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India, US need to work jointly in reforming global health architecture

Both India and the US are global partners and need to work collaboratively in reforming the global health architecture, whose fault lines have become amply visible during the current pandemic, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday.

Addressing the closing session of fourth Indo-US Health Dialogue being hosted by India, he said equally important areas wherein both India and the US can work, relate 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 on access and affordability of medicines not only for the US — India but also for the whole world.

“Both India and the US are global partners, and we also need to work collaboratively in reforming the global health architecture, whose fault lines have become amply visible during the current pandemic,” Mandaviya said.

It is worth mentioning that Indian generic drugs have helped in bringing down the cost of treatment of various diseases globally, the minister said.

“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.

“I also note with satisfaction the increased convergence between the regulators of both countries and look forward for further tangible outputs and combined working on this issue at global fora also,” he said.

Mandaviya said India values its engagement with the US on various fronts.

The US being the oldest modern democratic country and India being the largest democratic country in the modern world, constructive and positive cooperation between both the countries can lead to peace, harmony and growth not only for both sides but world at large, he said.

“The recently concluded visit of our Prime Minister to the US for deliberations, Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and, exchanging views on regional, and global issues of mutual interest particularly, in the area of science and technology is another milestone towards strengthening of our bilateral ties,” he said.

Underlining that the outcome of this visit shall benefit the ongoing collaborations in health sector too, Mandaviya said India and the US are also actively engaged with, other Indo-Pacific countries on COVID-19 response, vaccine development, sharing of best practice, supply chain management and revival of economies.

In addition, the participation of Modi in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit on, September 24 for identifying new areas of cooperation, will also solidify this partnership and reinforce the positive, and constructive areas of cooperation that will benefit the Indo-Pacific region as a whole, he said.

Funding clinical research fellowships for early and mid-career scientists within India and the US will, surely contribute to building a strong sustainable healthcare system with skilled healthcare professionals.

As the Health Dialogue ended, the minister hoped both sides take back the rich learning experience and reaffirm the commitment to the bilateral cooperation.

The two-day dialogue leveraged as a platform to deliberate upon multiple ongoing collaborations in the health sector between the two countries. The issues related to areas of concern pertaining to strengthening of epidemiological research and surveillance, vaccine development, one health, zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, health systems and health policies etc. were discussed during the two day dialogue, a health ministry statement said.

Two MoUs were also signed at the concluding session, one between the Ministry of Health, India and Department of Health and Human Services of the US concerning cooperation in the field of Health and Biomedical sciences; and the other between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for cooperation on International Centre for Excellence in Research (ICER). PTI

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