In India, women die in childbirth from preventable complications regularly, and infants there often fail to receive care that can keep them healthy. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to thousands of Indian expatriates, top biomedical researchers and leading tech companies, all of whom could help improve the outlook for women and babies in India. Why not bring them together?
That's the idea behind the upcoming American India Foundation Symposium, which will focus on newborn survival and maternal health. A free afternoon-long event, it will be held at Stanford on October 14. Organizers anticipate it will be of particular interest to maternal and child health researchers, philanthropic leaders, health care innovators and members of the Indian diaspora.
"The AIF Symposium will provide a unique opportunity to understand the on-the-ground challenges related to maternal and neonatal health in India, as well as to understand how innovation can address these challenges," said Rajiv Doshi, MD, a consulting associate professor of medicine, who is helping organize the event.
The symposium will feature a variety of discussions and speakers, including Abraham Verghese, MD, the well-known author and Stanford professor of medicine; Shabana Azmi, an activist and actress; a talk from a sahiya, or village health care worker, a presentation on design thinking and sessions devoted to startups and research.
In addition, winners of the Innovation in MedTech Award will be announced at the symposium. The award celebrates innovators who are disrupting poverty and catalyzing social and economic change in India. Nominations are open until Sept. 1, and the judges are particularly eager to receive applications focused on maternal and newborn health.
The American India Foundation, which is co-organizing the symposium with Stanford Medicine, was founded in 2001 by former President Bill Clinton and former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee to bring the U.S. and India together to address the empowerment and growth of the marginalized people in India.
Previously: Ending preventable stillbirth: A Q&A with Stanford global-health expert Gary Darmstadt, Helping newborns through song and A look at "India's medical miracle," the largest ambulance service in the world
Photo courtesy of AIF