2 Jun 2012

Bill Gates Appreciates India’s Achievements in Health Sector

Bill Gates along with his team today called on the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad. In a meeting that lasted close to an hour and half, issues relating to Immunization programme, Pentavalent vaccine, HIV/AIDS, Infectious as well as Non-communicable Diseases were discussed. Mr Gates was particularly appreciative of India’s achievements in containing AIDS infections, Polio management, Reproductive Health initiatives as also recent steps taken for TB management. He said in fact that strides made by India go beyond his expectations. 

Shri Azad thanked the Bill Gates Foundation for extending catalytic support to innovations in health, particularly in HIV/AIDS and Polio. He said that support from Gates Foundation is valuable. Shri Azad mentioned that year 2012 has been declared the year of intensification of routine immunization programme and recently the Mission Steering Group of NRHM has endorsed the introduction of Pentavalent vaccine in six more states viz. Gujarat, Goa, Pondicherry, Karnataka, J&K and Haryana. The help rendered by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in establishing Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) to provide technical and managerial support to accelerate coverage and to ensure system preparedness for new vaccines for when they are adopted, was specifically appreciated. The Minister also said that Ministry’s initiative of name based Mother and Child Tracking System has helped more effective delivery of services at the grassroots level and with the help of Ministry of Information Technology more such initiatives to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and reach of Government’s schemes are under consideration. Mr Gates termed name based Mother and Child Tracking System as a very remarkable innovation. 

Mr Bill Gates agreed that support from their Foundation would be aligned with national priorities and therefore in sync with the national programmes being implemented by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI. Leveraging of IT techniques for health, capacity building and lending technical support were identified as important areas of cooperation. 

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