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NE’s first conference on health equity concludes

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SHILLONG, April 26: The first Regional Conference on Health in the Northeastern region organised at Martin Luther Christian University has come to a close. The conference, themed “Advancing Health Equity: Bridging the Gaps,” was organized in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Public Health, Shillong.
During the inaugural session, Sampath Kumar, Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, set the tone by addressing gender equity concerns, particularly focusing on maternal health. He highlighted challenges such as geographic isolation and logistics, underscoring the importance of finding local solutions for local problems.
Kumar advocated for the utilisation of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) as part of cost-effective and culturally acceptable healthcare strategies.
Various speakers, including Dr Caleb Harris and Dr Shaibya Saldanha, addressed topics ranging from out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure to the significance of health education and literacy. Additionally, Dr Alka Kharsati and Dr Himashree Bhattacharyya shed light on issues such as HIV, substance abuse, and traditional healing practices.
The conference also featured contributions from health science students, with presentations on diverse topics such as food safety among street vendors, WASH practices, human-animal interactions, and challenges faced by individuals with substance use disorders. Notably, student presenters received accolades, highlighting the importance of engaging young professionals in addressing health disparities and promoting community well-being.

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