There is a need to integrate Indian Health System to develop
a Campus Health & Wellbeing Culture
As we celebrate the World Health Day coinciding the 75th Year of the establishment of the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is an opportune time to celebrate success of public health and also need to prepare a roadmap for future to ensure Health for All.
The conceptualisation of WHO was started in 1945. The Constitution of the WHO was approved in 1946 and was agreed to adopted on 7th of April 1948. Since then, this day is observed as the World Health Day. In last seven decades the world has several milestones in dealing with deadly diseases like smallpox, polio, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, and several pandemic outbreaks like Ebola, Zika and recently the Covid-19. Countries of the world have come together with WHO to promote global health, keep the world safe and serve the most vulnerable and under-served. The motto has been to have everyone, everywhere without leaving anyone behind can attain the highest level of health and well-being.
As we are rushing against an impending deadline of achieving the goal of having Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG-3) for each human being across the world by 2030, higher education institutions like universities will have a major role of play. Health for All can not be achieved without universities making it their strategic goal.
Developing a Campus Health & Wellbeing Culture
‘Health for All’ is a fundamental aspect of promoting good health and well-being for individuals and communities. The role of universities in providing health education is essential, as they are in a unique position to steer thought and action leadership to reach a broad audience and offer specialized knowledge and resources to develop and strengthen a Campus Health & Wellbeing Culture (CHWC). Like Campus Startup Culture, Campus Innovation Culture and Campus Sustainability Culture, a Campus Health & Wellbeing Culture needs to be promoted in higher education institutions.
Integrating the Indian Health System
Integrating Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy into campus health and wellbeing initiatives can provide students, faculty, and staff with holistic health and wellness options. By incorporating these traditional Indian health systems into the curriculum, offering workshops and training, establishing wellness centers, promoting research and innovation, organizing events, fostering collaborations, and promoting their offerings, universities can create a supportive environment for the integration of the AYUSH ecosystem to offer integrative healthcare on campus and in the surrounding communities.
From Campus to Community
Universities can take a proactive approach in their campuses and also in the surrounding communities to promote holistic health on campus by implementing comprehensive wellness programs, providing access to health services, fostering a healthy environment, supporting mental health and emotional well-being, promoting work-life balance, offering education and training, creating peer-led programs, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, fostering social connections, and conducting research and evaluations to promote Health for All.
By prioritizing holistic health, universities can create a supportive and thriving environment for their students, faculty, and staff and inspire community action to achieve the goal of Health and Wellbeing for All by 2030.
*Srinivas Subbarao is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT-World Peace University, Pune and currently the Founding Director General of Consortium for advancing Indian Tertiary Education (CITE), an Indo-American higher education association established to strengthen India’s global role in education.