Sutra is a Sanskrit word, which literally means string or thread. But in the literary context, sutra is a concise i.e. using few words and meaningful expression of a truth. All vedic knowledge is in the form of Sutras.
To put it simply, a sutra is a sentence or a statement, which has a complete meaning by itself. Every word in a sutra is non deletable, every word is a chapter by itself.
For example, a sutra to create awareness about child sexual abuse can be as follows: “Child sexual abuse, evident or suspect, is a common, preventable, punishable, acute medicolegal emergency.”
· ‘Child’ means any person below the age of 18 years
· ‘Sexual’ means sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography as defined in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012
· ‘Abuse’ means unwelcome/uninvited behavior - involvement of all senses, touch, remarks, gestures, showing pornography, etc.
· ‘Evident’ means obvious or clearly visible
· ‘Suspect’ means to consider to be true
· ‘Common’ means both boys and girls can be victims
· ‘Preventable’ means avoidable
· ‘Punishable’ means imprisonment along with fine
· ‘Acute’ means of extreme importance, urgent
· ‘Medicolegal’ means the police has to be informed
· ‘Emergency’ means immediate action is required; stressful
Public education is an important part of health care and doctors have a duty to educate not only their patients, but also the community about the significance of a healthy lifestyle.
Sutras can be effectively used in health communication for dissemination of health messages as they are easy to remember. Credible health sutras convey scientific information in a simple language, making it easy for the patient as well as the public to understand and adopt in their daily life.
This is how I teach.
I often use sutras and formulas as a module to educate the general public about important health issues. Some examples of these one-line health messages, which are evidence-based and I have successfully used are as below:
· Any food of plant in origin does not contain cholesterol.
· Any fat that is liquid at room temperature is saturated fat.
· Any fat that is solid at room temperature is unsaturated fat.
· One percent increases in cholesterol increases the chances of heart attack by 2%.
· One percent increase in good HDL cholesterol decreases the chances of heart attack by 3%.
· High BP, blood sugar and blood cholesterol can remain silent for up to a decade.
· Longer the waist line, shorter the lifeline.
· Even one whiff of cigarette, active or passive, is not health-friendly.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.