Focal Theme Lectures


Transforming Kerala’s Economy through One Health Approach

Dr. B. Ekbal

Dr. B. Ekbal, a distinguished figure in the medical realm, boasts a distinguished career encompassing dynamic roles and impactful contributions. Holding an MBBS, MS in General Surgery, and MCh in Neurosurgery, Dr. Ekbal currently steers the State Expert Committee on Covid-19 Management as Chairperson, playing a pivotal role in pandemic response strategies. His leadership extends to being Joint Convenor of Peoples Health Movement India and President of the Paulose Mar Paulose Foundation, reflecting a commitment to holistic health and social welfare.

As the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kerala from 2000 to 2004, Dr. Ekbal transformed higher education with innovative approaches. His influence is also evident in shaping healthcare policies, chairing the Kerala State Health Policy Committee (2016-18) and the Kerala State Vaccine Policy Committee (2021-22). Dr. Ekbal’s dedication to environmental concerns is reflected in his tenure as Chairperson of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board in 2007.

His academic legacy includes serving as Professor and Head of Neurosurgery at Medical College Kottayam and contributing significantly to the Medical Education Department from 1971 to 2000. A prolific author, Dr. Ekbal has penned articles and authored numerous books in English and Malayalam, covering a spectrum of medical topics.

Beyond academia, Dr. Ekbal is associated with various professional and voluntary organizations nationally and internationally. His accolades, including the P.N. Panicker Foundation Award and the Annthamurthy Award for contributions in the education sector, underscore the profound impact of his multifaceted contributions to society. With an enduring dedication to healthcare, education, and societal well-being, Dr. B. Ekbal stands as a beacon of leadership and positive change.

Dr. Mathew George

Mathew George, a distinguished academic, currently serves as a Professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Central University of Kerala. Previously, he contributed significantly as faculty at the Centre for Public Health, School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, accumulating over 15 years of experience. Dr. George earned his PhD from the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and showcased his scholarly prowess by publishing work with Springer in 2017.

With a specialization in Public Health, Dr. George’s research focuses on policy analysis and the system strengthening of Indian health services, employing social epidemiology approaches to tackle public health challenges. His academic journey has led to a keen interest in medical anthropology, particularly stemming from his PhD work. This interest has evolved to encompass in-depth studies on medicalization, overdiagnosis, and the intricate interactions between various systems of medicine.

Dr. George’s contributions extend beyond academia, as evidenced by his impressive literary output. He has authored one book, contributed to three book chapters, and published extensively in various journals, showcasing his dedication to advancing knowledge in the field. With a multifaceted approach that spans policy analysis, system strengthening, and medical anthropology, Mathew George remains a valuable figure in the realm of public health and academia.