BRICS countries adopt joint communiqué on health and medicine

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Geneva: The BRICS Member States have issued a Joint Communiqué on Health and Medicine at Geneva. The BRICS countries represented by the Ministers of Health of South Africa, Brazil and China, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation and the Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India met yesterday in Geneva on the sidelines of the 65th session of the World Health Assembly.

Bound by the Delhi Declaration of BRICS Summit in 2012 which urged that meetings of BRICS Health Ministers be held in an institutionalized manner, the Joiant Communiqué has affirmed that cooperation among BRICS Member States in the field of health and medicine is in the interests of all countries. “Cooperation among BRICS Member States will help address common challenges such as universal access to health services,” the document stated. The communiqué also noted that such a move would help access to health technologies and generic medicines not only among BRICS Member States but the world at large. Other points in the communiqué note that cooperation in the area of drug discovery and development especially TB and malaria and neglected diseases will facilitate availability of new drugs to treat these diseases more effectively; the right of the Member-States to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all as agreed in the Doha Declaration of 2001.

The Member States also acknowledged the dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases afflicting the people which calls for enhanced funding for the health sector and concerted inter-sectoral action. To foster technology cooperation among BRICS Member-States, they decided to include disease surveillance, both for communicable and non-communicable diseases, among the list of areas for cooperation. The group also noted the growing expertise available in their countries in research institutes and decided to encourage exchange visits by scientists and taking up of joint research projects for the benefit of all Member-States.

In accordance with the Delhi Plan of Action, the Second BRICS Health Ministers meeting will be hosted by India in November, 2012.

The meeting of the BRICS Member States on Health today also recalled the 2011 Beijing Declaration of the first BRICS Health Ministers which had emphasized the importance and the need of technology transfer as a means to empower developing countries and had noted the important role of generic medicines in the realization of the right to health and to establish priorities in research and development as well as cooperation among BRICS countries.
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