Health, India, World

Centre ends financial tie of NTAGI with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Central government has shut the gate on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a critical national health mission, Economic Times reported.

The decision is due to the possible conflict of issues arising from the foundation’s tie with pharmaceutical companies.

According to the news report, all financial ties of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) with the Gates Foundation have been cut off.

Health ministry told HT that NTAGI will be fully funded by the Centre. NTAGI was serviced through Bill Gates Foundation-funded Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU).

Concerns raised by senior medical professionals and Sangh-affiliaed outfit Swadeshi Jagran Manch forced Centre to put an end to the financial tie with the Gates Foundation.

“We welcome this move by the government.  We have always said foreign influence in our domestic policies in any way must be avoided,” a Swadeshi Jagran Manch volunteer was quoted by ET as saying.

NTAGI will now be moved out to the fully government-funded National Institute of Family Health and Welfare (NIFHW).

NTAGI member AK Arora and Gates Foundation spokesperson Sunil Raman, both quoted by ET, also confirmed that NTAGI Secretariat has shifted out of ITSU.

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