India plans on improving the health sectors of the 14 Pacific Island nations by setting up Jaipur foot camps, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says.

He said Papua New Guinea would have its prosthetic limbs camp this year.

Similar camp was set up in Fiji last year and more than 600 people were fitted with prosthetic limbs for free.

Modi also announced a special cardiology hospital for the region would be built in Fiji.

Speaking at the closing of the third Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) meeting in Port Moresby Monday, Modi thanked leaders from the 14 member nations for sharing their ideas.

“In order to boost healthcare in the region, we (India) have decided to set up a super specialty cardiology hospital in Fiji, equipped with trained staff and ultra-modern facilities and infrastructure,” he said.

“This hospital will be a lifeline for the region. The Indian government will bear the full cost of this mega greenfield project.

“India will help in setting up a dialysis unit in all 14 Pacific island nations.

“Sea ambulances will be given to the 14 nations.
“This year we have decided to set up a Jaipur foot camp in PNG,” Modi added.

He said last year, India set up a Jaipur foot camp in Fiji and every year (2024 onwards) two such (Jaipur) camps would be set up in Pacific island countries.

“Yoga can be helpful to reduce life style diseases, we proposed to build yoga centres in your countries,” he said.

Modi also spoke about other sectors such as small to medium enterprises, information technology and solar projects.

“The centre of excellence for information technology in PNG would be upgraded and made into a regional information technology and cyber security hub. For development of the SME sector, I am announcing a project under the scheme, machinery and technology will be supplied and capacity programmes will be implemented,” Modi said.

“India will support the solarisation of at least one government building in each of the FIPIC countries.” Modi also announced a scholarship scheme for the region for the next five years.

Meanwhile, PNG Prime Minister James Marape says the country will soon procure its medicine and pharmaceutical supplies directly from India.

“I am looking to procure drugs for my people straight from the source, instead of getting medicine from a secondhand supplier,” Marape added.

“India is the pharmacy of the world so to speak.

“So we want to go straight to the source, instead of through contracted suppliers.”

Marape said India was becoming a dominant economy in the world and would be a good development partner for PNG in terms of trade and investment.