Global health isn’t as simple as it sounds, according to 1994 PhD graduate Dr. Nachiket Mor.
He presented at Friday’s Global Health Reflections Week speaker event. “I’m presenting today, ultimately to break through this notion of, ‘Oh, global health, I know what that is,’” Mor said, “when in fact we know don’t know that much.”
Mor is the founding president of the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth — run by the bank of the same name — in India and a current member of the Indian government’s TAGUP, the Technology Advisory Group for Unique Projects. He completed his economics and finance work at Penn.
His presentation marked the eighth out of nine events planned for the School of Nursing’s Global Health Reflections Week, a week meant to provide students with a better understanding of the challenges to global health care.
Friday’s event focused on India’s challenge to health care — its lack of human resources —and drew from Mor’s experience in tackling that challenge.
“The challenge of getting sufficient resources is apparent in both developing and well-developed countries, and that can be seen right here in Philadelphia,” Mor said.
He confronted the misconception that price and availability is the main challenge, pointing to India’s exponential rise in low-cost medicine manufacturing firms. “Price is no longer the most important barrier.”
“Dr. Mor had a dream of what he wanted to do for India,” said Assistant Dean for Global Health Affairs and Global Health Reflections Week Co-Chair Dr. Marjorie Muecke. “[It] involved an action-oriented, field-based research project … to provide health improvement for the people of rural India.”
Mor also established the IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health in partnership with Penn’s Nursing School and is a board member on SughaVazhvu, a subset of IKP that works to expand quality health care to rural areas in Tamil Nadu, India.
Most of his anecdotes, such as how he saw the need to reevaluate India’s nursing training systems, came from his work in establishing SughaVazhvu.
“I wasn’t able to see him present last time, so I had to come,” College freshman Aneesha Raghunathan said. “He combines my interest in health care and health care management, finances, people care, and international relations.”
And since the presentation was in a more intimate classroom setting, Raghunathan said she felt a lot more comfortable asking questions.
“He helps us see that …in order for us to understand the global, we have to see the local context and leadership,” said Muecke.
And this focus, she added, is a goal on which Mor has a clearly-defined grasp.
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