India, US eye new healthcare targets (Lead)

November 8th, 2010 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) A new disease centre and increased collaboration in the field of healthcare have been the highlights of US President Barack Obama’s health sector agenda during his India visit.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed for setting up a global disease detection centre in Delhi, while Obama especially mentioned support towards dealing with diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in his speech to MPs.

“Because the wealth of a nation also depends on the health of its people, we’ll continue to support India’s efforts against diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS,” Obama said during his address.

“As global partners, we’ll work to improve global health by preventing the spread of pandemic flu,” he said.

The disease centre in Delhi was announced by Obama while addressing a joint press conference Monday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“To promote global health, we are setting up a new disease detection centre here at New Delhi,” Obama said during the press conference.

According to government officials, the new centre will facilitate development of human resource in the field of healthcare. It is aimed at sharing best practices for detection and response to emerging infections, also giving advance training for it.

Building laboratory capacity for diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases using advanced technology will be the other main aim of the centre.

“We look forward to a greater engagement to improve the health of citizens, both in India and the US,” said Preetha Reddy, managing director of Apollo hospitals group and member of the India-US CEOs forum. She was among the CEOs who met Obama.

She said that harnessing potential telecom technologies and developing human resource in health were the priorities.

“The future demands a renewed focus on wellness and preventive healthcare. We are keen on bi-national partnerships to battle chronic diseases. Diseases do not recognize boundaries and therefore it is important that we foster greater research collaboration,” she added.

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