Essar Foundation organised its 18th Knowledge Series roundtable along with John Snow, Inc., India, a renowned global non-profit that specialises in public health. The event examined India’s public health landscape and explored global best practices in the sector. This was the first in a series of three roundtables under the title “Improving Public Health in India: The Power of Partnerships.” The session was attended by representatives from non-profits and academic institutions, as well as CSR department heads.
Mr Deepak Arora, CEO, Essar Foundation, delivered the welcome address, highlighting the complexity of health issues and the large scope of learning for CSR departments. Mr Lalit Gupta, MD & CEO, Essar Oil Limited, gave the opening remarks, and talked about the shortcomings of the Indian health services industry. He emphasised the need to plug these gaps and called for a strategic partnership between different institutions to achieve desired outcomes.
Prof. KV Ramani from IIM-Ahmedabad, an authority on public health, gave a presentation on the “Power of Partnerships in Impacting Public Health”. He presented successful case studies that emerged from such partnerships, including instances of increased life expectancy, and smallpox and polio eradication. He spoke about looking at public health as one would look at any other issue in the corporate space: It was necessary to identify the exact problem, use data to guide and measure the resolution, and follow through with a long-term plan to achieve the desired results.
Ms Kumkum Amin, Associate Director, John Snow, Inc., Boston, stressed upon partnerships for the health sector that were necessitated by large-scale problems and the growing need for multi-pronged interventions both on the supply and demand sides. She also showcased various partnership models from the health sector. Ms Amin underlined the need for co-creating a common agenda, leveraging existing talent and sharing knowledge widely to influence policy.
The event saw freewheeling discussions with the participants, which triggered a variety of anecdotes and useful suggestions.