Bill Gates gives tonic to Bihar. Meets CM Nitish Kumar

Chief Minister of Bihar Meets with Co-Chair of
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates to Advance State’s Health and Nutrition Agenda

Patna ( The News). Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar
together with Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister and Mangal Pandey,
Health Minister and key officials today met with Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and reiterated their commitment for continued partnership to find solutions to the state’s critical health and development goals.
Bihar has made impressive progress in different areas. It is great to see decisive actions towards reforming the state health system through creation of the Public Health Management Cadre which is envisaged to deliver on good quality clinical care, while
bringing more administrative and management capacity into public health. Further, use of
public private partnerships to achieve fully functional integrated referral transport system;adoption of nurse mentoring programs like AMANAT to continuously improve maternal and newborn care in public facilitates and; prioritization and focus on increasing human
resources for health are some of the noteworthy efforts of Government of Bihar.

There has been an unprecedented growth in the scale of Self-help groups (SHGs) reaching almost 9,00,000. Efforts are underway towards including women in health and
development discourse through Jeevika, where SHGs are serving as an important lever to
advance agriculture, gender, livestock, maternal, newborn health, nutrition and family
planning outcomes.

The discussion focused on further prioritization of structural reforms in the health
sector with a need to strengthen the primary health care by building a robust, resilient and responsive health system in Bihar complemented by curative services through a
comprehensive roadmap. Further, it was agreed that increased commitment will
accelerate the elimination of neglected tropical diseases like Kala-azar, Lymphatic
Filariasis and infectious disease like Tuberculosis. An impetus to monitor progress and
learnings of the inclusive Agriculture Transformation Plan and Livestock Masterplan
(LMP) implementation through a digital dashboards and decision support systems was
also discussed. The state’s effort to institute gender dashboards is commendable.

Chief Minister’s flagship program, “ Jal-Jivan-Hariyali” to combat
the adverse effects of climate change and to restore the ecological balance on the earth,
was highlighted as an interdepartmental effort. Mr. Gates was apprised of this innovative drive of the state.
Commenting on the interaction, Shri Nitish Kumar, Hon’ble Chief Minister,
Bihar, said, “We are pleased with our collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation to improve public health services, community level behavior change, scaling
up innovation across health, nutrition, agriculture etc. Bihar is keen to continue
partnership with Gates Foundation to further strengthen sustainable systems across.

Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said,“ Over the past
20 years, few places have made more progress against poverty and disease than Bihar.
Compared to her mother born two decades ago, a child born today in Bihar is more than
twice as likely to reach her 5th birthday,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation, “Now, we have to make sure that all children are able to grow up
healthy and get a good education. And our foundation remains committed to working
with the state government to make that happen.”

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