Monday, 18 November 2019


ICMR push to engage scientists in infectious disease, immunology research

Bill Gates on Sunday presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Cyrus S. Poonawalla, chairman and MD, Serum Institute of India; Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and director, Biocon India and Prakash Baba Amte, director, Lok Biradari Prakalp. He also addressed the 108th Foundation day of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
“India’s make-in-India campaign has made a positive difference and though healthcare wasn’t my primary area of work in the initial years both me and my wife Melinda have made this our top priority. We want that every child has the right to reach his/her full potential in terms of physical and mental health,’’ said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
He was speaking on the occasion to mark the celebration of the 108th Foundation day of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) here on Sunday. He also
The awardees have been recognised for their efforts in providing better health care to people in the country and globally through innovative diagnostics, cost-effective life-saving tools and increasing access to healthcare at the grassroots.
Mr. Gates said “his Foundation is committed to working collaboratively with the ICMR to provide support in development of solutions to some of the major health challenges facing India and the world”.
The ICMR signed a Declaration of Intent (DoI) with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) of the National Institutes of Health, USA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). This Declaration builds on an ongoing collaborative research and training programme between India and the U.S., including enhancement of research capacity. The Declaration was exchanged in the presence of U.S. Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster and Mr. Gates.
The collaboration will establish a research fellowship programme for young scientists in India and the U.S. to expand research that will advance discovery to improve clinical practice and benefit public health in both countries. The initial focus is intended to engage scientists in infectious disease and immunology research, with an emphasis on diseases that affect women and children.
The Standard Treatment Workflows (STWs) of India developed with the goal of empowering primary, secondary and tertiary care physicians/surgeons towards achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage were also released on the occasion. The STWs will facilitate the successful implementation of Ayushman Bharat.
Commenting on the importance of the collaborative fellowship programme with the NIH and the BMGF, Balram Bhargava, Director-General, ICMR said: “There are great benefits in investing in research, especially in areas of infectious diseases and immunology, which will help the world in combating some of the debilitating diseases of the world. The ICMR is aggressively working towards major advances in preventing, treating and curing diseases. This collaboration will give us a boost in finding cures that will make lives healthy and productive, not only in India but across the world.”

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