Both India and the United States are global partners who must work together to rebuild the global health infrastructure, the flaws of which have become abundantly clear during the current pandemic, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday. Addressing the closing session of the fourth Indo-US Health Dialogue, he stated that equally important areas in which both India and the US can collaborate are managing health emergencies, supporting digital health and innovation, mental health interventions, research coupled with production-related to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, with India offering low-cost research.
“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.
He stated that because the United States is the oldest modern democratic country and India is the largest democratic country in the modern world, constructive and positive cooperation between both countries can lead to peace, harmony, and growth not only for both sides but also for the world at large.
“The recently finished visit of our Prime Minister to the United States for debates, Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, and sharing views on regional and global issues of mutual concern, notably in the domain of science and technology,” he stated.
Mandaviya emphasized that the outcome of this visit will benefit ongoing collaborations in the health sector as well. He added that India and the US are also actively engaged with other Indo-Pacific countries on COVID-19 response, vaccine development, sharing of best practices, supply chain management, and economic revival.
Furthermore, Modi’s participation in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit on September 24 to discover new areas of collaboration will strengthen 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 in India and the United States will undoubtedly contribute to the development of a strong, sustainable healthcare system staffed by trained healthcare professionals. As the Health Dialogue came to a close, the minister hoped that both parties would take the rich learning experience and reaffirm their commitment to bilateral collaboration.
The two-day meeting served as a forum for the two countries to discuss numerous ongoing collaborations in the health sector. During the two-day debate, themes such as enhancing epidemiological research and surveillance, vaccine development, one health, zoonotic and vector-borne illnesses, health systems and health policies, and so on were discussed, according to a health ministry release.
Two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) were also signed at the conclusion session, one between the Ministry of Health of India and the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States concerning cooperation in the field of Health and Biomedical Sciences, and the other between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for cooperation on the International Centre for Excellence in Infectious Diseases (ICER).