India on Tuesday signed two important pacts with the US during the concluding session of the two-day 4th Indo-US Health Dialogue. The first MoU was signed between the Health Ministry of India and the Department of Health and Human Services of the US for cooperation in the field of Health and Biomedical Sciences. Another MoU was signed between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) & National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for cooperation with the International Centre for Excellence in Research (ICER).
The two-day Dialogue leveraged as a platform to deliberate upon multiple ongoing collaborations in the health sector between the US and India. Issues related to strengthening of epidemiological research and surveillance, vaccine development, One Health, zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, health systems and health policies were discussed in the Dialogue.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya addressed the session on the concluding day of the Health Dialogue. He said, “For India, we value our engagement with the US on various fronts and we have travelled a long path in the past continuously nurturing this relationship. US being the oldest modern democratic country & India being the largest democratic country in the modern world, constructive and positive cooperation amongst both countries can lead to peace, harmony and growth not only for both sides but for world at large.”
The Minister said that both India and the US are global partners, and we need to work collaboratively in reforming the global health architecture, whose faultlines have become amply visible during the current pandemic. Equally important areas wherein both India and US can work relates to managing health emergencies, supporting digital health and innovation, mental health interventions, research coupled with production related to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, considering India offering its low-cost research network and huge production capacities. This has implications for access and affordability of medicines not only for the US and India but also for the whole world, said the Minister.
“India supplies nearly all the developing world’s high-quality generic medicines. We are also the largest manufacturer of anti-TB drugs. Leveraging on this capability, we can supply affordable high-quality medication for patients the world over”, said Mandaviya.