India provides 30,000 doses of vaccine to Maldives after measles outbreak
India provides 30,000 doses of vaccine to Maldives after measles outbreak

Responding to emergency request, India provides 30,000 doses of measles vaccine to Maldives

ANI | Updated: Jan 23, 2020 21:18 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 23 (ANI): Swiftly responding to a request from the Maldives, India on Thursday provided 30,000 doses of Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccine to contain the measles outbreak in the island country.
"30,000 doses of MR vaccine were quickly procured from the Serum Institute of India, Pvt. Ltd, and, within three days the vaccine reached Male. The vaccines were handed over to the Ministry of Health, Government of Maldives on January 23," a statement from the Indian Embassy in Male read.
Thereafter, at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Health, Abdulla Ameen, Minister of Health, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Indian Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir to thank India for the gesture of goodwill and solidarity.
"India's swift response underlines that health remains one of the strongest pillars of bilateral cooperation between India and Maldives. This gesture also emphasises the mutually supportive roles of India's Neighbourhood First Policy and the Maldives' India First policy, acting for the benefit of our peoples," the statement said.
While measles has been eliminated from the Maldives, four cases have tested positive in the last one week. The government suspected an outbreak and required emergency supplies of vaccine.
The Maldives approached Denmark which was willing to supply in one month's time. It also approached UNICEF which said they will take four weeks.
Maldives then approached the Indian Embassy on January 20.
The MEA, working closely with the Ministry of Health, procured a supply of 30,000 doses of Measles/Rubella vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, Pune and delivered the consignment today. This will suffice the immediate requirement of the Maldives.
India once again proved to be the first responder in times of emergency for the Maldives. In 2015, India responded to the water crisis in Male due to the breakdown of the main RO plant. India airlifted water immediately and also sent supplies by ship, including an RO plant.
Similarly, India sent immediate assistance on December 26, 2004 when tsunami struck the Maldives and other countries of the region.
In 1988, India responded to an SOS from the then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on account of a coup with swift action by sending paratroopers onboard IL-76 aircraft.
Secretary-level delegations met in Male on January 5 and 6 to draw up a roadmap for cooperation in capacity building and training of doctors, and medical professionals, disease surveillance, training of mental health professionals and setting up of digital health capacities in Maldives.
India is also building a 100-bed comprehensive, state-of-the-art Cancer Hospital in Hulhumale as a project under the bilateral USD 800 million Line of Credit.
The hospital will be built by the Tata Memorial Centre and will be completed in an 18 months' time frame. (ANI)