On 25 September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was felicitated with the Global Goalkeeper Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). On the surface, it was recognition for the PM’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyan scheme—a programme that sought to eliminate the practice of open defecation. But there was a lot more riding on this award. It was the culmination of a years-long effort to make an ally of a man seen as critical to BMGF’s continued success in the region.
quid pro quo
Exit in sight, Gates Foundation hopes India will foot the vaccine bill
After pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into building India’s preventable disease vaccine market, the $48 billion Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) wants to step back. But if the Modi government doesn’t pick up where BMGF left off, the house the Foundation painstakingly built could come crashing down
Despite lots of opposition, the world’s largest charity—Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)—gave the Global Goalkeeper Award to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The award was part of a charm offensive as the Foundation realises its success in the region is contingent on the Indian government’s support
Having built a vaccine market—helping to fund both vaccine makers and also footing part of the government’s tab—BMGF now wants to step back
But it needs a buyer for all the vaccines it has brought into the Indian market. Can it convince the Indian government to foot the bill for its 25.7 million-strong birth cohort?