Bill Gates meets Nitish Kumar, discuss ‘human development’

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Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and one of the world’s richest men, on Saturday met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to discuss support to health, education and other sectors for human development, officials said.

“Bill Gates met Nitish Kumar at his official residence in Patna and discussed about various issues and likely support for human development in Bihar,” an official in the chief minister’s office said.

According to officials, Gates lauded several initiatives taken by the state government in health, education and other sectors.

“Bill Gates has assured support to Bihar to improve health and education sector,” officials said.

Earlier, on Friday, Gates had called on union Health Minister J.P. Nadda in New Delhi and discussed various issues related to the health sector in India.

Gates appreciated the slew of initiatives taken by the ministry towards strengthening the health systems, including the success of full immunisation through Mission Indradhanush and the launch of Inactivate Polio Vaccine (IPV).

“India has made significant progress in improving access to healthcare services, and I believe the country has the political will and creative thinking to come up with solutions of transformative healthcare models that work for all its people, especially women and children so that they survive, thrive and reach their full potential,” said Gates during the meeting.

Gates also assured that he was looking forward to work with the Indian government to strengthen primary healthcare, which is key to accelerating health outcomes for every woman and child in India.

Health Minister Nadda said: “We are looking forward to develop synergies and to use expertise of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in crucial health related issues.”

He emphasised that the Gates Foundation can play an important role in capacity building and enhancing the investment for the health sector in India.

Nadda talked about the launch of new vaccines including Pentavalent, Pneumococcal, Rota Virus and the adult Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and the work to be carried on to cover the entire country.

During the meeting, it was agreed that Bill Gates’s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will support the ministry in strengthening health systems further in order to enhance the capacity within the sector and to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure.

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