Tribal Health Summit: ECHO India, a non-profit trust dedicated to improving healthcare outcomes in India through capacity building, has partnered with AIIMS Deoghar, a premier medical institution in the country, to host a Nationwide Summit on Tribal Health. The summit brought together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to discuss the challenges facing the tribal communities in accessing quality healthcare and explore potential solutions.
The summit featured a distinguished panel of speakers, including Arjun Munda, Minister of Tribal Affairs, Government of India; Dr. (Prof.) N. K. Arora, President of AIIMS Deoghar; Dr. (Prof.) Saurabh Varshney, Executive Director & CEO of AIIMS Deoghar and Dr. Col Kumud Rai, Chairman and Managing Trustee of ECHO India.
Tribal Health Minister Arjun Munda expressed his support for the summit, stating, “The government is committed to ensuring that all citizens, including those in tribal communities, have access to quality healthcare. I am pleased to see that organizations like ECHO India and AIIMS Deoghar are taking steps to address the challenges facing these communities.”
The summit included panel discussions on topics such as improving access to healthcare in remote tribal areas, addressing cultural barriers to healthcare, and leveraging technology to improve healthcare outcomes.
Dr. (Prof.) N. K. Arora, AIIMS Deoghar President, stated, “As a premier medical institution in the country, AIIMS Deoghar is committed to improving the health and well-being of all communities, including tribal communities. We are delighted to partner with ECHO India to host this important event.”
Dr. Saurabh Varshney, AIIMS Deoghar Executive Director, said, “We at AIIMS Deoghar understand that tribal communities have long faced significant challenges in accessing healthcare services. The unique cultural and geographical characteristics of these communities often create barriers to accessing healthcare, resulting in poor health outcomes. Through this nationwide summit, we aim to identify innovative solutions that can help improve healthcare access and outcomes for tribal communities across the country. We hope to collaborate with other experts and stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies that address the root causes of these challenges and pave the way for better health outcomes for tribal communities.”
Dr Varshney also highlighted that AIIMS Deoghar, as part of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, has adopted five tribal villages and is conducting health promotion activities using telemedicine services.
AIIMS faculty is researching tribal health to identify gaps and opportunities for health promotion and have submitted 14 research proposals to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for approval and funding, including one for a Centre of Excellence in sickle cell disease. AIIMS Deoghar is also establishing a satellite center to expand its reach and serve the needs of surrounding tribal populations.
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According to Dr Col Kumud Rai, Chairman of ECHO India, “As an organization, we are committed to improving healthcare outcomes for all through capacity building, especially for the underserved like tribal communities. By leveraging the expertise of policymakers, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders, we hope to create a roadmap for improving healthcare access and outcomes for tribal communities, and ultimately help to build a more equitable healthcare system in India.”
The summit proved to be an insightful and informative platform for discussing the current state of healthcare in tribal areas and exploring new ways to enhance healthcare outcomes for these marginalized communities. Expert panellists from states with sizable tribal populations, including Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, shared their valuable inputs, which will be incorporated into a detailed report to pave the roadmap for enhancing healthcare outcomes in tribal communities.
About ECHO India
ECHO India is a non-profit trust that was founded in 2008 with a mission to promote equity in healthcare and education. The organization achieves this goal by providing capacity-building programs for healthcare professionals and educators. ECHO India’s innovative ‘Hub and Spoke’ Model of learning involves a team of experts serving as the hub, mentoring and training the spokes, who are a cohort of learners. This approach is facilitated through a cutting-edge digital infrastructure that enables scalable and sustainable capacity building in a cost-effective manner.
ECHO India aims to impact the lives of 400 million people in India by the end of 2025. To achieve this goal, in collaboration with our partners, we have launched over 250 hubs and implemented 800 capacity-building programs that cover more than 30 disease areas. These programs have witnessed over a million attendances from healthcare workers and educators across the country, with remarkable results.
The ECHO Model’s ‘All Teach All Learn’ framework has been proven effective and has been validated by over 500 peer-reviewed articles published in renowned national and international journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet.
ECHO India has joined forces with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and 28 state National Health Missions (NHMs), municipal corporations, nursing councils, and esteemed medical institutions across India. Some of our leading institutional partners include AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health & Neurological Sciences), NITRD (National Institute for Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases), NICPR (National Institute of Cancer Prevention & Research), Tata Memorial Hospital, and PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute for Medical Education & Research). By collaborating with these entities, ECHO India is making significant strides toward strengthening the country’s healthcare system.
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