Medical experts say health care needs ‘democratization’ during WEF cancer discussion

Medica experts on Friday called for the democratization of healthcare globally during a WEF discussion. (Screen grab)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Medical experts say health care needs ‘democratization’ during WEF cancer discussion

  • In terms of cancer care, treatment often depends on “social status”

Medica experts on Friday called for the democratization of healthcare globally during a World Economic Forum (WEF) discussion on “Breakthroughs in Cancer Care.”

“There is a social aspect of cancer care. There are people who cannot get basic access to care, so we have a lot of social responsibility. We need to democratise health care,” Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare, Shamsheer Vayalil said.

Vayalil discussed the issues many around the world who are unable to access healthcare for basic treatments.

In terms of cancer care, treatment often depends on “social status” and “where you live,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said, explaining that it can make a difference of survival of a patient.

Although cancer death rates have fallen by nearly 20 percent in the past 30 years, this is due to early detection and treatment, the experts said.

According to the WEF, despite significant progress, cancer continues to be the number one killer of working-age adults and costs society billions in lost productivity.

Vayalil says that pharmaceutical companies to go beyond the west to treat illness.

“We want to attract bigger pharmas to focus on the other side of the world. We want to do research on the Arab genome, on the Asians. We want to be more proactive.” He said.

Despite many government-led efforts to increase racial, ethnic and gender diversity in research studies, progress has been slow in all parts of the world, a report by the WEF said.


Five dead, three missing after Jakarta floods

Updated 26 February 2020

Five dead, three missing after Jakarta floods

  • The muddy deluge inundated the presidential palace, a major hospital and entire neighborhoods across Jakarta on Tuesday
  • Floodwaters reached more than a meter (three feet) in some parts of the capital but were receding by Wednesday

JAKARTA: Five people were killed, three more are missing and thousands are unable to return to their waterlogged homes after floods submerged parts of Indonesia’s capital, officials said Wednesday.

The muddy deluge inundated the presidential palace, a major hospital and entire neighborhoods across Jakarta on Tuesday, only weeks after 70 residents of the low-lying megacity died in some of the deadliest flooding in memory.

Two teenagers were among the five people drowned or electrocuted in hard-hit parts of the city, Indonesia’s national disaster agency said.

“The joint rescue team is still searching” for three other possible victims, agency spokesman Agus Wibowo told AFP, adding that nearly 20,000 people were staying in emergency shelters.

Floodwaters reached more than a meter (three feet) in some parts of the capital but were receding by Wednesday, a day after rescuers combed drenched districts in pontoon boats to locate vulnerable residents.

Parts of the city had ground to a halt as thousands of buildings were swamped, sparking power outages and disrupting commuter trains.

Jakarta, a sprawling city beleaguered by massive traffic jams and poor infrastructure, is prone to flooding during the annual wet season.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo last year unveiled plans to relocate the capital to an as yet unbuilt city on Borneo island.