Pres. Obama Emphasizes U.S.-Indian Partnerships To Track, Fight Diseases

On his final day in India as part of his 10-day Asia-Pacific tour, President Barack Obama on Monday addressed the joint session of the Indian Parliament in New Dehli, where he emphasized the importance of U.S.-Indian partnerships to tackle disease and improve education, Indo-Asian News Service/Hindustan Times reports (11/8). “Because the wealth of a nation also depends on the health of its people, we’ll continue to support India’s effort against diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and as global partners, we’ll work to improve global health by preventing the spread of pandemic flu,” Obama said, according to a White House transcript from his address (11/8).

IANS/Sify News writes of collaboration between the U.S. and India on a new global disease detection center in New Dehli that Obama announced earlier Monday during a joint press conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “According to government officials, the new centre will facilitate development of human resource in the field of healthcare,” the news service writes. The main focuses of the center will be on improving “best practices for detection and response to emerging infections” and “[b]uilding laboratory capacity for diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases using advanced technology,” IANS/Sify News writes.

The news service quotes Preetha Reddy, managing director of Apollo hospitals group and member of the India-U.S. CEOs forum, as saying, “We look forward to a greater engagement to improve the health of citizens, both in India and the U.S.” Reddy also “said that harnessing potential telecom technologies and developing human resource in health were the priorities,” according to IANS/Sify News (11/8).

The White House transcript notes Obama’s statements on the new agricultural partnership between the U.S. and India, also announced on Monday. “[A]s part of our food security initiative, we’re going to share India’s expertise with farmers in Africa,” Obama said. “And this is an indication of India’s rise – that we can now export hard-earned expertise to countries that see India as a model for agricultural development. It’s another powerful example of how American and Indian partnership can address an urgent global challenge,” he added (11/8).

IANS/Hindustan Times, in a separate article, writes of an address by Indian President Pratibha Patil on Monday during a state banquet that she hosted for the president and First Lady Michelle Obama.

India and the U.S. “‘have ‘responsibilities to work together for peace, stability and security in the world,'” she said. “We have, therefore, enormous potential to work together for a sustainable and inclusive global economic development, to address the challenges of infrastructure, clean energy, food security and health security, and educate and empower the youth, especially our women, for the responsibilities of the new era,” she said, according to the news service (11/8).

NPR’s “All Things Considered” looks ahead to Obama’s next stop on his Asia-Pacific tour – Indonesia – by featuring an interview with Endy Bayuni, the senior editor of the Jakarta Post. “Some of the areas [that Obama will likely discuss with Indonesian leaders] include what they call the soft power from the United States; meaning assistance in the economy, assistance in promoting education and health care in the country,” Bayuni said (Siegel, 11/8).

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