India and Cuba today inked an MoU for enhanced cooperation in the health sector by pooling in technical, scientific, financial and human resources, giving a boost to medical education in the two countries.
Terming it historic, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said relations between Cuba and India were based on "shared values of equality and justice" and the convergence of interests on global issues.
The ministry of health also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rotary International India to accelerate efforts under the polio eradication programme and for routine immunisation, a statement said.
The MOU on cooperation in the field of health and medicine between India and Cuba is important for exchanges in the health sector and to develop an institutional framework for bilateral cooperation in the field, Nadda said.
"One potential area is pharmaceutical and biotechnology. Cuba has made remarkable strides in the field of bio- technology and pharmaceuticals," he said.
He stressed the need for greater institutional collaborations in the joint production of medicines on a commercial basis.
Nadda suggested a joint working group be formed for the implementation of the MoU.
The main areas of cooperation include exchange and training of medical doctors and other health professionals, assistance in development of human resources, setting up of health care facilities and regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
It includes promotion of business development opportunities in pharmaceuticals, procurement of generic and essential drugs as well as health equipment, collaboration in the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and in the field of climate change impact on communicable and vector- borne diseases, the statement added.
The collaboration between Rotary International India National Polio Plus Committee and the Health Ministry will, among other measures, support the efforts of the states and districts for advocacy and community mobilisation for polio eradication.
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