In an unanticipated move, the central government has scrapped all ties with the Bill and MeIndia Gates foundation that works on India’s immunisation programme. The programme which was earlier funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will now be funded by the health Ministry.
According to reports, the move has been undertakem to avoid suppression of policy making that may influenced due to foreign donors. Reports suggest that the other reason that could have forced the Modi government to take the decision was the foundation’s ties with other pharmaceutical companies that do not share the same interest with the country’s policies.
Following which, all financial ties with the group that backed the immunisation programme and the the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) have been scrapped off. Now, the NTAGI will now be completely backed and funded by the centre. “There was a perception that an external agency is funding it, so there could be influence,” Reuters quoted senior health ministry official Soumya Swaminathan as saying. He added that the despite this, the unit will not cease to exist.
The Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU), which was funded the Bill gates foundation for several years now not only monitors but also suggest policies and measures to the Delhi’s immunisation programmes that facilitates the about 27 million young children, mainly infants every year.
Asserting that there funding for the Immunization Technical Support Unit will be over this month, a spokesperson from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said, “We are in advanced stages of discussion with the ministry on the contours of the next phase of technical support.”
Meanwhile, it must be noted that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that is founded buy Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates shares a cordial relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and have also hailed the central government’s demonetisation drive while terming it as a “bold” move.