India, China favour more cooperation in health sector

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) India and China Wednesday decided to strengthen bilateral cooperation, specially in the fields of maternal and child health, infectious diseases and other emerging health challenges, officials said here.

The discussions were held between union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad with his Chinese counterpart Li Bin on the sidelines of the world health assembly in Geneva.

Both sides favoured a closer cooperation in specific areas like maternal and child health, infectious diseases, geriatrics, emerging health challenges, besides collaboration in specific projects, officials said.

Working groups should meet more frequently to do the groundwork for more intense and meaningful cooperation, they felt.

Azad said the two countries can learn a lot from each other considering the fact that both countries have huge populations to look after and attained independence at about the same time.

In this context, he drew attention of his Chinese counterpart towards the bilateral agreement of 1994 relating to health sector and emphasised the need to hasten the work in the areas identified for bilateral cooperation.

Responding to Azad, Chinese Health Minister Li Bin stressed the need to have a more broad-based cooperation in health-care sector and suggested formulation of a comprehensive framework after mutual consultations to give further impetus to bilateral ties.

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