Experts from their respective fields would participate in a webinar, going to be held on October 5, about “India’s vaccines and vaccination were a ‘mission possible'”.
The esteemed guests who would be gracing the occasion include, Vikas Sheel, an IAS officer, currently serving as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Dr Roderico H Ofrin from WHO India and Syed Nazakat, an award-winning Indian journalist, media entrepreneur and founder of DataLEADS.
Vikas Sheel is a key member of the National Team handling COVID Emergency Response in India looking after the design, development and implementation of Co-WIN, the digital COVID vaccination platform of India.
An Electrical Engineer by qualification, Sheel has also done an Executive Masters in Public Policy from Syracuse University, New York. He has wide-ranging experience in public policy relating to social sectors such as food security, public distribution, school education, public health & family welfare, agriculture and allied activities.
Born in 1968 in the Philippines, Dr Ofrin holds a Doctor of Medicine from the University of the Philippines; and a Master’s in Public Health from Hebrew University Hadassah, Israel. He joined WHO India as its representative in July 2020. He comes with a rich experience of over two decades in public health, mostly in WHO’s South-East Asia Region. He was the Regional Emergencies Director for WHO South-East Asia Region providing strategic technical guidance and operational leadership to the ongoing response to the global COVID-19 pandemic across the region.
A major part of Dr Ofrin’s career has been in the public health emergencies programme. He was involved in the response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, a mega disaster that severely impacted multiple countries of WHO South-East Asia countries. He went on to lead WHO’s response on the ground during major events such as cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, the 2015 massive earthquake in Nepal, the ebola outbreak in Liberia, and most recently the Rohingya crisis.
Dr Ofrin has contributed to several innovative measures for strengthening emergency preparedness and response in the Region, that were later replicated globally. The South-East Asia Regional Benchmarks for emergency preparedness and response and the South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF), are among the notable ones.
Syed Nazakat is an award-winning Indian journalist, media entrepreneur, founder of DataLEADS. He leads DataLEADS in New Delhi, as well as oversees its outreach across Asia with different partners, including with Google News Initiative. He has worked in senior positions at different media organisations and his work has earned him global recognition and awards.
Nazakat is passionate about open data, governance, public health and the intersection of technology and media, and is a frequent speaker on these issues across conferences and media outlets globally. He holds a B.Sc degree from India and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.
The webinar would be jointly organised by The Statesman, Asia News Network, and DataLEADS.