HEAL-Thy Samvad healthcare experts session

In a world reshaping after the pandemic, healthcare has taken centre stage. Recently, the inaugural session of HEAL-Thy Samvad brought together healthcare experts, policymakers, and a representative from Nigeria, a key partner in the Global South, to explore collaborative approaches towards a more robust global healthcare infrastructure. The experts highlighted the significance of collaborative healthcare efforts between India and Nigeria.

Addressing the inaugural session of HEAL-Thy Samvad, representing the Nigerian Student Association, Mr. Abu Bakr, highlighted the cultural similarities attracting Indian healthcare to Nigeria, saying, “Nigerian citizens are increasingly seeking medical services in India. Nigeria – the most populous nation in Africa, rapidly developing with a booming GDP of $400 billion, Nigeria is an active member of the Global South. Many Indian doctors are already in Nigeria, and there’s immense scope for further engagement.”

The session echoed a powerful message of unity. Speakers emphasized the importance of “One Health,” advocating for a holistic approach that includes capacity building, technology utilization, and international partnerships.

Dr. R.K. Srivastav, Former Chairman, Medical Council of India, aptly stated, “Health is our right. Various healthcare components – doctors, systems, and pharma – must come together to serve patients better. Advocacy is the fine-tuning mechanism between all elements of the healthcare system.”

Dr. Zoya Ali Rizvi, Deputy Commissioner, MoHFW, GOI, highlighted the disparity between India’s advancing medical science and public awareness, emphasizing collaboration’s crucial role: “We must work together – stakeholders, NGOs, and UN organizations – to reach all beneficiaries. Local NGOs are vital in bridging the last-mile gap. ” The Ministry aims to eradicate TB by 2025, mobilizing the healthcare sector, state governments, local NGOs, and community-based organizations, with national program integration underway to achieve this goal.

Dr. Urvashi Prasad, NITI Ayog’s Director, stressed advocacy and tech in health, noting, “India’s focus on aligning local efforts with global goals, especially through G20 and Global South initiatives. State govts are quicker in local efforts, emphasizing collaboration. As a cancer patient, she advocates for patient inclusion in pharma. The recent TB surge highlights health equity, with technology crucial for awareness and combat, underscored by the pandemic’s wake-up call against complacency.”

Dr. Rajiv Chhibber, V.P. External Affairs, Sahajanand Medical Technologies Ltd., championed the concept of ‘One Health,’ echoing the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’ (universal kinship). He further stressed, “Digital health is the new way of life. Technology, research, and healthcare providers must work together. The AAA rule – Accessibility, Affordability, and Availability – should be healthcare’s pillars. We need to enhance capacity building and ensure technology is available to all. Infectious diseases are another critical focus area for global health. By following a holistic approach, we can achieve excellence in healthcare.”

Healthcare luminaries from FICCI and ASSOCHAM shared their insights at the Samvaad. Participants included Mr. Vivek Seigell, Public Policy Expert for Business & Economic Growth; Dr. Ravi Gaur, Founder of Path Lab and FICCI Healthcare Group member; Mr. Jatin Mahajan, MD of J. Mitra & Co. Pvt. Ltd.; Mr. Atantra Das Gupta, Senior Director at Samsung HME; Mr. Ishan Pandita, Additional Director at FICCI; and Mr. Diwesh Kumar Mishra, CMD of Donias Megalink Ltd.

The HEAL-Thy Samvad highlighted the need for global collaboration in healthcare. By bridging healthcare gaps through “One Health” initiatives, technology, and strategic partnerships, India and Nigeria can ensure a healthier future for their citizens and contribute to a more robust global health infrastructure.