The KIIT School of Public Health (KSPH) hosted a National Seminar titled ‘Collaborations in Public Health Research: The Post Pandemic Priorities’ on 13th January 2024. The objective of the seminar was to convene experts, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in the field of public health to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities for collaboration in the post-pandemic era.
The seminar was formally inaugurated by Prof. Saranjit Singh, Vice Chancellor, KIIT-DU in the presence of Dr. Bijaya Kumar Mohapatra, Director of Health Services (DHS), Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha; Prof. Gopal Chandra Kundu, Director of Research and Development, KIIT-DU; and Prof. Bhuputra Panda, Director, KSPH. Keynote speaker, Prof. So Yoon Kim, President (Elect.) of APACPH and a Professor at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, participated virtually.
Welcoming the participants and distinguished speakers, Prof. Bhuputra Panda emphasized the need for international collaboration in public health and healthcare research to awaken collective consciousness. Prof. G. C. Kundu discussed the research requirements for pandemic preparedness and response, highlighting the evolving research landscape and proposing priority areas for future studies. He also underscored emerging domains such as AI and digital health, emphasizing the necessity of joining hands in these cross-cutting areas. Dr. B. K. Mohapatra highlighted the significance of global and local collaborations in pandemic containment. He drew attention to the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and stressed upon the need to strengthen health systems and surveillance mechanisms.
In her keynote address, Prof. Kim discussed how the pandemic has influenced the global public health research landscape; and offered insights into future perspectives for global collaborations. She also provided an overview of ongoing research efforts in South Korea related to pandemic response. She briefed about the need of APACPH to expand activities in the Indian region, which was reciprocated by the Director, KSPH.
Prof. Saranjit Singh underscored the significance of community awareness and engagement in preventing and controlling pandemics, providing examples of KIIT University’s use of social media platforms such as podcasts to disseminate health messages and educate the public on various health issues. Prof. Bhuputra Panda proposed the vote of thanks.
During the technical sessions, all distinguished speakers delivered presentations on various topics including the role of public health in shaping the global response to future pandemics, best practices and success stories during COVID-19, opportunities and challenges for international cooperation in public health research, emerging challenges in pandemic response, future research priorities in public health, evolving telemedicine regulations in the post-pandemic era, and medico-legal and ethical implications of healthcare research and services.
Prof So Yoon Kim (Seoul), Prof Jalandhar Pradhan (NIT Rourkela); Prof Ambarish Dutta (PHFI-IIPHB); Dr Ira Praharaj (ICMR-RMRC); Prof Soumya Jal (Centurion University of Technology and Management); Dr Ranjit Dehury (University of Hyderabad); Dr Shreya Chatterjee and Ms Sambhabi Patnaik (KIIT Law School) were among the distinguished speakers for the seminar.
Over 150 participants from KSPH, KINS, KIMS; AIIMS-Bhubaneswar; Regional Medical Research Center (RMRC-ICMR)-Bhubaneswar and PHFI-IIPHB attended the seminar. Distinguished speakers from various institutions, including RMRC-Bhubaneswar, NIT-Rourkela, Indian Institute of Public Health (IPHB-PHFI) Bhubaneswar, Centurion University of Technology and Management (CUTM)-Bhubaneswar, and KIIT-Law School contributed to the deliberations.