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India-African Union sign MoU on strengthening cooperation in healthcare sector: MEA

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 27, 2019  | 20:13 IST

New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) An agreement has been signed between India and the African Union to initiate and strengthen the cooperation in health sector in a structured and organised manner by establishing an India-Africa health sciences collaborative platform, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. The MEA, in a statement, said that in order to carry forward the strategic vision of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) III through a structured and concrete partnership in the health sector, the MEA partnered with Indian Council of Medical Research and had jointly organised the first India-Africa Health Sciences Meet in 2016 in New Delhi. The MoU will pave the way for the cooperation in the areas of research and development, capacity building, health services, pharmaceutical trade and manufacturing capabilities for drugs and diagnostics, it said. The MEA said it has offered full support for implementation of the agreement. "Following the deliberations in this meet, ICMR had taken up the mandate to initiate and strengthen the cooperation in health sector in a structured and organized manner by establishing an India-Africa Health Sciences Collaborative Platform (IAHSP). The signed MoU aims to formalise this partnership by establishing a framework," it said. According to an ICMR statement, the programme would focus on training and strengthening capacity of health professionals, researchers, regulators and industry staff, support research collaborations for developing preventive tools and improved diagnostics for diseases which are regional priorities in India and Africa. Eng Ahmed Hamdy, Executive Director of African Union Scientific Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC), said, "Our need is to focus on indigenous development of safe, affordable and effective drugs, diagnostics and vaccines towards addressing specific common regional disease burden and nurturing an ecosystem that has a strong impact on transforming the health standards of the population." Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR, said that this MoU is a major step to help enrich global health research and stitch it to regional needs of India and Africa. PTI UZM PLB SMN

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