GAPIO conference in Antigua a resounding success

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(Left to right) Dr. Sanku Rao, Dr. Ramesh Mehta, Sir Vivian Richards, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, the Founder and Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media; Dr. Neil Simon and Dr. Anupam Sibal, at the GAPIO conference, in Antigua, on May 4-5, 2019. Photo courtesy of GAPIO.

The Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), a non-profit organization, founded by Padma Vibhushan Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Founder and Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, Dr. Sanku Rao, Past President of AAPI and Dr. Ramesh Mehta, President of BAPIO, organized its 9th mid-year conference in collaboration with the American University of Antigua (AUA) and Antigua Medical Association (AMA) in Antigua, at the AUA campus on May 4-5, 2019.

GAPIO’s goal is to bring together 1.4 million physicians of Indian-origin in the world on one professional platform. This substantial workforce of physicians is a valuable resource, which can help to mobilize significant developments in the healthcare globally. GAPIO has representation from 34 countries.

GAPIO is dedicated towards its vision, improving health worldwide, by organizing various community service projects in different parts of the country, according to a press release. These community service projects are held to provide free basic healthcare to poor, needy and deserving and include health check-up camps and charitable clinics, free vision screening, free medicines, and free surgeries.

GAPIO has assisted in creation of a web portal ”swaasthindia.gov.in” in collaboration with Government of India, BAPIO and AAPI.

According to GAPIO, there is a big pool of distinguished doctors in multiple specialties and super-specialties, who are GAPIO members, working at renowned and reputed institutions overseas as well as in India. GAPIO also has more than 20 BC Roy awardees as members. Many GAPIO members are Padma awardees.

GAPIO also enables mentors to guide the mentees about career adoption in a foreign country.

The goal of this year’s conference in Antigua was to gather physicians of Indian-origin to initiate connections, share ideas and learn through a singular platform. The conference incorporated sessions on recent developments and advancements in cardiology, the metabolic syndrome like obesity and diabetes, nephrology with a focus on transplants and neurology.

The conference highlights also included sessions on artificial intelligence in healthcare, Vedic Wisdom – leadership in medicine and reaching the unreached and global opportunities in healthcare.

At the meet in Antigua, V Mahalingam, India’s High Commissioner to Guyana, was the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony. The High Commissioner complimented the physicians of Indian-origin for their contribution in enhancing the level of healthcare in several countries.

Former West Indies cricketing great Sir Vivian Richards was the Chief Guest at the evening gala. Welcoming all the delegates, Richards highlighted the importance of discipline, exercise and right diet to promote good health.

Neal Simon, the President of American University of Antigua (AUA), Dr. Ramesh Mehta, President, GAPIO, Dr. Anupam Sibal, Vice President, GAPIO, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Joint Secretary of GAPIO, and the Founder and Publisher of Parikh Worldwide Media, and Dr. Sanku Rao, Past President of GAPIO, Mr. Vernon Solomon, Vice President AUA, Dr. Par Prem Kumar, Associate Director AUA for Special Projects and Dr. Alafea Stevens, Secretary and Treasurer of the Medical Association of Antigua and Barbuda, were among those present present.

Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Founder President GAPIO said, “Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a global pandemic, claiming 63% of all deaths. Globally, the NCD burden is set to increase significantly in the next ten years. GAPIO is focusing on prevention and early detection of NCDs and will enhance efforts to control NCDs”.

Dr. Ramesh Mehta, President of GAPIO added, “the scientific sessions on recent developments and advances in Cardiology, Metabolic Syndrome like Obesity and Diabetes were highly appreciated by the delegates”.

Dr. Anupam Sibal, Vice President of GAPIO and Group Medical Director and Senior Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “GAPIO is the platform that brings together physicians of Indian origin from different countries. Indian doctors are recognized globally for their contribution to medicine. The high caliber of the presentations was reflective of this expertise”.

Dr. Nandakumar Jairam, Secretary General, GAPIO and Chairman, CEO & GMD, Columbia Asia hospitals, India Pvt. Ltd, said, “GAPIO has organized 16 soft skills enhancement training workshops under Leadership Development Programs across India. Clinical Knowledge development program will be launched on 1st July 2019 at New Delhi”.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh highlighted the fact that “GAPIO now has representation from 34 countries. In the coming year, plans will be created to expand the presence of GAPIO. Social media will be used effectively to break geographical barriers. A resource centre is being created.”

AUA President Neal Simon said, “The conference is in celebration of India’s vital contributions to global healthcare – a matter AUA commemorates. As a university that strives to advance the field of medicine and shape physicians who come from underrepresented minorities, we are honored to host the event.”

The American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine (http://www.auamed.org) is an innovative, fully accredited international medical school located on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean. Founded in 2004, AUA is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in Federal Student Aid programs, accredited by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), licensed by Florida Department of Education (DOE), recognized by the Medical Board of California (MBC), and accredited by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).

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