A collaboration between India and the United States will advance scientific discovery and management of global health threats, Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said on Monday.
She said this while addressing the inaugural session of the 4th Indo-US Health Dialogue, being hosted by India, at the Ministry of Health, according to an official statement.
The US delegation for the dialogue is led by Loyce Pace, Director, Office of Global Affairs at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The two-day dialogue will be leveraged as a platform to deliberate upon multiple ongoing collaborations between the two countries in the health sector, the ministry said in the statement.
The issues planned for deliberations in this round also encompass areas of concern pertaining to strengthening of epidemiological research and surveillance, vaccine development, the "One Health" approach, zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, health systems and health policies etc., it added.
The minister put in the foreground the mutual solidarity between India and the US during the COVID-19 pandemic, where both sides extended their relentless support to each other.
She lauded the way in which the two countries have enhanced collaboration in research and development, especially with respect to pharmaceuticals, therapeutics and vaccine development, which could be seen in Indian manufacturers collaborating with US-based agencies to develop Covid vaccines, the statement said.
Recognising a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2020 on mental health, Ms Pawar acknowledged the enhanced cooperation and strengthened bilateral ties between India and the US in the health sector.
Another MoU between the Ministry of Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services in the health sector has been finalised, with major areas of cooperation covering issues such as health safety and security, communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases, health systems and health policy, the statement said.
Ms 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, it added.
She also said the public and private sector should work together and combine their strengths in fighting the inequities of the health systems through innovations.
Marking the beginning of the two-day dialogue, Ms Pawar said the platform will provide an opportunity to all the participants for detailed deliberations, which may be used to broaden the scope of partnership on the health agenda with multiple agencies both in India and the US.