India Africa partnership in health care: accomplishments and prospects

India Africa partnership in health care: accomplishments and prospects

The health sector assumes special importance in India-Africa development cooperation. It is the major component of the broad-ranging collaborative effort envisaged under the rubric of India-Africa cooperation in social development and capacity building. India is playing a crucial role in extending healthcare cooperation to the African region to fight the scourge of fatal diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, and pandemics.

India-Africa development cooperation in healthcare sector assumes added importance in view of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 that calls for ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all.

Apart from the traditional trade and investment route, India has taken some major initiatives in the health care sector in Africa through the Pan-Africa e-Network Project (PAENP). Medical practitioners at the patient end locations in Africa can consult on-line with Indian medical specialists in various disciplines and specialties selected by African Union for its Member States. India’s is the third largest pharmaceutical formulation supplier to Africa.

Considering the current state of global economies, the governments will have to play the role of a facilitator than that of a doer. This could take the form of incentives. Some possible areas for such incentives are:

  • export of pharma products to Africa
  • local manufacturing in Africa by Indian firms through joint ventures; May be a Govt. Fund for technology transfer
  • setting up health care facilities including in traditional medicine by Indian firms
  • export of human resources
  • opening more telemedicine centres
  • medical tourism in India (e.g. Ayurveda and Allopathy)
  • the government machinery also will have to ensure that quality of Indian pharmaceutical products is not compromised

Government initiatives can also be for:

  • scholarships for Africa in medical and nursing colleges
  • setting up medical colleges
  • training and exchange of experts in policy and law in IPRs and also in drug regulation

On the African governments’ side, faster drug marketing approval for generic pharmaceuticals, speedier measures for various clearances required for setting up new ventures in the pharmaceutical sector and also in the health care sector are required.

Indian private and public sector as well as non-governmental agencies could also consider taking initiatives in bringing together philanthropists to contribute towards Africa’s determination to achieve health for all in the shortest possible period.

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.