India and the US have signed two MoUs in the field of health sciences and research

As global partners, India and the US need to work collaboratively in reforming the global health architecture, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday.

Addressing the closing session of the 4th Indo-US Health Dialogue hosted by India, he said, “We all know that both India and 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".

Two MoUs were also signed on Tuesday at the concluding session of the dialogue.

One Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India's Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services concerning cooperation in the field of Health and Biomedical sciences.

Another MoU was signed between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) & National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for cooperation on International Centre for Excellence in Research (ICER).

According to Mandaviya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent US visit for deliberations and exchanging views on regional, and global issues of mutual interest, particularly in the area of science and technology, was another milestone towards strengthening of bilateral ties.

Mandaviya stated that the outcome of this visit shall benefit ongoing collaborations in health sector too.

India and US are also actively engaged with, other lndo-Pacific countries on, Covid response, vaccine development, sharing of best practice, supply chain management and, revival of economies.

Participation of Prime Minister Modi in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit last week for identifying new areas of cooperation would also strengthen this partnership and reinforce the positive, and constructive areas of cooperation that will benefit the Indo-Pacific region as a whole, the Minister said.

He also referred to the ongoing collaboration between the two nations in various fields like Environmental and Occupational Health, Injury Prevention and Control, Climate Change & Human Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, and HIV/AIDS.

Funding clinical research fellowships for early and mid-career scientists within India and the USA will contribute to building a strong sustainable healthcare system with skilled healthcare professionals, the Union Health Minister noted.

He mentioned that equally important areas in which both India and US can work together relate to managing health emergencies, supporting digital health and innovation, mental health interventions, research coupled with production related to diagnostics, therapeutics and, vaccines considering India offering its low-cost research network and huge production capacities.

This has implications on access and affordability of medicines not only for US and India but also for the whole world, the Minister added.

He said it is worth mentioning that Indian generic drugs have helped in bringing down the cost of treatment of various diseases globally.

Mandaviya informed that India supplies nearly all the developing world’s high-quality generic medicines.

India is also the largest manufacturer of anti-TB drugs and leveraging on this capability, we can supply affordable high-quality medication for patients the world over, he added.

The Minister also noted with satisfaction the increased convergence between the regulators of both countries and said he looked forward for further tangible outputs and combined working on this issue at global fora also.

The two-day Indo-US Health Dialogue leveraged as a platform to deliberate upon multiple ongoing collaborations in the health sector between the two countries.

Issues related to 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 were discussed during the two day dialogue.