With the aim of giving further impetus to cooperation in the field of healthcare, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad and Minister of Health Switzerland, Mr Alain Berset held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of World Health Assembly at Geneva yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Azad said that friendship between India and Switzerland goes as back as Independence of India, strongly rooted as it is in shared values of multi-culturalism, democracy and rule of law. Recalling the historic ties between the two countries, Shri Azad said that a treaty of friendship between India and Switzerland was signed at New Delhi as early as 1948, soon after India™s independence.
Emphasizing the special nature of relationship between the two countries, Shri Azad said that many high level visits have been exchanged in the recent past and that many bilateral institutional arrangements like Indo-Swiss Joint Commission, Swiss- India Chamber of Commerce, Indo-Swiss Joint Committee on Science & technology, etc. exist to further cement our strong relations. Shri Azad noted that in the continuum of strong Indo-Swiss bilateral cooperation, an MOU between the two countries will be inked soon to further broaden the scope of bilateral ties.
Considerable progress has been made in this regard and an MOU in the field of health is being signed to promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Shri Azad said.
The major areas of cooperation will be as under:
i) Non-Communicable Diseases including controlling the associated risk factors of tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, unhealthy diet, etc.
ii) Communicable Diseases and Anti- Microbial resistance
iii) Universal Health Coverage
iv) Maternal & Child health
v) Sexual & Reproductive Health
vi) Health & Medical Research
vii) Therapeutic Products
viii) Electronic Medical Records
ix) Global Health Governance
Shri Azad noted that these areas are of immense significance for India, considering the enormous public health challenges that we are faced with. Highlighting the role of Indian generic Drug industry to make available affordable medicines across the world, Shri Azad exuded confidence that Switzerland will extend full support to India on global platforms in order to carry forward our pursuits of providing high quality generic medicines at affordable prices.