Gates foundation to help U.P. in vaccination programmes
The Gates Foundation informed the State government that it was eager to collaborate with it on techniques to bring under control vector-borne and water-borne diseases, drinking water supply, sanitation, mother and child nutrition and enhance agricultural productivity.Priority of schemesUttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar said the MoU would be signed soon after assessing “department-wise programmes and priority of schemes as per the needs of the State.”Mr. Adityanath apprised Mr. Gates of the efforts taken by the State to tackle Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and other vector-borne diseases. The State government came under sharp criticism a few months ago when 30 infants allegedly died of shortage of oxygen supply in Gorakhpur and since then it has promoted measures taken to address AES and JES.As per the State government, it successfully vaccinated 92 lakh children in 38 districts in May-June. This was followed by the Indradanush programme under which 26 lakh children who had missed out on the earlier programme were vaccinated in 37 districts.“Eliminating the menace of JE and AES is one of the top priorities of government, and Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College has been at the forefront of this mission,” Mr. Adityanath said.Also Read The foundation run by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and wife Melinda will support the Uttar Pradesh government in intensifying vaccination programmes for diseases like Japanese Encephalitis and cerebral fever, officials said on Friday.An MoU will soon be signed between the two sides for collaboration and support on the issues of maternal and child health, vaccination, agricultural productivity and sanitation, among others.Also Read Rajnath asks Bill Gates to adopt 1,000 Maoist-hit villages The Uttar Pradesh government is seeking the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in “technical, managerial and programme designs,” a government spokesperson said.The MoU will be signed for five years.Fresh collaborationThe fresh collaboration between the State government and the Gates Foundation came on a day its founder, Bill Gates, along with his team held a high-level meeting with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here.Mr. Gates and Mr. Adityanath discussed a range of topics on which the Gates Foundation could provide technical support to Uttar Pradesh.The subjects ranged from tackling tuberculosis, child malnutrition, maternal health to sewage treatment, soil-mapping techniques, sanitation and waste management.Also Read Bill Gates positive to N. Chandrababu Naidu plea for tech help Bill Gates commits to work with U.P. government on welfare schemes Anganwadi centresMr. Gates expressed his willingness to work on the issue of “strengthening anganwadi centres to tackle the issue of child malnutrition and fortify their diets through existing government programmes.”There are two lakh anganwadi centres and the State government wants the Gates Foundation to develop software so that the health of children and women at these centres can be tracked accurately.The Microsoft founder has also communicated to the government that his Foundation would support it in soil mapping through latest techniques and increase level of awareness among farmers to use better seeds.“We are already working with the Union Government and would love to work with U.P. too,” Mr. Gates was quoted as saying by the Chief Minister’s communication department.The Gates Foundation has proposed technical help to the government in sanitation and waste management, while willing to deploy mobile-based nutrition systems in anganwadis.The State government has invited the Gates Foundation to lead a pilot project for sanitation along the banks of the Ganga in Unnao.While welcoming Mr. Gates to Lucknow, Mr. Adityanath gifted him an idol of Lord Buddha.