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Union Health Ministry organises Orientation Seminar of the recently launched Pandemic Fund

Discussions explored the potential of Indian Health Organisations as Implementing Entities of the Pandemic Fund

Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare organised a seminar in collaboration with The Pandemic Fund at Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi. 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 the potential role of Indian health organisations as Implementing Entities of the Pandemic Fund. The seminar was chaired by Union Health Secretary, Shri Rajesh Bhushan. Smt. Priya Basu, Executive Head of The Pandemic Fund Secretariat also participated in the seminar.

Shri Rajesh Bhushan emphasized 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, Shri 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.

Shri Lav Agarwal, Addl. Secretary, Health Ministry called for prioritization of India’s G20 Health Priorities in the Call of Proposals of the Pandemic Fund. Specifically, he underscored the need for the 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 emphasized 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.

Smt. Priya Basu introduced the Pandemic Fund and delivered an orientation session on the working of the fund and its priority areas. She congratulated India for its path-breaking initiatives to strengthen health infrastructure and systems, and global health cooperation efforts. While noting India’s contributions and role in the formation of The Pandemic Fund, Smt. Basu expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with Indian health organisations in the future and looked forward to receiving proposals from India for the first funding call. During her presentation, she elaborated on the First Call for Proposals and the Implementing Entity Accreditation Framework of the Pandemic Fund.

Leveraging Pandemic Fund for Global South under G20 Presidency discussed

Union Health Ministry organises Orientation Seminar of the recently launched Pandemic Fund
Photo credit-Press release by PIB

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. The organisations also showcased their Global Health cooperation efforts by expanding upon their work in Maldives and Timor-Leste to build disease surveillance and Pandemic PPR capacities in these countries.

Seminar attendees were given a demo of India’s one-of-a-kind Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP), a web-enabled real-time electronic health information and surveillance for managing disease outbreaks and related resources. The attendees were also given a tour of the state-of-the-art Health Emergency Operations Centre & Public Health Observatory.

The seminar ended with encouraging discussions and consensus on potential areas and opportunities for collaboration between Indian Health organisations and the Pandemic Fund.

Launched during the Indonesian G20 Presidency, the Pandemic Fund is a collaborative partnership among donor countries, co-investors (countries eligible to receive funding), foundations and civil society organizations that finance critical investments to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) capacities with focus on low- and middle-income (LMIC) countries.

Dr Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services, Shri Rajat K Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs along with senior officials from the Union Health Ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) also participated in the seminar.

Disclaimer: This is an official press release by PIB.

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