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Akhilesh ropes in Gates Foundation for healthcare

United States business magnate Bill Gates and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav coming out of the latter's official residence in Lucknow on Wednesday. Photo: Subir Roy

United States business magnate Bill Gates and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav coming out of the latter's official residence in Lucknow on Wednesday. Photo: Subir Roy  

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The Akhilesh Yadav government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have agreed to work in tandem on maternal, neonatal and child health care, as well as in agriculture-related programmes in Uttar Pradesh. The Foundation will provide technical management and programme design support.

A memorandum of understanding will be signed within the next two months.

The breakthrough was achieved at a meeting here between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Foundation co-chairman Bill Gates here on Wednesday.

According to an official spokesman, Mr. Yadav apprised Mr. Gates of the poor health indicators, particularly the maternal mortality rate, the infant mortality rate, low level of immunisation and malnutrition among children. He also mentioned about the incidence of vector-borne tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis and the Acquired Encephalitis Syndrome in some regions.

Mr. Yadav urged the Foundation to undertake a comprehensive and long-term programme addressing maternal and child health issues holistically. Instead of providing monetary support, it should impart technical knowhow and train grass roots-level health workers in capacity building, the Chief Minister said.

Mr. Gates assured the Chief Minister of full support in developing innovative solutions. Catalytic, technical, managerial and advocacy support would be provided. He indicated the Foundation's keenness to develop partnership in the priority areas of maternal and neonatal health, nutrition, routine immunisation, introduction of new life-saving vaccines, consolidating the gains of polio immunisation and family planning through access to modern contraceptive methods.

In agriculture, Mr. Gates offered the Foundation's support in developing financial services for the poor by expanding the digital payment system.

Senior Ministers Shivpal Singh Yadav, Ambika Chaudhary, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya and Ahmed Hasan, State Planning Commisison Deputy Chairman N.C. Bajpai and Chief Secretary Javed Usmani were present at the meeting.

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Printable version | Jul 19, 2018 3:11:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/akhilesh-ropes-in-gates-foundation-for-healthcare/article3474078.ece