Surrey health conference to strengthen Canada-India ties

INTERNATIONAL health representatives, medical experts and researchers – including several from Simon Fraser University – are in Surrey June 19-22 for the Canada India Networking Initiative CINI 2014 conference.

The event is focusing on health and civil society in four key areas, including nursing and allied health education, health-technology and the economy, chronic disease management, including innovations for sustainable health care, and the role of yoga, science and modern medicine in mental, social, and physical wellness.

Representatives from several leading institutes in India are among those joining in the discussions on practical solutions to improving health in the general population and in particular the South Asian population, both in Canada and South Asian countries.

New research related to treatment, social and public policy, prevention, and innovation is being showcased.

Scott Lear, an SFU health sciences professor, is scheduled to address more than 500 guests at a banquet June 20, where he will be discussing several research projects involving the South Asian community, including an ongoing study on child obesity in Canada and India, and another on the role that excess inner abdominal body fat in those of South Asian descent plays on increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. His team is also looking at the role of exercise in reducing this excess fat.

Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, an SFU professor and head of Health Sciences and Innovation at Surrey Memorial Hospital, and SFU’s VP Research Dr. Mario Pinto are also among participants.

“Our goal is that these discussions not only help us build healthier communities and enhance South Asian health, but also provide an immense opportunity to build strong links between Canada and India,” says conference chair Dr. Arun Garg, conference chair and President of the Canada India Network Society (

The conference is a follow-up to the 2010 Canada India Cardiovascular Health conference held at SFU’s Surrey campus, which resulted in key recommendations and fostered new partnerships to approach the issues related to global heart health.