Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar addressed the inaugural session of the 4th Indo-US Health Dialogue, being hosted by India, at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today.
The US delegation for the dialogue is led by Ms Loyce Pace, Director, Office of Global Affairs at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Ms. Michelle McConnell, Director, Asia and Pacific, Office of Global Affairs at U.S. Dept. (HHS), Dr. Mitchell Wolfe, Ms Diana M. Bensyl were also present.
Shri 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 among other senior officials of the Ministry represented India at the event.
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 Minister put in foreground the mutual solidarity between both sides during the COVID-19 pandemic, where both sides extended their relentless support. She commended 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, which could be seen in Indian vaccine companies collaborating with US based agencies to develop COVID-19 vaccine.
The Minister recognizing the MoU signed in 2020 on Mental Health, 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 health sector has been finalized, with major areas of cooperation covering issues like Health Safety and Security; Communicable Diseases & Non-Communicable Diseases; Health Systems; and Health Policy.
Dr. Pawar recapitulated the need to focus on these emerging areas to prevent and control infectious diseases relying on well-designed and validated scientific approaches and collaboration between countries to aid in advance scientific discovery and management of global health threats. She also recognized that the public and private sector should work together and combine its strengths in fighting the inequities of the health systems through innovations.
Marking the beginning of the two-day dialogue, she recognized 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 U.S..