Pune: Countries should come together to fight public health issues: Gautam Bambawale

Share this News:

Pune, 22th February, 2023: Former Indian High Commissioner to China and Pakistan Ambassador (Retired) Gautam Bambawale stressed that countries across the world should come together to fight public health issues unlike COVID, where nations tried to combat the disease by themselves.

Gautam Bambawale was speaking on Wednesday after launching the Autoimmune Blistering Disease Foundation (AIBDF), a one-of-its kind organization working for spreading awareness about autoimmune blistering diseases in the Indian subcontinent, at the Navalmal Firodia Hall, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) on the Law College Road.

Dr Abdul Razzaque Ahmed, Director, Centre for Blistering Diseases, Boston, and an authority in autoimmune blistering diseases, launched the AIBDF in presence of actress Mrinal Dev Kulkarni, Gautam Bambawale, who were Guests of Honour. AIBDF trustees Ashok Suratwala, Dr Sharad Mutalik, Anirudha Bambawale and Advocate Jayant Hemade were present on the occasion.

“The establishment of Autoimmune Blistering Disease Foundation is an example of co-operation between Pune, India and Boston, United States of America because doctors from both the places have worked together.

“During last three years, during the period of COVID-19, we had seen the opposite happening. This was a huge public health crisis, which was global in nature, and yet different countries shut their doors to other countries and tried to combat the disease by themselves. When the World faced the COVID-19 challenge, the countries did not fight it together.

“Any global crisis should not be handled this way, it should be handled in the way we are combating Auto-immune Blistering Disease, where different countries of the world come together and co-operate to fight such a global challenge,” 64-year-old Gautam Bambawale said.

Dr Abdul Razzaque Ahmed, who originally hails from Yavatmal, said now there are no deaths due to autoimmune blistering diseases and research has helped development of medicines in the past 50 odd years to combat the disease. He also underlined that autoimmune blistering diseases were not contagious.

“The treatment cost in India is slightly on the higher side. The main reason is the cost of medicines. If the pharmaceutical companies reduce the medicine prices, it will help in the treatment of patients. The need of the hour is also that more research should take place in the field and hence we should encourage young doctors by offering scholarships,” Dr Razzaque elaborated.

Mrinal Kulkarni said that people are unaware about most of the diseases as health is a neglected subject.

“Today, the AIBDF is being established and I am sure it will help spread awareness about the disease among the patients and common people,” Mrinal Kulkarni said.

The AIBDF, a public charitable trust, intends to create awareness about autoimmune blistering diseases, guide patients with autoimmune blistering diseases in terms of early diagnosis and right treatment. The AIBDF also intends to make financial help available to those patients, who cannot afford the treatment. It also intends to create groups for guidance and would encourage patients to take up treatment.

Dr Yashashree Rasal moderated the inauguration program, while Ashok Suratwala proposed the vote of thanks.