The Indian High Commission in Maldives, on Thursday, announced that the government of India urgently dispatched 2,400 vials of BCG vaccine to cover a shortage in Maldives' National Immunization Programme.
Dispatched in response to a request from the Maldivian government, the supply of BCG vaccines is expected to arrive later the same day.
The BCG vaccine is administered to infants in order to ensure immunity against tuberculosis.
According to the Indian High Commission, the Ministry of Health and India's Ministry of External Affairs procured the vaccine and arranged for its transport in cooperation with the High Commission of Maldives in Delhi, the Honorary Consul of Maldives in Mumbai, and the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The High Commission described health sector cooperation as a fundamental aspect of the bilateral relationship between Maldives and India, noting that this partnership strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instances of bilateral cooperation and assistance extended throughout 2020 include the deployment of a medical team from India to assess preparedness, the donation of 5.5 tonnes of essential medicines, airlifting 6.3 tonnes of essential medicines and consumables from various Indian cities, and granting critically ill Maldivians permission to travel to India for healthcare.
Earlier in January 2020, India dispatched 30,000 doses of the Measles Rubella vaccine amid Maldives' efforts to curb a measles outbreak.
As per the High Commission, India’s 'Neighbourhood First' foreign policy continued to demonstrate the country's readiness to assist Maldives in times of need.
The High Commission also stated that the diplomatic ties between the two countries were reinvigorated under the leadership of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.