Aarogya Maitri

Aarogya Maitri Project is a Government of India sponsored programme to provide essential medical and health supplies to developing global south countries affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crisis. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced this project during a session of “Voice of the Global South” programme which was held during 12-13 of January 2023 under the theme of “Unity of Voice and Unity of Purpose”. “Voice of Global South” which was taken place previous to G20 summit September 2023 which India presides over. Countries in the Global South (earlier known as third world countries) are most in need of medical assistance.

India itself called it is a global south country and assumes as a natural leadership of global south. The term “Global South”¬† is generally referred to the developing countries of Asia, Africa and South America. Most of these countries are developing and facing socio-political unrest while others are undergoing through natural calamities and infectious diseases. The term “Global North” is not commonly used eventhogh it is referred to the rich countries in North America, European Union, and some rich countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore in Asian continent. The countries in Global South and Global North are not precisely demarcated based on north and south of equator. Countries like Australia and New Zealand both of which are located in the southern part of the earth, but are categorised as Global North due to its economic prosperity.

India is the largest producer of generic medicine in the world and it has made available to the millions of poor people through its Jan Aushadi pharmacy outlets throughout the country.

Vaccine Maitri

Even before the Aarogya Maitri Project announcement, India had initiated its healthcare assistance to the global south countries. During covid-19 pandemic, India has provided covid vaccines (Covishield and Covaccine) to more than 100 countries and United Nations Peacekeeping forces. India became first responder of emergency situation in third world countries which strengthened country’s image international community and especially in global south countries.

Vaccine Maitri programme was launched in 20 January, 2021, after long awaited Indian vaccines, Covishield and Covaccine, were successfully tested. It is noteworthy that India countinued to export vaccines to other countries despite high demand of covid vaccines in India. Government of India faced severe criticism from opposition parties, for providing vaccines to other countries while millions of Indian were struggling to receive their first dose of vaccine. Soon after the launch of Vaccine Maitri, a second wave of covid-19 pandemic (Delta variant) caused great damage in Indian Healthcare system and thus government temporarily freeze Vaccine Maitri from March until September¬† in 2021. India’s vaccine diplomacy attracted much media attention and recieved appreciations from global south countries.

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