New Delhi: This year’s Padma Shree awardee, Dr Chandrakant S Pandav, popularly known as Iodine Man of India, is salt of the earth in the realm of the public health in India. The former Professor & Head of the Department – Centre for Community Medicine, (AIIMS), New Delhi Dr. Pandav has left an indelible impact in the area of public health. On getting the award, he has said this year Padma Shri Awards for Medicine have been given to such doctors who were connected to the ground, bringing impact in society and in the lives of the people.
Dr. Pandav is one of the grounded public health experts in India. He has earned ‘Iodine Man of India’ for his relentless efforts and unwavering commitment towards bringing to light the dire consequences of Iodine Deficiency on health. He has been a consultant on Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) from 1983 to over 60 countries to WHO/UNICEF – South Asia, Western Pacific, Middle East and African countries at National, Regional and Global level. He has been working in the areas of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD), Micronutrients, Health Systems Research, Health Economics, Health Policy, Health Programme Evaluation, Public-Private Partnership & Human Rights Issues. He is Co-Editor of 14 books on Health Sciences and authored about 400 research papers published in various National and International Journals.
Besides these accomplishments, during COVID times, Dr Pandav has been instrumental in steering COVID Fighters Public Health Safety Movement successfully in association with the HEAL Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, contributing optimum in bringing behavioural change amongst masses. The ongoing movement has completed 250 days and submitted its report reaching out to over 12 crore people in India through 25 COVID-19 special webinars and other allied activities.
He completed his MBBS and later MD in Community Medicine from AIIMS, New Delhi and M.Sc from McMaster University Hamilton, Canada with specialization in Health Economics, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Dr. Pandav is also an alumnus of the Department of Human Nutrition, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London (UK). Presently, he is a Member of National Council on India Nutrition Challenges under Poshan Abhiyan which is chaired by Vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, President of Association of Indian Coalition of Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), Regional Coordinator for Iodine Global Network (IGN) South Asia and Chairman of Coalition of Food and Nutrition Security, India.
Elated on receiving the Padma Shri, Dr. Chandrakant S Pandav, former Professor & Head of the Department – Centre for Community Medicine, (AIIMS), New Delhi, President of Association of Indian Coalition of Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) said, “I am very happy on getting this award. Actually, this honour is the recognition for the services done to the public health, bringing change to the society at large. I extend my sincere thanks to the award-giving bodies that they have recognised the genuine services done to public health and to the society. I dedicate the award to public health.”
Another AIIMS doctor on the list, late Dr JitendraNathPande has been also conferred Padma Shri (Posthumously). He was an eminent pulmonologist and former Head of the Department of Medicine, AIIMS, who had succumbed to COVID-19 last year. He joined AIIMS as an MBBS student and retired as the head of the Department of Medicine. His team’s study on outdoor air pollution and emergency room visits at a hospital in Delhi in 1997-98 was referred to by the supreme court of India in its judgement banning diesel buses in Delhi in 1998. His research focused on high altitude physiology, lung mechanics in health and disease, exercise physiology, and intestinal lung disease (a group of diseases that affect the interstitium or the network of tissues that supports the air sacs).