New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who called on Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here on Thursday, appreciated India's achievements in containing AIDS infections, polio management, reproductive health initiatives as also recent steps taken for TB management.
Gates along with his team met Azad and discussed issues relating to immunization programme, pentavalent vaccine, HIV/AIDS, infectious as well as non-communicable diseases during the meeting that lasted close to an hour and half.
He said that strides made by India go beyond his expectations.
Azad on his part thanked the Bill Gates Foundation for extending catalytic support to innovations in health, particularly in HIV/AIDS and Polio. He said that the support from Gates Foundation is valuable.
Azad mentioned that year 2012 has been declared the year of intensification of routine immunization programme and recently the Mission Steering Group of NRHM has endorsed the introduction of pentavalent vaccine in six more states viz. Gujarat, Goa, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana.
The help rendered by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in establishing Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) to provide technical and managerial support to accelerate coverage and to ensure system preparedness for new vaccines for when they are adopted, was specifically appreciated.
The Health Minister also said that ministry's initiative of name based Mother and Child Tracking System has helped more effective delivery of services at the grassroots level and with the help of Ministry of Information Technology more such initiatives to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and reach of government's schemes are under consideration.
Gates termed name based Mother and Child Tracking System as a very remarkable innovation.
Gates agreed that support from their Foundation would be aligned with national priorities and therefore in sync with the national programmes being implemented by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Leveraging of IT techniques for health, capacity building and lending technical support were identified as important areas of cooperation. (ANI)