I recently attended the 5th National Health Writers and Editors Convention, HEAL Foundation which was held at Radisson Hyderabad Hitec City. At the convention, a discussion revolved around how crucial awareness is in the healthcare sector for saving lives. It felt good when the discussion proceeded to how health writers and bloggers are instrumental in creating this much-needed awareness. After videos of the achievements of the health department of Telangana and the 3rd
National Conference of HEAL, it was time to discuss the sensitive topic of end of life or euthanasia. Most of us prefer not to talk about death even though we know that it is inevitable. As the debate on the topic continued, I got to know that most people who are on death bed share their last poignant words with nurses and sisters rather than family members. As the panel discussion moved to health publications, it was unnerving to know that less than 1% of global publications come from India.
I completely agreed with the panel members when they emphasized that European or American patients are the clinical research participants and we tend to apply that same research results in India. This is misleading because Indian DNA is different from Caucasian DNA. In lieu of this, can you imagine the scope of showcasing original research in India and this can be carried out by health writers and bloggers. As part of the delegates, I got to learn how to write an article based on a research paper including finding a good research, reading it, interviewing the authors, keeping the context in mind, getting other scientists opinions and paying attention to whom I am writing for. There were also relevant tips provided on how to avoid common mistakes in science writing with case studies.
The convention was also the platform to launch the Health Journalism Fellowships by HEAL Foundation and Indian Institute of Mass Communication. It is open to print, broadcast and multimedia journalists working for or contributing to mainstream and ethnic media in the country. The fellowships are a great boost for the recognition and promotion of health journalism and are a commendable initiative.