Chennai, April 7, 2016: On the occasion of the World Health day (7 April 2016) there is need for a relook at our approach to eliminating diseases like Leprosy and TB. A committee I chaired in 1981-82 for developing a strategy for achieving a Leprosy Free India by the year 2000 recommended a food cum drug approach. This is because most of the leprosy patients are poor and require nutritional support for deriving benefit from the multi-drug therapy. Unfortunately, this is not being done and leprosy is still persisting in our country. The same is the case with diseases like TB. Another committee I chaired was on Eliminating Preventable Blindness again by the year 2000. To achieve this purpose, MSSRF launched a programme by which those suffering from cataract in rural areas can be educated on the opportunity available to cure the cataract condition. Such a vision literacy programme was launched with the help of computer-aided Village Knowledge Centres. Therefore on the World Health Day, we must pay concurrent attention to education, nutrition and appropriate medical treatment. Nutrition cum drug approach is the root to success. Also, the prevailing serious malnutrition problems can be overcome by launching a Farming System for Nutrition Movement.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.