University of Melbourne signs agreement to foster Australia-India public health connections

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the University of Melbourne and the Public Health Foundation of India, to continue the long-standing collaboration and partnership between the two organisations.

A delegation from the University of Melbourne, led by the Provost Professor Nicola Phillips, travelled to India to sign the new MoU in Delhi.

Others at the 28 September signing included President of the Public Health Foundation of India, Professor Sanjay Zodpey, and CEO of the Australia India Institute, Ms Lisa Singh.

Professor Phillips said the new agreement demonstrates a commitment to the important relationship between the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, the Nossal Institute, and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

The first MoU was signed in 2009, with a further Student Exchange Agreement developed and signed in 2017. Both were renewed on the day.

“Signing this new Memorandum of Understanding will strengthen our relationship and continue to grow our global community of scholars and partners,” Professor Phillips said.

“Our two institutions have worked very closely together since the establishment of PHFI addressing global, complex challenges in global health, and sharing expertise and experiences to advance health outcomes in India and beyond.

One recent partnership has been the inaugural Indo-pacific Global Health Competition .

The competition on 18 September was hosted by the University of Melbourne and three teams entered remotely from PHFI.

Professor Phillips presented the prizes in Melbourne and met the PHFI teams in person during the signing of the MoU.

Key achievements from the partnership, include:

  • Creation of the VirtuCare (Virtual Healthcare Network) project, supported by the University of Melbourne, Australia India Institute, the Emmanuel Hospital Association, University of Adelaide and other organisations to develop inclusive models for delivering virtual healthcare
  • Ongoing work in tobacco control and plain packaging in India, which informed the strict packaging laws in India
  • Deployment of the Rapid Assessment of Disability tool developed by the Nossal Institute and adapted for partners in India and subsequent research on the impact of Organisations of People with Disability
  • Delivery of a leadership program funded by an Australian government grant to jointly develop leadership training for the public health sector in south Asia
  • Joint delivery of the Excellence in NonCommunicable disease Research (ENCORE) program which held a number of student and joint faculty training activities in India and Australia. The program cultivated and advanced research collaborations and exchanges between the University of Melbourne and some of India’s top public health and medical research institutes.

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