India and the African Union to initiate and strengthen the cooperation in health sector

India-African Union sign an agreement on strengthening cooperation in healthcare sector and the agreement will cover the way for the cooperation in the areas of research and development, capacity building, and health services among others, pharmaceutical trade and manufacturing capabilities for drugs and diagnostics.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement, said that in order to carry forward the deliberate vision of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) III via structured and tangible 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.

"Following the considrations in this meet, ICMR had taken up the charge to commence 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 target to formalise this partnership by establishing a framework", said MEA.

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 obstructive tools and improved diagnostics for diseases which are regional priorities in India and Africa.

Executive Director of African Union Scientific Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC), Eng Ahmed Hamdy, said, "Our need is to pay attention on indigenous development of safe, affordable and effective drugs, diagnostics and vaccines towards addressing specific common regional disease burden and fostering and supporting 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 great step to help enhance and improve global health research and stitch it to regional needs of India and Africa.

The MEA said it has extended its full support for execution of the agreement.

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