US delegation to South Africa
A group of 11 GAPIO delegates from USA visited South Africa.
Formal meetings were arranged by local doctors at Johannesburg and Durban.
The Counsel General of India in Johannesburg arranged a formal dinner with about 25 doctors on May7th.
Chief of Durban convention bureau and the mayor hosted a formal dinner on 9th May.
Dinner meeting organized by the chief of Durban convention bureau was attended by, the V.C. of the Natal University, Speaker of the House and Mayor.
There was wide publicity in press and media. Highlights of coverage:
The Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO) is keen to establish a South African chapter to work closely with local people and help reduce health inequalities.
President of GAPIO Dr. Sanku Rao said that although the focus has been on India, North America and Europe so far, it was now shifting to Africa and other countries of the globe.
"Indian-origin doctors have been rallying and coming together to do something good on their own for many years wherever they are, but collectively we can do even more," said Mr Anwar Feroz Siddiqi, US-based Advisor to GAPIO.
Emphasising that Indian-origin doctors should look at what they could do in the countries that they have adopted as their home, Siddiqi said they should identify issues pertinent to their countries and help locals with that.
"By doing so we increase our profile and integrate better in the societies we have settled in," Siddiqi said.
The concept of bringing together South Africans of Indian-origin is therefore not a new idea because community-based organisations have had their services for a long time. It would of course be nice to be part of an international organisation," Sooboo said.
"It is a challenge though that many of us will have in our diverse communities. The starting point would be to ask those organisations who are doing it whether they would like to be part of this global organisation rather than replicating something that is running successfully already in the country," Sooboo added.
Dr. Rajendra Bhimma was instrumental in getting this visit organized.