The government of India has donated 30,000 vaccination doses for Measles and Rubella to the people of Maldives.
During a special ceremony to hand over the vaccination doses on Thursday evening, the Minister of Health, Abdulla Ameen presented a Certificate of Acknowledgement to the government of India, which was accepted by Ambassador of India to the Maldives, Sunjay Sudhir.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Ameen expressed gratitude and appreciation for the swift response, going on to add that seeking and acquiring vaccinations is a significant and expensive task, as such, the government highly appreciates the Indian government’s generous donation as free aid.
It is important to signify the importance of the foreign relation, I think the foreign policy of our President, Solih symbolizes the importance of bilateral relations with our neighbors. India being our friendliest neighbor, I think this is a very small gesture from the government of India so we appreciate the government and especially the ambassador and the staff of the embassy for the quick response”
~ Minister Ameen
The minister added that they are proceeding work to combat the measles outbreak with recommendations from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Further, Ameen urged those who have not completed the required two dosages, to seek vaccination as soon as possible. Vaccination stalls have been set up at Dhamanaveshi and the social center, he added.
In addition, the vaccination campaign will also commence and extra vaccination doses are also being sought, said Ameen who added that India’s donation is proof that every time Maldives faces crisis, India is in the forefronts to provide swift aid.
Shedding light on the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minister Abdulla Shahid, Ameen said that their work during the past year has contributed immensely for the strengthening of foreign bonds.
Further speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Sudhir stated that the vaccinations were donated within 72 hours since the request was made, this in turn signifies that India has the capacity to meet emergency humanitarian needs of Maldives, that India will always be the first to respond to emergency requests and that cooperation in health is one of the most important pillars of the bilateral cooperation between both countries.
This is not the first time that India is first to respond I mean there have instances in which we all know in 1988 and then in 2004 for the Tsunami and 2015 the water crisis we just hope that the vaccines which have been handed over today are put to good use. This year also happens to be the year of public health and as far as India is concerned, we will support this mission of the govt of Maldives.”
~ Ambassador Sudhir
Highlighting that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on health cooperation in June 2019 during the state visit of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sudhir added that in January, there was a high-level delegation from India in the health sector which has already drawn up a road map for cooperation and capacity building and training for doctors and medical health professionals.
I think providing assistance to the people of Maldives in emergency situations in engrained in the very spirit of the bilateral relationship between India and Maldives. Our guiding motto has always been and will always be “we are with you” “we are for you” always”
~ Ambassador Sudhir
While the infectious virus is catching the air, it is one of the most communicable diseases in the world owing to the fact that it can spread via air and out of 79 individuals tested thus far, four have turned positive to it in the country.
There is a number of outlying atolls residents who have not completed the required two doses, the minister stressed earlier.