Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care

: 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1143-

“Project Dhoop” and primary healthcare personnel as its ambassador

Ganesh Singh Dharmshaktu 
 Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ganesh Singh Dharmshaktu
Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College, Haldwani - 263 139, Uttarakhand

How to cite this article:
Dharmshaktu GS. “Project Dhoop” and primary healthcare personnel as its ambassador.J Family Med Prim Care 2018;7:1143-1143

How to cite this URL:
Dharmshaktu GS. “Project Dhoop” and primary healthcare personnel as its ambassador. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Apr 16 ];7:1143-1143
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

We read with interest the review article entitled “Vitamin D deficiency in India.” by Aparna et al.[1] It has succinctly addressed the overview of an underappreciated problem, chief causes, and practical solutions in lucid manner. As rightly stated, the deteriorating bone health is an established problem today and appears to be an epidemic in coming years. For younger India to become future ready and withstand this crippling disorder with high burden on healthcare expenditure and man-hour loss, investment in healthy lifestyle is must to ensure stronger bones. Its importance is monumental in formative years as the peak bone mass is the corpus of those little investments of nutritious food, adequate sun exposure, exercise, and active lifestyle over the years.[2] It is not uncommon to see school kids engage in sedentary habits with lack of sun exposure and exercise that have negative impact on their future bone health. Obesity and junk foods are other contributing factors that require individual solutions. Parents and teachers themselves are mostly unaware of future ill effects of Vitamin D deficiency as this is silent process and the gross effect of any gain or loss is intangible. Awareness and outreach programs to address these issues are one of many other important steps such a fortification of food as highlighted in the article.

Adequate sun exposure during school time is a good, practically feasible step to inculcate good habit in children and ensure physiological Vitamin D production in a safe and inexpensive manner. “Project Dhoop;” an initiative supported by The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India is a welcome step in this direction.[3] The association has launched the program recently in association with Central Board of School Education in March 2018 and urged all schools to actively support the cause. Encouraging schools to adjust morning assemblies to noon time between 11 am to 1 pm to get maximum benefit of sun exposure and optimum Vitamin D production.[4] Seasonal variations during winters calls for Vitamin D supplementation owing to decreased ultraviolet B index.[5] Along with proper sun exposure the program supports food fortification to counter various micro-nutrient deficiencies. This small step, if successful universally, has far reaching positive consequences. Similar to all initiatives, the grass root enthusiasm and support makes or mars a program. As primary care personnel including doctors, nurses, and supporting staff are first line of contact between masses and in most cases influential in respective society, their unconditional support is vital to strengthen and safeguard the success of this initiative.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Aparna P, Muthathal S, Nongkynrih B, Gupta SK. Vitamin D deficiency in India. J Fam Med Prim Care 2018;7:324-30.
2Lu J, Shin Y, Yen MS, Sun SS. Peak bone mass and patterns of change in total bone mineral density and bone mineral contents from childhood into young adulthood. J Clin Densitom 2016;19:180-91.
3Press Release on DHOOP – Noon Assembly in Schools, an Effective Way to Address Vitamin D Deficiencies Held; 9 April, 2018. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Jul 26].
4Moan J, Grigalavicius M, Dahlback A, Baturaite Z, Juzeniene A. Ultraviolet-radiation and health: Optimal time for sun exposure. Adv Exp Med Biol 2014;810:423-8.
5Marwaha RK, Yenamandra VK, Sreenivas V, Sahay R, Baruah MP, Desai A, et al. Regional and seasonal variations in ultraviolet B irradiation and Vitamin D synthesis in India. Osteoporos Int 2016;27:1611-7.