New Delhi: Dr K Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), has been conferred the degree of Doctor of Science (Medicine) honoris causa by the University of London.
The degree was awarded to Dr Reddy by the Princess Royale of Britain, Princess Anne, who is also chancellor of the university, at a function held at the Buckingham Palace on November 26. Dr Reddy received this honour for his outstanding contributions to public health and cardiology.
The oration was read out by Baron Peter Piot, renowned microbiologist, AIDS researcher and discoverer of the Ebola virus and director and professor of global health, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
A recipient of Padma Bhushan (Presidential Honour), by the President of India (2005), Dr K Srinath Reddy has headed the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) since its inception in 2006.
Under Dr Reddy’s leadership, PHFI has established five Indian Institutes of Public Health (IIPHs) in different regions of India and is working to transform public health through education research, policy support, public communication and development of affordable technologies for primary health services.
Dr Reddy was previously head of cardiology department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He also presently serves as president of the World Heart Federation (WHF), which is the umbrella organization for all national and continental cardiac societies and heart foundations across the world. He is the first Indian to have been elected as president of WHF.
Accepting the award of the Degree of Doctor of Science (Medicine) Honoris Causa at the 2014 Foundation Ceremony of the University of London, Dr K Srinath Reddy said, “I am grateful for this recognition of my lifelong commitment to improving the health of the people of India and my contributions to global health. I believe it is a tribute to India’s resolute pursuit of good health and wellbeing for all of its people and its steadfast solidarity with other nations who seek the same for their people. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, global health is the best unifying platform. The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), which I am proud to lead, represents these values. My work reflects the contributions of the collective PHFI family.”
Apart from leading research that has tracked the trends of heart diseases in India and other developing countries over the last three decades, Dr Reddy has also created large-scale worksite and school based programmes for prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
Dr Reddy has been acclaimed as a global leader in tobacco control and played a prominent role in the development of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) while representing India in the international treaty negotiations during 2000-2003.
Dr Reddy has been a member of several national and global expert committees of WHO, World Bank, Institute of Medicine (US National Academies), Wellcome Trust, World Economic Forum, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, ICMR, Ministries of Health, Science and Technology (Government of India). He has also served as president, National Board of Examinations (2009-14). He is also a visiting or adjunct professor at Harvard, Emory and Sydney Universities.
Dr Reddy chaired a High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage, constituted by the Planning Commission of India. The recommendations were incorporated into India’s 12th Five Year Plan.