On August 18, 2023, Dr Madhukar Pai was bestowed with the prestigious 21st Dr Pattisapu Rama Jogi Gangadharam Endowment Oration Award at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), for his remarkable and impactful work in the field of tuberculosis (TB). Dr Pai, currently serving as the Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health at McGill University, Montreal, and the Associate Director of the McGill International TB Centre, received the award from Shri Dhirubhai Mehta (President, Kasturba Health Society). The award recognizes Dr Pai's significant contributions to TB research and control, exemplifying his unwavering commitment towards addressing this global health challenge.
The event was also graced by eminent dignitaries including Shri PL Tapadiya (Vice-President, Kasturba Health Society), Dr BS Garg (Secretary, Kasturba Health Society), Dr AK Shukla (Dean, MGIMS), Dr Poonam Shivkumar (Medical Superintendent, Kasturba Hospital), Dr Mrs. P. Narang(Chairperson of the award committee and Emeritus Professor of Microbiology), Dr Vijayshree Khairkar (Organizing Secretary and Head of the Department of Microbiology). Senior faculty members, consultants, staff, residents and nurses also attended the event.
“Dr Madhukar Pai’s global achievement symbolizes that success is all about coming together, sharing together, working together and succeeding together. His commitment to TB, dissemination of knowledge, making life easier for TB patients has made him an inspirational role model for all who are committed to ending TB from the world” said Dr. Poonam Shivkumar, while reading from the citation.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Pai stressed the need to bridge the 'The Know-Do' gap in India's healthcare system. “Even in 2023, Tuberculosis is still the number one infectious killer of humankind. TB incidence and mortality globally has increased. To lose people to an ancient bacterial infection is extremely shameful. This is a colossal failure of the health system”, said Dr Pai in his oration. He demonstrated data to prove the gap that exists between the doctor’s knowledge and his real practice. “On average, it takes around 60 days; at least three visits and multiple doses of failed antibiotics to diagnose TB in India”, Dr Pai explained.”
Dr AK Shukla, in his welcome address, expressed gratitude to Dr Pai for accepting the award and emphasized the honor of hosting him at MGIMS. Dr P Narang fondly recalled the institute's longstanding association with Dr Pai, highlighting his remarkable accomplishments not only in the field of Tuberculosis but also in Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis. Dr Narang provided insights into the significance of the Dr PRJ Gangadharam Endowment Oration Award. She shared that the award was established in memory of Dr. Pattisapu Rama JogiGangadharam, an international luminary who devoted his life to TB research and control. The award, presented annually, recognizes an eminent Indian personality who has made substantial contributions to the fight against TB. It aims to inspire young scientists to delve into the field of TB research. The award comprises a citation, a certificate of honor, and a cash prize of Rs. 25,000/-.
Shri Dhirubhai emphasized, "Today TB is curable, and there is a crucial need for the community to actively participate and strengthen the various programs started by the government. Our institute has fostered collaborations with esteemed national agencies like ICMR, Central TB Division (CTD), National Institute for TB Research(NIRT), National Tuberculosis Institute(NTI) and international agencies like the WHO , FIND and others and is actively engaged in various national level surveys. Our collective aim is to contribute towards the ambitious goal of ending TB in India by the year 2025."
Dr. Vijayshree Deotale proposed a vote of thanks, expressing gratitude to all participants for their valuable contributions. The ceremony concluded with the National Anthem.