19 April, 2021

Lifeline Diplomacy

Neighbours seek India’s health expertise

Jitender Gupta
Lifeline Diplomacy

Learning Ground

  • Despite border issues, Pakistan, China and India have collaborated on health programmes
  • India has offered Pakistan and China help in outreach programmes
  • China has sought cheap drugs for leukaemia; it has promised to ease drug registration procedures
  • Pak teams have been observing polio drives in Bihar and UP 


Behind all the livewire tension on the border that defines India’s relations with Pakistan and China, there’s at least one area in which active cooperation is not only sought but also readily given. And the sector with unforeseen diplomatic potential is, yes, public health. Earlier this month, China sought “more cooperation” in specific health projects such as cancer care and maternal and child health. And Pakistan is looking to India for help in eradicating polio.

On the sidelines of the World Health Assembly, held in Geneva in May, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met China’s...

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