The Centre has shut the gate on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a critical national health mission.
All financial ties of the country’s apex immunization advisory body, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), with the Gates Foundation have been cut off.
NTAGI Secretariat will be now fully funded by the central government, the health ministry confirmed. NTAGI’s Secretariat was so far being serviced through the Gates Foundation-funded Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
Concerns raised by members of the steering group of the National Health Mission and the Sangh-affiliated outfit centered around “conflict of interest issues” in the NTAGI-Gates Foundation relationship.
There were questions about the Gates Foundation’s ties with pharmaceutical companies and the possible influence this may have on the country’s vaccination strategy. Global Policy Forum, an independent policy watchdog that seeks to promote accountability in international organizations, raised some of these concerns in a study in December 2015.
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