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Probe demanded into foreign health NGOs in India

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Raising a red flag against foreign NGOs including Bill and Foundation (BMGF), the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran (SJM) on Friday demanded central and state governments to review their work for conflict of interest in India's health sector.

"Review working of international NGOs like BMGF and Global Health Strategies (GHS) for conflict of interest and pursuing commercial interests in India's health sector," All Co-Convenor asked all state and central governments in a release.

Mahajan said many NGOs like BMGF, GHS and Programme for Appropriate Technology for Health (PATH) are already facing the allegations of conflict of interests and promoting the interests of certain companies manufacturing "contentious" vaccines.

The department of is investigating the appointment of the BMGF's on the board of (RBI), which is also a regulator to monitor foreign funds.

"Serious charges of conflict of interest of a in the Ministry of Health, appointment on a panel of GHS have been reported," he said.

The same was responsible for the National Immunisation Programme and GHS has been lobbying for use of vaccines such as the HPV vaccine.

"Obliviously, questions are raised about the influence of the pharma giants on the National Immunisation Program. The track record of GHS is also not clean," Mahajan said.

The Parliament's Standing in 2013 observed serious lapses on part of PATH in taking informed consent of parents, the process of taking regulatory clearances as well as conflict of interest of the NGO with certain quarters of the government, he said.

"The committee had also recommended strict action against the NGO. But nine years hence, far from getting penalised, these individuals continue to work freely with the influencing our policies and programs as they did a decade ago," he said.

Further, Mahajan said that there are reports that these organisations, through direct and indirect representatives, consultants and public policy professionals are pushing their agendas in various states circumventing the laws of the land to influence policy making.

highlighted that these foreign NGOs have been working in states like Bihar, and Mahajan said the MoU between and BMGF is up for renewal and the should come out with a whitepaper on the progress.

"There is an urgent need to take a relook and ensure Indian organisations are given due weightage. The BMGF also uses serving and retired IAS officers on high salaries for influence peddling," he said.

added that while BMGF, which works with various states and premier research institutes, has Cabinet approved MoU with only the Ministry of Women and Child Development,

SJM added that while BMGF has Cabinet approved MoU with only the Ministry of Women and Child Development, it works with various states and premier research institutes like (ICMR), which works on new vaccine introductions.

"It will be appropriate, if the state, as well as, central agencies issue advisories and immediately stop interacting with them. There is a strong case for reviewing their functioning and programmes these outfits run," Mahajan said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 23:08 IST