Denying allegations of influencing India’s health policy, Nachiket Mor, the director of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-India (BMGF), said that the Indian government’s decision to cancel the licence of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), one of BMGF’s biggest partners in India and a leading public health think tank, had nothing to do with the Foundation’s work in the country.
Why was the licence cancelled?
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelled PHFI’s registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, alleging violations of the law.
The NGO was barred from receiving foreign funds, on the grounds that it had used them to lobby parliamentarians and media for stricter tobacco control laws — a key initiative in consonance with the Health Ministry’s policies.
What the director of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-India (BMGF) has to say
BMGF has been accused of influencing India’s immunisation programme, especially its vaccination strategies. Don’t think PHFI issue has anything to do with the Gates Foundation, says its director. There’s no evidence that Gates Foundation has influenced India’s health policies, says India director of BMGF
What will be the BMGF’s role in India, if the government were to change its mind?
We are here because the government says that there are gaps. If they tell us that there are no gaps, we will leave. Last year, a million babies died. There is an enormous gap going by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which say that we have to reduce it to half a million deaths in 2030.
(Adapted from The Indian Express and The Hindu)