As Cabinet Nods, India To Sign Pact With Gates Foundation To Improve Quality Of Country’s Health SectorMelinda Gates with her husband Bill (Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Lasker Foundation)

The Union Cabinet has given ex post facto approval to the memorandum of cooperation (MoC) signed between the government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in the field of health.

A programme action committee (PAC) will be set up to work on details and oversee the MoC's implementation, according to a statement issued after the cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday (8 January).

The MoC was signed by the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DOHFW) and the BMGF in November during the Delhi visit of Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of the BMGF.

The MoC focuses on reduction in maternal, neonatal, and child morbidity and mortality, improving key nutrition outcomes by improving the reach, coverage and quality of essential primary health, immunisation and nutrition services.

It will also help increase the basket of choices and quality for family planning methods, specially for reversible methods, and improve access among young women as well as to reduce the burden of select infectious diseases -- tuberculosis (TB), visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and lymphatic filariasis (LF).

The MoC also covers health systems, including aspects like budget utilisation, management and skills of human resources for health, digital health, strengthening supply chains and monitoring systems.

(With inputs from IANS)

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