India and Africa to focus on medical research, pharmaceutical trade

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) India and Africa will jointly focus on medical research, education and pharmaceutical trade. The two regions will also have more exchanges of scholarship programmes and collaborative research projects, according to the outcome of the first India-Africa Health Summit.

The three-day summit, which ended on Saturday in the national capital, also saw India and Africa ensuring that their collaboration in various areas of the medical arena will help in offering accessible and affordable health services to people of both regions.

“The principles for this partnership are clear. It will be reciprocal and built on complementary strengths for developing excellence in clinical and biomedical research in both regions,” said Soumya Swaminathan, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), during the closing of the summit.

The summit, which saw the participation of health ministers and senior health officials from over 20 African countries, also discussed the efforts being made to harmonise regulatory frameworks to advance development of pharmaceutical markets in Africa nations.

Speaking on India’s commitment towards Africa, Development of North Eastern Region For North East India Minister Jitendra Singh said: “Our political leadership led by the honourable Prime Minister is extremely forward looking in promoting both science and technology as well as strengthening relationships between India and Africa. There could not be a more opportune time to have this meeting.”

“The recommendations broadly focused on how capacities can be jointly built and strengthened in health and research, to improve the delivery of care, address diseases of common concern and achieve shared health goals,” said M. K. Bhan, former Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, who was present on the occasion.

“It is imperative to bring world class training coupled with executional brilliance in both medical education and research, to boost health ecosystems,” Bhan added.

The summit was jointly organised by IMCR, Health Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs.

Among the other dignitaries who attended the summit were Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh, Science and Technology Minister Harshvardhan and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.



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