She also highlighted the mutual solidarity between both sides during the Covid-19 pandemic

The manner in which India and the US have enhanced collaboration in research and development (R&D), especially with respect to pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, and vaccine development, is commendable, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar has said.

This could be seen in the manner in which Indian vaccine companies collaborated with US-based agencies to develop COVID-19 vaccine, she said while addressing the inaugural session of the two-day 4th Indo-US Health Dialogue, being hosted by India, on Monday.

She also highlighted the mutual solidarity between both sides during the COVID-19 pandemic, where both sides extended their support.

Referring to the MoU on Mental Health signed in 2020, she pointed to enhanced cooperation and strengthened bilateral ties in the health sector between both countries.

Another MoU between India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services in the field of health sector has been finalized, she added.

Then major areas of cooperation cover issues like Health Safety and Security; Communicable Diseases & Non-Communicable Diseases; Health Systems; and Health Policy.

Pawar reiterated 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.

The MoS Health 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.

The US delegation for the dialogue is led by Loyce Pace, Director, Office of Global Affairs at US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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 in the meeting.

Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, 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.

According to the health ministry, the 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.