BRICS Information Centre
BRICS Health Ministers' Communiqué
Delhi, January 11, 2013
1. The BRICS countries, represented by the Ministers of Health of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, People's Republic of China and Republic of South Africa, met in New Delhi on 11 January 2013 at the Second BRICS Health Ministers' Meeting.
2. The meeting recalled the Delhi Declaration of 29 March 2012 during the BRICS leaders summit and the Joint Communiqué of the BRICS Health Ministers at Geneva of 22 May 2012 including specific areas of work under the BRICS Health Platform for each Member State, focussed on the theme "BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity" to address emerging health threats.
3. The Ministers recalled that BRICS is a platform for dialogue and cooperation amongst countries representing 43% of the world's population. The Ministers reiterated their commitment to the Beijing Declaration of July 2011 for strengthened collaboration in the area of access to public health and services in BRICS States including implementation of affordable, equitable and sustainable solutions for common health challenges. The Ministers committed to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation for promoting health of the BRICS population. The BRICS Health Ministers resolved to continue cooperation in the sphere of health through the Technical Working Group.
4. The Ministers drew attention to the current global threat of non-communicable diseases and noted that in 2008, around 80% of all NCD deaths occurred in low and middle income countries. The Ministers recognized the significant role of BRICS countries in the global process of prevention and control of NCDs including the Moscow Declaration of April 2011, the WHA Resolution 64.11 of May 2011 and the Political Declaration of the UN General Assembly of September 2011.The Ministers recognized the need for more research into the social and economic determinants leading to occurrence of non-communicable diseases, amongst the BRICS countries. They resolved to collaborate and cooperate to promote access to comprehensive and cost-effective prevention, treatment and care for the integrated management of non-communicable diseases, including access to medicines and diagnostics and other technologies.
5. The Ministers also recognized the need to combat mental disorders through a multi-pronged approach including the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.4, consideration of a Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan through sharing of innovations in the field of Mental Health Promotion, diagnosis and management, exchange of best practices and experiences amongst BRICS countries.
6. The Ministers renewed their commitment to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and stressed the importance of research and study by WHO and other stakeholders into the social and economic determinants of tobacco use and its control.
7. The Ministers recognized that multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is a major public health problem for the BRICS countries due to its high prevalence and incidence mostly on the marginalized and vulnerable sections of society. They resolved to collaborate and cooperate for development of capacity and infrastructure to reduce the prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis through innovation for new drugs/vaccines, diagnostics and promotion of consortia of tuberculosis researchers to collaborate on clinical trials of drugs and vaccines, strengthening access to affordable medicines and delivery of quality care. The Ministers also recognized the need to cooperate for adopting and improving systems for notification of tuberculosis patients, availability of anti-tuberculosis drugs at facilities by improving supplier performance, procurement systems and logistics and management of HIV-associated tuberculosis in the primary health care system.
8. The Ministers called for renewed efforts to face the continued challenge posed by HIV. They committed to focus on cooperation in combating HIV/AIDS through approaches such as innovative ways to reach out with prevention services, efficacious drugs and diagnostics, exchange of information on newer treatment regimens, determination of recent infections and HIV-TB co-infections. The Ministers agreed to share experience and expertise in the areas of surveillance, existing and new strategies to prevent the spread of HIV, and in rapid scale up of affordable treatment. They reiterated their commitment to ensure that bilateral and regional trade agreements do not undermine TRIPS flexibilities so as to assure availability of affordable generic ARV drugs to developing countries.
9. The Ministers committed to strengthen cooperation to combat malaria through enhanced diagnostics, research and development and committed to facilitate common access to the technologies developed or under development in the BRICS countries.
10. The Ministers renewed their commitment for effective control of both communicable and non-communicable diseases through cooperation in sharing of existing resource information, development of risk assessment tools, risk mitigation methods, referral systems, life course approaches, community empowerment, monitoring health impact assessments of all public policies at national and international levels.
11. Recognizing that an effective health surveillance, including injury surveillance, is the key strategy for controlling both communicable and non-communicable diseases, that surveillance is also the cornerstone around which the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) is based and further recognizing that the countries may be using different models for surveillance based on different realities and best practices, the Ministers committed to strengthen cooperation in the mechanisms for planning, monitoring and evaluating disease prevention and control activities and capacity-building for effective health surveillance systems.
12. The Ministers urged focus on the unique strength of BRICS countries such as capacity for R & D and manufacturing of affordable health products, and capability to conduct clinical trials. The Ministers called for strengthened cooperation in application of bio-technology for health benefits for the population of BRICS countries.
13. The Ministers emphasized the importance of child survival through progressive reduction in the maternal mortality, infant mortality, neo-natal mortality and under-5 mortality, with the aim of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. They confirmed their commitment to a renewed effort in this area and to enhance collaboration through exchange of best practices.
14. The Ministers discussed the recommendations of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Health on coordination and financing of R & D for medical products and welcomed the proposal to establish a Global Health R&D observatory as well as the move on holding regional consultations to set up R&D demonstration projects. The Ministers urged that the entire process, including priority setting, should be driven by WHO Member States and should be based on public health needs, in particular those of developing countries, with the cost of R & D delinked from the final products.
15. The Ministers reiterated their support to the continued discussions on the process of reform of WHO, to better respond to global challenges in programmatic, organizational and operational terms, including the future financing of WHO, and welcomed the proposal to establish a financing dialogue based on priorities collectively set by WHO Member States in a structured and transparent process.
16. The Ministers acknowledged the value and importance of traditional medicine and need of experience and knowledge-sharing for securing public health needs. They urged for cooperation amongst the BRICS countries through visits of experts, organization of symposia to encourage the use of traditional medicine, in all spheres of health.
17. The Ministers confirmed their support for the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on universal health coverage and committed to work nationally, regionally and globally to ensure that universal health coverage is achieved.
18. The Ministers recalled the Beijing Declaration of the 1st BRICS Health Ministers' Meeting in 2011, emphasizing the importance and need of technology transfer as a means to empower developing countries. In this context, they underlined the important role of generic medicines in the realization of the right to health. The Ministers renewed their commitment to strengthening international cooperation in health, in particular South-South cooperation, with a view to supporting efforts in developing countries to promote health for all and resolve to establish the BRICS network of technological cooperation.
19. The Ministers acknowledged the need of use of ICT in Health services to promote cost-effective treatment in the remote areas. They encouraged to strengthen cooperation amongst the BRICS countries to share their experiences in e-Health including tele-medicine. 20. The Ministers agreed to cooperate in all international fora regarding matters relating to TRIPS flexibilities with a public health perspective.
21. The Ministers agreed to establish platforms for collaboration within BRICS framework and with other countries with a view to realizing the goals and objectives outlined in this Declaration.
Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India
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