing places in the world to be a pedestrian, driver or passenger.

A cop-out called prohibition
Thu, Apr 28, 2016

It is a poor policy option. Alcohol abuse is a public health, not moral, problem.

An anaemic prescription
Tue, Mar 15, 2016

Budget 2016 is disappointing for India’s health. It will not cut the burden of catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditure.

Cure the doctor
Mon, Dec 21, 2015

Healthcare in India is a leading cause of poverty. The medical profession must own its share of the blame