Bill Gates Awards Lifetime Achievement Award to Health Heroes

"Made a huge difference to millions of lives not just in India but the entire world."

This is what Mr. Bill Gates said about Dr Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Chairman and MD of the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine producer in terms of doses, and Dr. Kiran Mazumdar- Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon India which is Asia's biggest biopharmaceutical company, as he presented them with the Indian Council of Medical Research's Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare.

Bill Gates, Billionaire PhilanthropistDr. Poonawalla and Dr. Mazumdar Shaw have developed important vaccines and drugs which have made a huge difference to millions of lives. This really is something that not only impacted India but the entire world.

About Dr Prakash Baba Amte, Director, Lok Biradari Prakalp, and the third awardee of the ICMR Lifetime Achievement Award, who dedicated his entire life to serving tribal people, Mr. Gates said, "Dr. Prakash Amte has served in remote tribal villages doing amazing research and clinical services for under-served populations. This example is very inspiring as it helps us understand in what we need to do to improve health equity worldwide."

The Indian Council of Medical Research, which handed out the awards, also marked its 108th Foundation day, wherein it highlighted its many moments of pride of service to the nation, including pioneering the largest vaccine trial for TB in 1959, introducing ORS therapy in 1970 and combating the Zika virus outbreak through indigenous diagnostics in 2019.

The apex body in India for health research also signed a Declaration of Intent (DoI) with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) of the National Institutes of Health, USA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), which builds on an ongoing collaborative research and training program between India and US.

The collaboration will establish a research fellowship programme for young scientists in India and US to expand research in infectious disease and immunology, with an emphasis on diseases that affect women and children.

ICMR also released the Standard Treatment Workflows (STWs) of India, which will facilitate the successful implementation of Ayushman Bharat in the country, and has been developed with the goal of empowering primary, secondary and tertiary care physicians/surgeons towards achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage.

Speaking on the occasion, Bill Gates, Co-Chair, BMGF said, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to working collaboratively with the ICMR to provide support in development of solutions to some of the major health challenges facing India and the world”.

He also stressed on the importance of health equity for children worldwide.

Bill Gates, Co-Chair, BMGFNo matter where children are born, it shouldn't affect whether they live or die.

Mr. Gates also spoke about the need for children, wherever they are born, to develop fully physically and mentally.

"No matter where a child is born, they need to develop physically and mentally fully and so the big challenge is malnutrition."

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