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Dr. Wasim Ghori who is empowering individuals for a healthy lifestyle through patient education initiative ‘Healthcare on Your Fingertips’

The Covid-19 pandemic had brought normal life to a grinding halt and caused an upheaval in most of our lives. While we stayed locked up at our homes, there were a few others who went

The Covid-19 pandemic had brought normal life to a grinding halt and caused an upheaval in most of our lives. While we stayed locked up at our homes, there were a few others who went beyond their call of duty. A majority of them included the doctors who served on the frontline, risking their own lives. While Medgate Today pays a tribute to all the doctors, we bring to you the journey of Dr. M. Wasim Ghori who was honored with the title ‘Most Distinguished Alumni from India’ during the COVID-19 pandemic by London South Bank University, UK for positively impacting the communities and helping patients and those affected during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Currently, Dr. Ghori serves as the Medical Director and Consultant Diabetologist for a chain of Specialty Heart & Diabetes Clinics in Mumbai with a focus on wellness and multi-disciplinary holistic care. He helps incorporate IT-supported care pathways for early detection and prevention of long-term complications caused by Type 2 Diabetes.

Dr. Ghori helps people with Type 2 Diabetes on how to self-manage their health so that they can avoid long term complications and enjoy better quality of life. To achieve this goal of having a ‘Diabetes Complications Free India’, he educates and empowers individuals to become more aware of their health and enable them to make informed healthier lifestyle choices through ‘Healthcare on Your Fingertips’ –
a patient education and awareness WhatsApp messaging initiative where bite-sized health nuggets get delivered to people every morning which they can access anytime and anywhere. This patient education initiative received positive feedback and appreciation from Dr. V. Mohan, internationally renowned expert identified amongst the top 2% scientists in the world listed by Stanford University in the specialty of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

However, life was very different for him during the lockdown while serving on the frontline at the peak of the pandemic. Sharing his experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic and learnings from there, Dr. Ghori expressed that it was quite a challenging task to deal with during the crisis. During the pandemic, Dr. Ghori volunteered and served on the frontline by responding to the issues faced by patients on dialysis and ensured that those affected received the much-needed services through his personal, professional, and social network. He was involved with other healthcare professionals, in helping the public and the government with suggestions in formulating policies to
tackle the challenges posed by Covid-19. Furthermore, he created awareness on the importance of physical distancing, hand washing, usage of sanitizers and using face masks as control strategies for Covid-19 through radio talks, newspaper articles and virtual conversations. He educated and empowered communities and individuals on the need to follow protocols in combating the social stigma associated with Covid-19. As part of ‘Quarantine Art Initiative’, he supported communities during the turbulent times by raising
much-needed awareness on the virus through the medium of Visual Arts. The artworks done by his wife Zubia Ghori, an accomplished Academician and an Artist by training were shortlisted for a global painting competition in May 2020 – 'United Against CORONA-Express Through Art' organized by the

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to express solidarity with people in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.Dr. Ghori says, “I have always believed in the power of visual art in tackling negativity and despair. At a time when there is constant negative news all around, I thought that people should create something positive and not just be passive listeners to the stories of doom. Apart from the joy of creation, art can also soothe the stressed minds and give everyone a strong reason to live another day especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown. It gives us hope, purpose and a desire to see beyond the problems of these difficult times”. He added, “We created awareness on the importance of using face masks and having them available for all, thus encouraging people to stay home and stay safe. Furthermore, in testing times such as Covid-19 Pandemic, while we all ensure physical distancing, it’s also the best time to nurture relationships and reduce emotional distancing with our loved ones.” Talking about Visual Art as an instrument of healing, Dr. Ghori says,

“Indian Healthcare is now moving towards a dramatic shift from art in healthcare being something hospitals should do to something they
have got to do. It is an innovative concept of bringing together Visual Arts, Healthcare & Entrepreneurship & the Healing Potential of Artistic Interventions in Medical Settings in India.” On creating a discipline, profession and evidence in the field of arts and healthcare, Dr. Ghori added, “Working in the field of healthcare can be satisfying and lucrative. Although challenging, entering the
healthcare market can provide a new revenue stream for artists. Selling art to the Healthcare Art Market is a wonderful opportunity to expand sales and reputation and to help others through art. It is one of the most rewarding ways to bring your art to the public. The genuine collaboration between artists, patients, their families and clinicians can result in something extraordinary and very beautiful. Therefore, consideration needs to be given to the basic issues and definitions of the field of arts in healthcare in India that will advance this area of endeavor now and for the future.” “By integrating the healing power of arts and medicine, I intend to make a meaningful contribution in the delivery of better health, well-being and improved experiences for patients, service users and staff alike within healthcare facilities in India and lead innovation in healthcare design, services and spaces.”

In recognition of his creative entrepreneurial qualities and innovative work in the field of Art in Healthcare & Wellness in India, Dr. Ghori was invited to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet The Former Hon’ble 13th President of India and Bharat Ratna Awardee Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, The Former Hon’ble Vice-President of India, Mr. M. Hamid Ansari at Vice-President House and Padmashri Prof. Dr. M. Wali –The Former Physician to three Presidents of India at the President Estate, New Delhi in 2017. Original handmade acrylic artworks made by his artist wife and presented to the esteemed dignitaries now form part of the Keeper’s Section at Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum, New Delhi. In 2018, Dr. Ghori collaborated with a US-based Healthcare Technology Company to set the stage for a new way to work with individuals at high risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, diabetes and its complications; all of which are dramatically rising across India. His insightful leadership in developing, supporting and implementing new technologies and electronic medical records supporting chronic disease prevention and management proved to be exemplary. He stated, “Primary prevention of diabetes is of paramount importance in both developed and in developing countries. The use of mobile technology to deliver education, treatment targets, advice, support, motivate and promote sustained lifestyle changes to prevent Type 2 Diabetes and its complications not only in India but other countries too holds the key in achieving this goal”.

Dr. Ghori who serves as the Director – Healthcare for Indian Economic Trade Organization (IETO), stated, “The growing epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes demands urgent and coordinated attention. Given the size of the diabetes epidemic and the number of people at high risk, approaches aimed exclusively at individual behavior changes in clinical settings will likely prove inadequate for diabetes control at the population level. On the other hand, improvements in policy and the environmental factors would predispose, enable and reinforce more healthy diets and more active lifestyles for widespread and sustained behavior changes.” “These will require development of infrastructure, environment and policy changes and ongoing funding of a multilevel, multidisciplinary approach and an experimental attitude at the state and local levels to allow public health researchers to evaluate the ingredients of successful innovations that constitute
natural experiments in diabetes prevention,” further added Dr. Ghori who is the recipient of numerous awards for his pioneering work in the field of Healthcare Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management Development and Cardio-Diabetes Medicine. In light of the increasing prevalence of diabetes and cardiometabolic conditions globally, more comprehensive preventive programs are needed to curb them.

Dr. Ghori also said that an integrated national system for early detection and prevention of Diabetes must be developed in order to minimize an individual’s risk of Type 2 Diabetes and its complications. He concluded by saying, “Let us join hands to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and to promote the role of the family and lifestyle modifications in the management, care,
prevention and education of the condition.” The evidence of how Dr. Ghori’s UK Education played a key influence in his success together with the scale of impact of his work and achievements on his community, profession, industry and country can be well-understood by virtue of him being appointed as the ‘Brand Ambassador for Education UK’ by the British Council in 2012. In January 2020, Dr. Ghori was felicitated as an ‘Illustrious Alumni’ by R.D. & S.H. National College & S.W.A. Science College, Mumbai to commemorate its 70 years of Academic Excellence & Nation Building. For his courage and valiant efforts in dispensing duties to the society and the country during the lockdown, Dr Ghori was felicitated as a ‘Corona Warrior’ by the Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari at a function organized last year at Raj Bhavan, Governor’s House, Mumbai.

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