Bengaluru, Karnataka, India | 8th April 2021: As part of one of the most historic and time-relevant events this year, world political leaders, global health experts, frontline workers, sportsmen and artists from a 100 countries converged to deliberate on the socio-economic implications, brewing mental health crisis, vaccine nationalism, role of alternative healing systems and wellness, and other discussions on the ethical costs in healthcare in the post-COVID-19 world.
Some of the esteemed keynote speakers included global spiritual leader, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, World Forum for Ethics in Business; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; H.E Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname, Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health, Bangalore, Hon. Ms. Jo Churchill, Minister for Public Health, Primary Care & Prevention Member of Parliament, United Kingdom,
The conference titled ‘Changing Paradigms in a Pandemic World’ hosted by the World Forum for Ethics in Business founded by Gurudev was attended by 2 million attendees. The distinguished keynote speakers reiterated the need to collaborate, bring more equity in resource allocation and provide support during the current times that are a true test of human values.
Offering confidence, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “Despite dark clouds of gloom, silver linings will emerge. I’d like to congratulate the healthcare workers and scientists whose dedication has given us hope for the future.” He also encouraged the researchers to come together and study the solutions offered in traditional medicine. “Vaccination, of course, is for prevention, but we also need to find a cure through Ayurveda, herbal and other natural systems of medicines,” he said.
Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also graced the occasion and stressed on increasing cross-country collaborations in making vaccine resources available more equitably. He also stated that, “The world has been given a new sense of hope with the development of life-saving vaccines in record time. But we also knew from experience that market forces alone would not achieve the equitable distribution of these lifesaving tools. Vaccine equity is the challenge of our time.”
Noted Cardiologist and Philanthropist, Dr. Devi Shetty, felt the future was bright given the holistic healing systems in India. “India is one country poised for Integrative Healthcare,” He said, “We have a rich foundation with allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yoga and various other forms of medicine available. When this pandemic comes to an end I hope to live in a better world.”
Ms. Jo Churchill, Minister for Public Health, Primary Care and Prevention, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom summarized the learnings from a year while stressing the importance of collaboration, “We can build a stronger healthcare system if we choose to, a healthcare system where we care for each other and learn from each other.“
The six-hour conference also included 12 Breakout sessions that brought together academia, subject matter experts and student leaders to hold focused discussions in the areas of mental health, women’s role in the post-COVID world, approach towards family and education, strengthening Mental Health at the Core of Peace building, Development and Humanitarian Work and other specific discussions.
The grand conference was planned at the scale to provide a wide-ranging multicultural, multi stakeholder and collective forum to discuss the impact, efforts, success stories, and potential ethical pitfalls in the way nations and communities are dealing with the healthcare implications of the post-pandemic world, including mental health well-being.
The series of discussions is available for viewing on YouTube.