India has offered its expertise in yoga and Ayurveda to Sweden.

Many countries, including the U.S., France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Canada, have already asked for teachers and qualified manpower in this area, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said after inaugurating Indo-Swedish Health Week with his Swedish counterpart Maria Larsson.

“Sweden may also find Ayurveda and yoga to be quite useful and beneficial in the public health area,” he said.

Calling upon Sweden to be a partner in developing health infrastructure in India, the Minister said that greater investment was expected particularly in the fields of diagnostics and pharmaceuticals. “The potential for investments is huge. We would, however, like the partnerships to be structured in a way that allows transfer of technology leading to sustainable capacity building,” he said.

From his side, he offered India’s expertise in the field of high quality and cheap generic drugs. India has the highest number of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs outside the U.S. and could be a potential exporter to Sweden, Mr. Azad said. “Growth of cheap generic drug industry is also of vital interest for world health as all health-related millennium development goals in the developing countries are dependent on it.”

Outlining the steps taken by India in improving public health, Mr. Azad said it had been decided to include registration of all pregnant women and newborn babies. There are about 27 million pregnancies every year and registration will include details such as name, address, verifiable telephone number to ascertain the status of ante-natal and post-natal care at every level.

The Indo-Swedish Health Week is being observed from February 1 to 5. The two countries have identified common areas of collaboration, including anti-microbial resistance, pharmaceuticals, medical research, health policy research, alcoholism prevention and adolescent health.

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