Institute expands for better health in India
30 November 2007
The University's George Institute for International Health today announced the launch of The George Institute, India in Hyderabad.
The Institute will conduct a landmark group of studies that will provide answers on how to improve health and manage major diseases in India in a sustainable manner through a more effective health system. The occasion marks a major expansion of Australian health expertise into the Asia Pacific region following the recent opening of The George Institute, China in May of this year.
More than 600,000 Australians and more than 250 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes, and most will eventually die or become disabled by the complications due to ccardiovascular disease (cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 16 million deaths annually).
The majority of these deaths now occur in developing countries such as India, where rates of heart attack and stroke have ballooned in the last few decades. In addition, because cardiovascular diseases occur earlier in life in developing regions, the economic impact is enormous. It is estimated that cardiovascular conditions will trim more that 1 per cent from India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2015.
In 2006, the United Nations called for increased international action to combat the global epidemic of diabetes. The WHO state that if appropriate action is not taken, by 2015, an estimated 20 million people will die from cardiovascular disease every year, mainly from heart attacks and strokes. The new Institute will address these and other health challenges in India such as obesity, HIV/AIDS and injury.
The Honourable Union Health & Family Welfare Minister in India, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, attended the formal launch of the institute in the evening. Speaking on the occasion, the Health Minister said, "Good health of the people of a nation is a necessary requirement for achieving sustainable growth and success of the country. A better health infrastructure is crucial for helping India reach its high-growth trajectory in all spheres. We are delighted to welcome The George Institute as a valuable ally towards our common goal of making India a healthier nation."
A Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), The George Institute and The University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine was signed today. "We are proud to be partnering with ICMR and The University of Sydney to further strengthen our commitment to India. We hope that, with this partnership with the Government of India through ICMR, and with subsequent partnerships with a range of stakeholders in India, we can contribute to radical improvements in the lives of Indians," said Professor Dandona.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of Medicine at the University of Sydney said, "The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney is internationally regarded for its cutting-edge education and research across the full spectrum of health and medical sciences including basic, clinical and public health disciplines. The George Institute has been affiliated with the University since its inception, and this partnership gives us another opportunity to work closely with The George Institute in India to contribute to better health of the people in India."
The three partners have expressed interest in developing broad ranging collaborations in health/medical research and teaching and its application to improve population health and health systems in India.
Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy
Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861