Azad calls for collaborative India-US partnerships to strengthen 'Health Initiative'

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Washington, June 26(ANI): Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met US Secretary (Minister) for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, on Friday to set into motion the dialogue on the India-US Health Initiative.

The initiative reflects the continuing partnership between the two countries with health as the fulcrum.

It was the second meeting between the two leaders within a short span of one month, where Azad and Sebelius discussed topics of mutual interest.

During the meeting Azad raised several issues including, the need for an oversight mechanism to review all collaborative partnerships between USA and India.

He also called for the need for a strong US position in support of the 'One World One Health' concept in the context of Avian and Pandemic Influenza.

He further raised the need to explore the possibility of a tie between US medical institutes of excellence and the six AIIMS like institutes being set up by the Union government.

Meanwhile, the American side suggested the setting up of four working groups that will serve to engage all relevant parts of each government to advance cooperation and to establish common goals.

The Health Minister welcomed the proposal and also suggested that issues of nursing and paramedical education, quality assurance and health informatics also needed to be included in the mandate of these working groups.

The establishment of the Global Disease Detection Centre also came up for discussion and it was agreed that both sides needed to expedite finalisation of the MOU on this issue.

Azad also invited Sebelius to visit India for the next round of discussions. (ANI)

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