Washington: Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has praised India for its vaccine-manufacturing prowess and applauded the efforts of the country’s manufacturers for supplying affordable vaccines across the world. Addressing a virtual roundtable on India-US Health Partnership organised by the Indian embassy on Tuesday (February 22), Mr Gates noted that over the last year, India has delivered over 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 100 countries.
At the same time, thanks to Indian vaccine manufacturers, almost every country in the world now is offering vaccines to protect children from diseases such Pneumonia and Rotavirus, which have been leading causes of child’s deaths for decades, Mr Gates said.
The roundtable was organised to bring together key stakeholders in India and US for leveraging the bilateral partnership to make affordable vaccines available to the world.
While this pandemic isn’t yet over, we have begun to look beyond the emergency response. This means not only controlling Covid but also being ready to stop future outbreaks before they become pandemics and continuing to fight all the infectious diseases, he explained.
In his remarks, Mr Gates said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has talked about deepening India’s commitment to global health by continuing to harness the country’s science and technology talent to advance scientific discovery and the creation of new products.
This is a shared ambition and partnerships are central to making it a reality, he said.
Mr Gates said that the three vaccines — Covaxin, Corbavex, and Covishield – were the products of partnerships that bridge sectors as well as borders. The Quad country partnership with Bio E. to produce over a billion vaccines is an example of how these partnerships can be scaled up to support an equitable response, he said, referring to the four-nation grouping of the US, India, Australia, and Japan.
Noting that risks of COVID-19 had ‘dramatically reduced’, Mr. Gates warned that it was almost certain that the world will see another pandemic, for which collaborations between vaccine manufacturers was the need of the hour. “This is what makes initiatives like the developing country’s vaccine manufacturers networks so exciting. Everyone involved understands that if we want to make COVID-19 the last pandemic, we need to invest now in collaborative efforts, Gates said. We can’t predict where the advances to give us better tools will come from, but we do know that our investments today will determine whether these advances come on time and whether they are ready to reach everyone who needs them, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.