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Indian government takes over immunization effort from Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is accentuating the positive after news broke that the Indian government is taking over from the foundation part of a years-long immunization initiative that vaccinates 27 million babies for diseases like measles and polio each year.

Reuters reported that the move is part of a broader clampdown on non-governmental, and particularly foreign, organizations.

Critics are concerned about conflicts of interest because of the Gates Foundation’s backing for GAVI, the global vaccine alliance that counts big pharmaceutical companies as partners.

A spokeswoman told ImpactAlphathe foundation welcomed the transition to government funding when its grant for the Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) ends this month.

The foundation provides time-limited support and structures transition, she said, “so that critical experiential knowledge and capabilities stay within the (Indian) government system when our support winds down.”

Photo credit: PIYAL ADHIKARY/epa/Corbis

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