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U.S.-India Health Cooperation

U.S.-India Health Cooperation

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 30, 2014

Our partnership on health ranges from research and development of vaccines to implementation of disease detection centers. Both the United States and India support cutting edge research in health and our partnerships in this sector will continue to develop solutions for emerging health challenges that can transform development across the globe.

Global Health Security Agenda: The United States and India have partnered to increase global capacity, resources and coordination necessary to tangibly reduce threats posed by infectious disease outbreaks, including Ebola. The United States will look to India’s leadership with the Agenda, and to deepen collaborations, specifically in the areas of Antimicrobial Resistance and Immunization, where India has interest and expertise.

Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths: As co-conveners of the global Call to Action, India and the United States have helped catalyze efforts around the world to save the lives of mothers and children. In support of the Call to Action and India’s role as a co-convener, the new partnership supports national-level policy development and implementation across 184 highly burdened Indian districts and strengthened service provision in up to 11 states with high rates of child and maternal deaths.

Environmental and Occupational Health and Injury Prevention and Control: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental and Occupational Health and Injury Prevention and Control. The MOU furthers cooperation in research efforts, education and training and capacity-building activities in a number of focus areas including public health aspects of household and ambient air pollution, water quality and access, exposures to hazardous substances, strengthening of laboratory capacity, road safety and burn injuries.

Global Disease Detection: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Government of India are collaborating to increase global security from threats of new and reemerging diseases in support of International Health Regulations. The India GDD Regional Centre was established in 2009.

Global Transfer of Health-related Development Solutions: Recognizing India’s unique position to develop and scale solutions to difficult health problems, USAID is working with India to highlight India's achievements as a model for improving health outcomes. Activities include learning exchanges and India providing technical assistance on HIV/AIDS prevention and control approaches to African countries.

India Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Program: The Indian National Centre for Disease Control and the U.S. CDC partnered to build public health leadership capacity in India and launched the India EIS program in 2012. India EIS officers have recently investigated multiple vaccine preventable illness (measles, mumps, diphtheria) outbreaks, acute encephalitis/Japanese encephalitis, food and water borne illnesses, and a recurring outbreak of an acute neurologic outbreak occurring in small children during litchi harvest season in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Changes in clinical management of the children made based on the investigation findings reduced deaths by almost 50% in those affected compared with the previous year. India EIS officers are also being deployed for the response to the floods in Jammu and Kashmir.

Food Safety: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Government of India regulators work together on training, sharing best practices, and conducting joint inspections to ensure good manufacturing processes and safe handling. This cooperation protects both American and Indian consumers.

Partners in Global Polio Eradication: India has shown exceptional leadership in eliminating polio. In 2013, India celebrated three years without wild poliovirus and was declared polio-free. We hope to strengthen U.S.-India collaboration on diseases for which tools of control and prevention exist, especially polio.

Health Research: The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Government of India's Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have enjoyed a long history of successful research and research training collaborations on maternal and child health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, vaccines, eye disease, neuroscience, diabetes, cancer, TB, neglected tropical diseases, behavioral and social sciences, and other infectious and non-communicable diseases that are priorities for both countries. In May 2014, the NIH and ICMR published a bilateral funding opportunity announcement to foster the formation of Indo-U.S. scientific teams conducting diabetes research of mutual interest and benefit to both countries. Awards are anticipated by September 2015.

Rotavirus Vaccine Development: Rotavirus causes an estimated 78,000 deaths, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 3 million episodes of severe diarrhea each year in Indian children. Rotavac, a low cost rotavirus vaccine that has been recommended in India for routine immunizations, is the product of a longstanding Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program collaboration that includes government, private sector, and academic partners.

Global Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): The Global Neglected Tropical Diseases community has wanted to engage with India to learn from their abilities to monitor and manage diseases. As part of the London Declaration, Uniting to Combat NTDs, an operations research working group has engaged to identify global research priorities around combatting NTDs. USAID will facilitate participation by the premiere Indian Leishmaniasis researchers in this global research in the November 2014 Annual Tropical Medicine Meeting in New Orleans, including a two-day breakout group prior to the meeting focused specifically on Leishmaniasis. India’s contribution to the global research agenda can then be used to inform NTD strategies around the world, at the country level as well as the donor agency level.

Cancer Research: Cancer research remains a leading priority of our broader health partnership. The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Government of India announced a partnership to increase capacity in cancer research and patient care delivery through infrastructure development, training, and capacity building and will develop an MOU for this collaboration.

Innovative Partnerships and Development Challenges: USAID’s Health Partnerships Action Plan will leverage multi-billion dollar national health programs of the Government of India and private sector financial resources, skills, and expertise. The plan identifies platforms for catalyzing direct private sector engagement and strengthening governmental stewardship of public-private partnerships to accelerate desired health outcomes.Through issues development challenges, USAID funds innovative ideas coming from local Indian researchers and institutions around issues such as tuberculosis medication compliance to neonatal thermoregulation.

ENDS


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