Africa Looks to India for Healthcare Development at IHTC Conference

Africa Looks to India for Healthcare Development at IHTC Conference

The health ministers of several African nations visited an important conference in Bengaluru to develop new relationships with Indian healthcare providers.

The International Healthcare Tourism Congress took place on 2 – 3 March. It is an annual conference aimed at developing the Indian healthcare tourism industry and facilitating cross-border partnerships with other nations.

The delegates included high-level government representatives of nine African nations, including health ministers from Kenya, Malawi and Somalia.

Three representatives have attended from Kenya. One of those is Dr Khadija Sood Sheikely, the Chief Officer of Health in Mombasa, who was keen to make the most of the opportunities for both nations. “India is an important partner for Kenya and we are looking forward to strengthening our ties with the Indian healthcare industry,” he commented this week.

The conference attracted many delegates from Indian hospitals and medical universities, who are looking to collaborate with African institutions via, amongst other things, a form of hospital twinning. It’s hoped that this will encourage skill-sharing and allow the African partner institutions to develop.

The collaboration will work both ways, though – the main medical exchange program will be used as a springboard to create student-training, cultural and even trade exchanges between the partner countries.

IHTC Director Anitha Niranjan hopes that, in doing so, standards can be improved for millions of people. “Healthcare is a fundamental service to humanity,” she says. “If we get this right, we can improve quality of life across the world in a way that is commercially sustainable. It all begins with the healthcare aspect.”