Bill Gates praises India: 'Success with vaccine drive offers lessons to world'


India's success with the vaccination drive and the use of technology to drive health outcomes at scale offers many lessons for the world, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said on Saturday days after his meeting with union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya. The health minister - earlier this week - had shared pictures on Twitter of his meeting with Gates at Davos.

"A pleasure to interact with @BillGates at #WEF22. He appreciated India's success in #COVID19 management & mammoth vaccination efforts. (sic),” Mandaviya had tweeted. "We discussed a wide range of subjects relating to healthcare including the promotion of digital health, disease control management, creation of mRNA regional hubs, and strengthening the development of affordable and quality diagnostics & medical devices, etc. (sic),” he further wrote.

In response to the tweets, Gates on Saturday said: “It was great to meet Dr @mansukhmandviya and exchange perspectives on global health. India's success with the vaccination drive and the use of technology to drive health outcomes at scale offers many lessons for the world.”

India launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive against Covid in January last year. Since then, nearly 88 per cent of the adults have been fully vaccinated, the health minister said in an update on Saturday. The country has largely relied on the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and homegrown Covaxin for inoculation against the virus.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates’ Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been working in India since 2003. “We have invested more in India than in any other country besides the United States,” it says on its official website.

The nonprofit works “on key issues that will affect the future of India’s most vulnerable communities: reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition; sanitation; agricultural development; gender equality, and digital financial inclusion.”