Thomas Abraham is an Associate Professor and journalist in Journalism and Media Studies Centre University of Hong Kong. Dan Morrison started the conversations by addressing him a question, ” Why did you write about Polio?”
Thomas said he was not a medical person and doesn’t have a medical or science degree. Ten years ago, he wasn’t interested. But he writes about health. He wrote a book called “The Story of SARS”- a disease that swept Hong Kong in 2000. In 2003, a virus, made the whole city sleep and people were scared. He quoted, ” the relationship with man and microbe is one of the oldest human relationships”.
His desire was to avoid microbes but then he got interested in polio He got to know of this huge Global programme to eradicate polio forever and he spoke about the idea of eradication, ending the disease forever. He was interested in how different societies responded to disease. This response tells a lot about self. Our response to disease is a mirror for us to see our own societies. That’s what got him interested in polio.
18 years since, the poliovirus is still not eradicated. According to Dan Morrison India did well in eradicating Polio thanks to its immunization campaigns. But he wonders how it was possible to eradicate polio in India, but still not provide sanitation or other basic things that the country needs.
Thomas Abraham replied that when properly motivated, poorly functioning states like UP and Bihar can do better. We have protected children from Polio, but children are dying from malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, illnesses. There are many areas in which we haven’t achieved eradication. Necessary things in public health are hard and they are difficult to achieve.
The idea of public health should be more about equity, broad values of justice, much helpful for people. The public health challenges are many including clean drinking water, air pollution and waste management.
About the Author: Ashika is a CA student. She is an enthusiastic social activist and also an uncertified psychotherapist on an Instagram handle “@ms.selenophile”. She helps people to overcome mental illness and motivates people to lead life in ac meaningful way. Writes her thoughtflows with Hashtag #Spread_laughters❤ on her Instagram handle. Endlessly working for #Suicide_prevention_awareness. Helping people to defeat there dark sides of life and motivates them to create the rest of the life a colourful one.She currently writes for Bookstalkist.