Massachusetts-based medical device company ZOLL Medical Corporation manufactured 100 ventilator units donated to the Indian Red Cross Society. This donation was made by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help in India’s fight against COVID-19. The ventilators’ compact size and portability ensures that they can be rapidly delivered across India, and deployed in select health care facilities as needed. The United States has pledged to follow this initial gift by donating another 100 ventilators to the Indian government as part of a comprehensive joint response plan to the pandemic.
In addition to providing maintenance and repair services, technical assistance, and accompanying supplies for the ventilators, USAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working closely with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other organizations to curb COVID-19. These agencies are currently collaborating to track the spread of COVID-19, share messages to promote public health, and improve the quality of available medical care in India.
Kenneth Juster, the American ambassador to India, personally delivered the package of ventilators to the Indian Red Cross. President Trump and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi both noted on social media that this gift was an important affirmation of the United States and India’s friendship. The United States has supported India’s development for more than 70 years, providing critical aid to combat malnutrition, infectious diseases, and maternal mortality among other public health challenges. USAID estimates that its programs help prevent up to 2 million deaths annually in India.
India and the United States’ joint response to COVID-19 underscores a long relationship of mutual scientific support and bilateral development of innovative technologies. Organizations like the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) have fostered a close-knit relationship between the countries’ scientific communities, promoting collaboration in research and development across critical fields including clean energy and healthcare.
Estrella Hernandez is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington. She is a rising second-year at the University of Chicago pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies.