24 July : The Union Health & Family Welfare Minister, Sh. Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mr. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met today, 2009 to discuss their shared commitment to promote various health activities in India. Shri Naresh Dayal, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ms. Sujata Rao, Secretary & DG, NACO, Dr. V.M. Katoch, Secretary (Health Research) and Dr.R.K.Srivastava, Director General of Health Services participated in the discussion from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Hon’ble Minister Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad appreciated the work being done by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its continued support to the National Aids Control Programme through AVAHAN and to support for the National Polio Programme. Shri Azad reiterated Government commitment to meet the MDG goals particularly relating to reduction in IMR & MMR as well as reduction in Morbidity and Mortality Rate and also other diseases like HIV AIDS, TB, Malaria etc. On the Universal Immunisation Programme, Shri Azad informed the visiting dignitaries about the road map for introduction of new vaccines to cover more vaccine preventable diseases. In this context, he appreciated the efforts being made by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discover and develop new vaccines and requested Mr. Gates for its continued support to the health Programme in India.
Mr. Gates congratulated to Indian Government for its leadership on HIV AIDS prevention which can be a model for the rest of the world. He said Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to work in India for the long haul.