In all these years being in the global public health space, I have rarely come
across practitioners of the trade talking about creating happiness through the
interventions on the ground and through health systems intervened. There is
much dialogue around health equity, health outcomes, technology to aid rural
development and much more, but the conversation must center around
happiness now more than ever before.
It may be good practice to have objective specific outcomes of care, but in a
culture dominated by misery, war, hatred, hyper nationalism, increasing sadness
and loneliness is on the rise leading to mental health consequences which
cannot be seen but possibly have devastating ends.
I wish to introduce new practices of practicing global public health with facets
of love, creating memories that inspire, focusing on interventions which have
the happiness quotient. These are powerful emotions which in a way all of us in
the global health space have never cultivated and even rarely spoken about in
high level meetings.
I ask of you to imagine global health animated by happiness which makes us
ask for something bigger than mere physical health. We must revisit the
objective of health from a peace of mind perspective, from a serenity
perspective and from an ever ever desire to create the kind of world that thrives
on happiness and overflows with the abundance of love.
It is not enough to bring out a child from the clutches of malnutrition, it is
simply not enough to save a community from impending disaster, it is necessary
that we add colour and value to our existence. Not always can we measure the
impact by mere numbers, but we must through a novel approach built on values
of human solidarity strive to create an atmosphere that enables, that enkindles
and that which delights the soul.
Global public health must aim to put families first, put communities first. Eye
washing projects sponsored by vested interests have no scope in the global
health space. Unless we nourish the roots of our hope and let the light within us
illuminate, we will remain guided by our own ignorance that thrives on average
Every nation presents unique challenges that require novel approaches, be it gun
violence or opioids crisis in the US, or be it the failed one child policy of China,
or be it the recurring disasters hitting the Philippines islands or the economic
crisis engulfing Sri Lanka or the malnutrition issues faced by India, the
collective human goodness that can be achieved if neatly influenced remains the
way we push for happiness.
We need to be obsessed with policies around happiness and promote more
emotions that have the mountain moving potential for human goodness to reach
courageous levels of care and a higher purpose.
This urge to act, this desire to create happiness through public health actions has
influenced my thoughts over the years. In the age of public health, I ask of
every practitioner to have a public health in all policies approach factoring
happiness in every objective outcome.