October 22, 2005, Mumbai, Press Release

“Doctors treat symptoms, not the disease”, said Dr. Anupam Desai, a consulting cardiologist practicing since 48 years, while speaking at the inaugural session of the workshop “Training of Trainers”. This is partly because patients want instant and immediate relief and therefore urge doctors to provide temporary medical aid without going into the depth of the problem. Patients are required to build faith on doctors and more importantly possess basic knowledge about rationale use of drugs.

The workshop was jointly organised by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), Welfare Forum of India and Nagindas Khandwala College of Commerce, Arts and Management Studies. The objective of the workshop was to disseminate information on community health issues to various stakeholders. The workshop forms a part of the project “Consumer Awareness on Rational Use of Drugs”, undertaken by CUTS Calcutta Resource Centre (CRC), with support from the WHO India office and the office of the Drugs Controller General (India).

CUTS has prepared ‘Patient Information Manual’ (PIM) which was distributed to all the participants at the workshop. PIM contains essential information through which the patient can be informed, motivated, guided and helped to adopt and maintain safe, rational and effective health practices and general knowledge about the prevention and cure of diseases.

Dr. Sailesh Gupta, child and newborn specialist, explained that a doctor’s role is limited up to writing a prescription to the patient. After this, it is patient’s responsibility to apply his knowledge and reasoning from buying drugs from a pharmacist to proper intake of drugs, storage, etc. Dr. Gupta also elucidated the ill-effects of self-medication without proper knowledge which may cause irreparable damage to vital organs like liver, kidney and stomach.

Ms Shakuntala Surve, a social worker, emphasised on the need for such workshops at grassroots level.