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GMC Srinagar, ECHO India collaborate for enhanced healthcare access for tribal communities

October 7, 2023
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Srinagar: Government Medical College Srinagar and ECHO India have joined hands in a collaborative initiative to conduct a roundtable discussion to explore innovative solutions for healthcare system strengthening for tribal communities. This pioneering effort seeks to bring together key stakeholders through consultations and discussions to address unique healthcare challenges faced by tribal people in the region.

The event, hosted at the esteemed Government Medical College Srinagar, united prominent dignitaries, policymakers and renowned healthcare experts to engage in dialogue and explore innovative solutions aimed at bolstering healthcare access and resilience in underserved tribal populations. This gathering represents a pivotal step in the ongoing journey towards uplifting healthcare infrastructure and outcomes for tribal communities across the region.

Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, IAS, Secretary of the Tribal Affairs Department and Director of the Tribal Research Institute, emphasized the collaborative nature of this endeavor: “Our objective is to create a comprehensive roadmap that addresses the unique healthcare challenges faced by tribal communities in the mountainous regions of Jammu and Kashmir. Through collaboration, we aim to forge a path towards a more resilient and accessible healthcare system.”

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Shri Bhupinder Kumar, IAS, Secretary to the Government of the Health & Medical Education Department, highlighted the importance of inclusivity and innovation: “This event serves as a platform for meaningful discussions and consultations, where experts converge to shape the future of healthcare for underserved tribal populations. Our shared dedication is a testament to our resolve to empower these communities with healthcare solutions that are both equitable and effective.”

Dr. Masood Tanvir, Principal and Dean of Government Medical College Srinagar said, “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to ECHO India for their invaluable contribution in organizing a roundtable discussion on tribal health. This initiative is a significant step towards addressing the healthcare needs of tribal communities. Together, we can work towards improving the health and well-being of these underserved populations.”

Dr. Waheed, Representative of Directorate of AYUSH, J&K, highlighted the need for integrating traditional Medicine to provide a holistic approach for enhancing health outcomes for tribal populations.

Professor (Dr.) SM Mohd. Salim Khan, H.O.D- Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar, emphasized the potential transformative impact of this partnership: “Our collaboration with ECHO India signifies a significant step in our approach to healthcare in marginalized regions. Together, we are cultivating a vision of equity where every individual, regardless of their background, can access high-quality care. This roadmap will lead to improved well-being and resilience among tribal populations.”

Dr. Sandeep Bhalla, AVP ECHO India, underscored the importance of collaborative consultations: “Through our partnership with Government Medical College Srinagar, ECHO India aspires to create a roadmap that blends technology and expertise. We have already collaborated with National Health Mission (NHM) in 27 states and UTs in the country and are eager to work with NHM J&K to provide capacity building support for the region’s health system strengthening. This inclusive approach ensures that healthcare solutions are accessible, efficient, and adaptable, ultimately strengthening healthcare access and resilience in tribal communities.”

The collaboration between Government Medical College Srinagar and ECHO India signifies a shared commitment to consultative and collaborative efforts, aimed at charting a roadmap for enhanced healthcare access and resilience in marginalized communities. Together, they strive to build a future where equitable healthcare is a reality for all, even in the face of public health emergencies.

About ECHO India

ECHO India is a non-profit trust committed to improving the well-being of communities by empowering first-mile professionals through capacity-building initiatives. Our comprehensive approach encompasses healthcare, education, and support for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We collaborate closely with government bodies, healthcare institutions, hospitals, medical colleges, nursing councils, schools, and development sector entities. ECHO India’s innovative ‘Hub and Spoke’ Model of capacity building involves a team of experts serving as the hub, mentoring and training the spokes, who are a cohort of learners. This approach is supported through a cutting-edge digital infrastructure, ‘iECHO’ that enables scalable and sustainable capacity building in a cost-effective manner. Together, we strive to create positive change and drive meaningful impact in the communities we serve.

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 280 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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