Visakhapatnam: Recently the representatives from about 100 nations gathered at Vizag for the 4th WHO Global Forum on medical devices. This is for the first time that this conference came to India and was held at Visakhapatnam in Andhra MedTech Zone (AMTZ), India’s first and world’s most comprehensive medical technology park from 13th-15th December.
By the latest count, World Health Organisation had approved registration applications of 1049 delegates from 90 countries. The delegates included, representatives from country governments, Ministries of Health, United Nations and Inter-governmental institutions like the WHO, other UN bodies, bilateral donors like GIZ (of Germany) and USAid etc, researchers and academia and NGOs with affiliations with the WHO. Medical device industry was well represented in full force.
Union Minister of Commerce and Civil Aviation, Mr Suresh Prabhu who was present on the occasion, expressed the need for an enabling ecosystem to help evolve this industry of medical devices in India and he looks forward to achieve this through AMTZ. The minister inaugurated National Medical Devices Promotion Council, Centre for Medical Equipment Procurement with Global eMarket and Centre for Patents for Biomedical Equipment. In his keynote address he also spoke about our intrinsic connect with medical devices, as we live longer and need devices to support mobility and quality of life.
A number of Key dignitaries attended the Forum and placed their plenary speech before the audience of 1200 delegates. Among them preliminary Chief Minister, Mr N Chandrababu Naidu, who did the grand dedication of AMTZ to India and the world. He also invited the WHO and Global Forum organisers to use AMTZ for the forum every year. He shared the critical importance of medical devices and implants and considering India has a 90% import dependency, setting up in-house manufacturing capacity is crucial to make medical devices accessible. It is an important but under-recognised aspect of global health and universal health access and AP government is committed to address that, not just for AP and India but the entire world, especially citizens of Low and Middle Income Countries.
CM Naidu also inaugurated: Bio-Valley Incubation Council (incubation centre for hybrid med tech applications), Medi-Valley Incubation Council (incubation centre for med tech equipment), Indian Bio-Medical Skills Council (Skill building for the bio-medical sector to promote employment and manufacturing) and Kalam Institute of Health Technology (does comprehensive mapping and curation of health technologies in India bridging the gap areas, it also helps in transforming successful innovations and technologies for market adaptation).
Other key dignitaries who graced the occasion were: Union Minister of State-Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mr Ashwini Choubey, Minister of Health Medical and Family Welfare of Andhra Pradesh-Mr Mohd. Farooq Ali, Vishakhapatnam MLA, Mr Vishnu Kumar Raju and Puducherry Health Minister, Mr Malladi Krishna Rao.
During the event period of the 4th Global Forum, 10 MoUs were signed adding up to 150 million USD worth investments.