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The George Institute for Global Health celebrated its 10th Anniversary in India

The George Institute for Global Health India celebrated its 10th Anniversary today at an event, attended by a large range of stakeholders in healthcare research, policy, communication and delivery.

A highlight of the event was an Oration delivered by Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India. Giving a sweeping overview of the evolution of cardiovascular and public health research in India over 50 years, and using examples from the work of several researchers, he highlighted the progress made, described the scope of current and upcoming challenges, and reflected on possible solutions. He felt that fiscal measures, policy decisions, multi-sectoral approach and reshaping the social and environmental determinants of health were going to be critical for healthcare delivery in the future. Transdisciplinary research should provide meaningful information to policymakers, which can in turn influence policy. 

He highlighted the importance of taking a life-course approach to addressing the problem of chronic diseases. He said:

“We ought to be able to demonstrate even in a low resource setting on how technology-enabled frontline health workers can be competent and effective in detecting the common diseases and risk-factors like blood pressure & diabetes.

 

The role of a health professional is to elucidate as a researcher, educate as a teacher, alleviate as a clinician, advocate as an activist and agitate as a concerned citizen. We all play one of these roles. If we can collectively discharge all these functions, we think we can minimize death and disability due to various diseases in India.”

The chief guest of the event, Ms Harinder Kaur Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to India, congratulated the George Institute for a successful 10 years in India, and recognized the high quality work, adding that this could be the foundation for expanding the co-operation between the two countries under the new India-Australia Health MOU.

Post the oration, there was a lively interesting panel discussion on the topic of Patient and Public participation in Healthcare Delivery, moderated by Prof. Ian Jacobs, Vice-Chancellor, UNSW Sydney. Dr Rajani Ved, Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Centre; Ms K. Sujatha Rao, Former Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India; Dr Dinesh Arora, Director- Health, Niti Aayog; Dr Narottam Puri, Medical Advisor, Fortis Healthcare & Advisor Health Services FICCI and Mr Dinesh C Sharma, Managing Editor, India Science Wire were part of the panel discussion.

A number of contemporary issues covering a wide range of topics including patient participation in healthcare, lack of trust between doctors and patients and the role of the private sector were raised by the panellists and members of the audience. Important points that emerged was the need to increase conversation amongst members of the public around health care related issues, looking for long-term plans for disease prevention, ensuring adequate financing, developing sustainable delivery mechanisms and development of mechanisms to increase popular participation in healthcare planning.

During the event, George Institute also announced the results of two competitions. Pahul Singh, a student of class 12th from Learning Paths School, Mohali won the first prize and Anuj Sharma of class 12th from Air Force School Subroto Park, New Delhi got the second prize for their essays on ‘What would you like your policymakers to know about your health?’.

Team Training the Iatros’ won the 1st prize and ‘Team Tick Talk To’ won the second prize in the ‘India Health Innovation Contest’ organised for medical and engineering colleges.