Indian Doctors Forum (IDF) Kuwait, the community focused Indian doctors' body in Kuwait, held its 11th DOCFEST on 3 February at the Regency Hotel. The event was celebrated with a spectacular cultural show, 'Incredible India 2015' and also saw launch of the much-awaited annual IDF Health Guide, which this year laid emphasis on 'Geriatric Medicine'.
Dignitaries at the event included the Chief Guest for the evening, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs H.E. Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al Sabah, Undersecretary of Health Ministry for Medical Services H.E. Dr. Jamal Al Harbi, Indian Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Sunil Jain and President of Kuwait Medical Association (KMA) Dr. Mohammed Al Mutairi. CEO of Al-Mulla Group of companies Mr. Anwar Al-Mulla and CEO of Toyota, Al Sayer Group Mr. Mubarak Al-Naser were also the dignitaries.
Following the IDF President Dr. Vinod Grover's presidential address, the chief guest's inaugural address and the Indian Ambassador's encouraging words, the Chief Editor of the Health Guide Volume XI on 'Geriatric Medicine', endocrinologist at Sabah Hospital Dr. Arijit Chattopadhyay spoke on the subject and H.E. Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah released the Health Guide.
On the occasion, the IDF also presented a special plaque to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on his receiving global recognition for humanitarian efforts. Following the presentation of mementos, the impressive 'Incredible India 2015' cultural program entertained the gathering.
In an exclusive interview with The Times Kuwait, IDF President Dr. Vinod Grover spoke about the IDF and its interaction with the Indian community in Kuwait.
"Our role basically is to create health awareness through the seminars that we have, the specialist program, school health program – the interschool health quiz for them and above all, we have the health camps which are organized by different Indian associations, both cultural and social. They organize all the camps and mobilize the people and we provide our medical staff. So these camps are the basics that we really strive for. Every year, we have about 8 to 10 camps and every camp has 400 to 1200 people of all nationalities. We do not differentiate between nationalities. We pick many things over there – their general check up, blood pressure, cholesterol, ECG and hypertension patients have been picked up, tumor patients have been picked up. So this is a sort of screening camp and it happens for such a large number of people, it certainly helps."
Since the last year, IDF has been directing a part of its funds to some of the schools' needy children, and it hopes to continue and increase it every coming years.
To overcome communication barriers, IDF has now come up with short 15-minute talks about the doctors in the camp so as to make native language speakers (both the doctors as well as the speakers) to be able to speak in their own native language. Dr. Grover explained, "Many are there who speak only in Telugu, Tamil or Malayalam, so we try to give a talk in their language. On 6 February, for example, we have a talk by the Tamil Association, which will be in Tamil language brought by our Indian doctors."
11th Doc Fest
"Every year we have a Doc Fest and this year it is the 11th one. In every Doc Fest, we basically have two parts – first, we release the health guide, we present our basic reports, invite all of our guests – the Kuwaiti guests, Ministry, Kuwait Medical Association, and other senior Kuwaiti and Indian doctors. We have been publishing a health guide every year, in which we pick up topics which will interest the community; like diabetes which is a common disease, heart disease, female-specific diseases, children-specific diseases, obesity, which is, again, getting very common in Kuwait. Last year we had the 'imaging' and this year we had 'geriatric medicine' – meaning the diseases of old people", says Dr. Grover.
The IDF has aimed, strived and successfully presented the Indian medicine; its developments and advancements, to Kuwait. On the same note, Dr. Grover pointed out, "Every two years, we call a doctor who is working and practicing in India. There are many doctors who are working in England and America…very famous ones. We are not interested in those Indian who are living abroad; what we think is that a doctor practicing in India and then achieving something is a greater thing than a person working in America, England, where everything is available. So every alternate year, we have an oration. We had called Dr. Mammen Chandy, the stem-cell researcher. Last year we had Dr. Nageshwar Reddy, he has the biggest gastroenterology institute in Asia, his institute does the maximum number of endoscopies in the world and now he is the secretary of the International Gastroenterologists Society. He is a world famous person. When he came last year, they were so impressed by him that within eight months of his visit, another hospital called him for lectures. That goes to show that India has so many, so good doctors."
Indian doctors are a prestigious part of the Indian community in Kuwait and definitely an important part of Kuwait as well. "Although, we are in a large number here but not as large in number as in some other Arab countries; we cannot compare our numbers with them, but we are quite a reasonable number here. We might be around 560 to 600 doctors because out of them, over 470 doctors are members of the Indian Doctors' Forum", commented the doctor.
"As for the cultural events, that is for the families of the doctors. We try our best to keep the cultural program limited to the families of the doctors, so that, families get together and build an inter-relational bond. We do not look for something very great, the talent that our doctors have, we try to project that. It is like a yearly-jellying-in together."