With the vision of developing a “Harvard in India”, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, stated that the institutes located in Parel should work towards collaborating during research initiatives. He stated that the collaboration will help in establishing a cluster of excellence for health and medicine.
During the inauguration ceremony at the 3-day international conference for women’s reproductive health, took the examples of the row of institutes located in a narrow lane of Parel. The institutes, viz. National Institute of Immunohaematology, National Institute of Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH), Haffkine Institute, KEM Hospital and Tata Memorial Hospital, should look into collaborating in research projects. While students pursuing doctoral programmes can benefit from the sharing of knowledge, it is also possible to enhance the overall quality of the institutes within a set timeframe.
Speaking on the importance of research in reproductive health, he mentioned the Parliament’s objective of introducing three women-focused Bills. He stated that the bills focus on medical termination of pregnancy, assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy, have been approved and are expected to be passed in the coming parliament session.
He also spoke on the achievements of Subhas Mukherjee, who was the first to successfully conduct in-vitro fertilisation in 1978. However, due to lack of recognition offered to his work, he ended his life in 1981. Harsh Vardhan stated that Subhas Mukherjee is a source of inspiration and that his passion for research should be maintained by the NIRRH. Harsh Vardhan also released a booklet in remembrance of the Physician during the Golden Jubilee celebration of the institute.
Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke on how India was declared Polio-free in 2014. However, he mentioned the Ministry’s difficulty in eradicating deaths due to neonatal diseases, tuberculosis and diarrhoea. He further added that deaths should not occur due to such illness and a need for research in these areas are required.