Today morning, Maitreyi College played host to Dr. Sue Desmond Hellmann, the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for an interactive session titled “The best piece of advice I didn’t take”. Students from various universities came to attend her first addressal with the youth in India. The session revolved around the issue of public health in India, and how the engagement of the youth can solve the problems plaguing society.
After a brief introductory note on the importance of health for the inclusive growth of society, the Principal presented Dr. Sue with a token of appreciation and invited her to talk to the large gathering. The luminary is an Oncologist and biotechnology leader, and has been named one of the seven most powerful inventors in the world according to Forbes, in addition to being bestowed with the honour of being the first female Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Sue began with explaining her journey of playing a role in the development of the first gene-targeted cancer drugs, and how she was approached by the Rockefeller Foundation to inspect the increasing cases of HIV AIDS in Africa, which had everyone puzzled. Along with her husband, the newly-married couple moved to to Kampala, Uganda to study this situation in 1989.
After narrating her personal account, she reinstated the importance of the youth in pushing forth a community driven change, and placed logical arguments in light of a country like India, where a large number of women continue to suffer from anaemia and face iron deficiency. She added, “There’s a common denominator if you want to make the world better place, and that is women and girls.” Following her address, a Question-Answer round followed by, which had Dr. Sue answering brilliant questions raised from the students in the audience. She was highly impressed with the enthusiasm the youth showed, and sincerely hoped that the issue of public health in India can be resolved through a transformation in the society that is brought about by the youth.
Feature Image Credits: Ayush Chauhan for DU Beat.