Ghulam Nabi Azad calls on Bangladeshi PM Hasina in Dhaka
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is currently on an official tour to Bangladesh in connection with the International Conference on "Evidence for Action: South-South Collaboration for ICPD beyond 2014", called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her residence, Gonobhaban, Dhaka this morning.
Azad conveyed greetings of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and presented compliments to Hasina and to the government and people of Bangladesh on his and India's behalf.
Recalling the close and historical ties between the two countries, he stated that there are very few countries in the world whose destinies are so intrinsically interlinked as India and Bangladesh.
Azad said that the two countries shared common cultural, economic and political history.
The recently concluded year-long joint celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was cited as a testimony of shared cultural ethos and heritage between India and Bangladesh.
Azad congratulated the Prime Minister for her astute statesmanship and accomplishments in leading Bangladesh towards steady growth, continued progress and prosperity and appreciated her keen interest in Health.
Azad informed that he is visiting Dhaka to participate in the International Conference on "Evidence for Action: South-South Collaboration for ICPD beyond 2014", organized jointly by Partners in Population and Development (PPD) and the Government of People's Republic of Bangladesh.
He thanked Bangladesh for graciously hosting the Executive Committee and the 17th Annual Board Meeting of the Partners in Population Development (PPD), of which he was the current Chairperson, having been re-elected for a second 3-year term.
The meeting lasted for more than 45 minutes during which several issues related to health were discussed. Azad informed that India and Bangladesh are set to usher in an era of much closer cooperation in the field of health and medicine.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh has been mutually agreed upon and is being put up for approval of the Cabinet in India. The MoU covers several areas of cooperation, which include exchange of medical doctors, other health professionals, development of human resources, medical and health research development, regulations, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and cosmetics.
Azad further informed that the signing of the MoU will give a formal structure to undertake specific collaborative projects for mutual benefit, including short and long term training of medical professionals, research projects, medicines and devices. He stated that traditional medicine could be another area of cooperation, which would benefit people of both countries.
He mentioned cooperation for public and professional awareness campaigns, clinical care practices and guidelines for healthcare providers and caretakers to benefit individuals and families - touched by Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities.
He highlighted the steps taken following up on the first conference of South Asian Autism Network (SAAN), which was held in Dhaka in 2011, where among others, Prime Minister, Bangladesh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had participated.
Azad conveyed appreciation for the efforts made by Bangladesh in moving a resolution on Autism Disorders at the South-East Asian Regional conference of World Health Organisation, held at Yogyakarta, Indonesia during September 2012. All countries extended wholehearted support for the proposal moved by Bangladesh and supported by India.
He informed that India will be hosting the second conference of SAAN on 28th and 29th January, 2013 and extended an invitation to Prime Minister to visit India to attend the conference as a special guest, and stated that it would be an opportune time for India and Bangladesh to sign the MoU in Health and Medicine to further strengthen the close ties between the two countries.
Azad conveyed that Bangladesh enjoys a special relationship with India and reiterated the assurances of India's highest consideration.