Health ministry discusses leveraging Pandemic Fund for Global South under G20 Presidency

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New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Union Health Ministry on Thursday organised a seminar in collaboration with The Pandemic Fund to explore potential role of Indian health organisations as Implementing Entities of the funds here.

The orientation seminar focussed on the functioning of the pandemic fund and its recently announced First Call for Proposals. Further, discussions were also held to explore potential role of Indian health organisations as Implementing Entities of the Pandemic Fund.A

The seminar was chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. Priya Basu, Executive Head of The Pandemic Fund Secretariat also participated in it.

Bhushan emphasised on the need for global health cooperation and sharing of knowledge and resources especially for LMICs. He underscored the prowess of Indian health organisations in disease surveillance and Pandemic PPR to call attention to their potential as Implementing Entities in the Pandemic Fund.

The Union Secretary expanded upon the support already being extended by India in the South-East Asia region for disease surveillance and health systems strengthening to underscore the country’s credentials.

Citing India’s comprehensive management of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhushan noted that India’s capacity in disease surveillance and PPR would hold in good stead. He further highlighted globally acclaimed initiatives such as PM-ABHIM; CoWIN; Aarogya Setu and eSanjeevani in this regard. He also commended the different stakeholders for their relentless efforts towards the creation of the Pandemic Fund calling it an important initiative in the quest for building a resilient and fit-for-purpose Global Health Architecture.

Additional Secretary health Lav Agarwal called for prioritization of India’s G20 Health Priorities in the Call of Proposals of the Pandemic Fund. Specifically, he underscored the need for creation of an end-to-end Global Medical Countermeasures Coordination Platform for ensuring accessibility, and availability of safe, effective, quality, and affordable medical countermeasures (VTDs) for all.

He emphasised that as chair of the G20 Presidency, India aims to achieve convergence in discussions and efforts across various multilateral fora engaged in health cooperation and work towards integrated action.

Priya Basu introduced the Pandemic Fund and delivered an orientation session on the working of the fund and its priority areas. While noting India’s contributions and role in the formation of The Pandemic Fund, Basu expressed enthusiasm in collaborating with Indian health organisations in the future and looked forward to receiving proposals from India for first funding call.

Officials from ICMR and NCDC presented India’s progress in Diseases Surveillance and Pandemic Preparedness and shared their inputs on possible areas of contribution to The Pandemic Fund as potential Implementing Entities.A

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