New Delhi: Fourth Indo-US Health Dialogue started in New Delhi today with an inaugural address by union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar. The dialogue is being hosted by India at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in New Delhi.
Loyce Pace, Director, Office of Global Affairs at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) led the US delegation at the dialogue accompanied by Michelle McConnell, Director, Asia and Pacific, Office of Global Affairs at U.S. Dept. (HHS), Dr Mitchell Wolfe and Diana M. Bensyl.
The two-day Dialogue will be leveraged as a platform to deliberate upon multiple ongoing collaborations in the health sector between the two countries. The issues planned for deliberations in this round also encompass 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.
“The way in which India and the U.S. have enhanced collaboration in research and development, especially with respect to pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, and vaccine development, is visible in Indian vaccine companies collaborating with US-based agencies to develop COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr Bharti Pravin Panwar said.
Panwar stressed the need for acknowledged enhanced cooperation and strengthened bilateral ties in the health sector between both countries. “Another MoU between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India and the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America, in the field of the health sector, has been finalized,” Panwar said.
The new MoU would be on the lines of the MoU signed in 2020 on Mental Health and would cover major areas of cooperation as it is expected to cover issues like health safety and security, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, improvement in health systems, and health policy.
Marking the beginning of the two-day dialogue, Panwar hoped that the platform will provide an opportunity to all the participants for detailed deliberations which may be used to broaden the scope of partnership on health agenda with multiple agencies both in India and the US.
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), and Secretary, Health Research were also present at the Indo-US dialogue.