Declaration of the IX BRICS Health Ministers Meeting
Curitiba, Brazil, October 25, 2019
We, the Ministers of Health and heads of delegation from the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Curitiba, Brazil, on October 25, 2019, for the 9th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting:
- Noted with satisfaction the progress made in the health sector since the 1st BRICS Health Ministers Meeting, in 2011, and committed to continue strengthening the role of the BRICS countries in the global health governance, promoting peoples' health and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), by 2030.
- Recalled previous BRICS Declarations and Joint Communiqués on health issues, as well as recognized the progress made during the South African Presidency in 2018.
- Strongly reaffirmed our political will to achieve universal health coverage, acknowledging the commitments expressed in the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) "UHC: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World", adopted in September 2019. Acknowledged that UHC implies that all people have equitable access, without discrimination, to promotive, preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative health services and safe, affordable, effective and quality medical products, while ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the users to financial hardship.
- Affirmed our commitment to strengthen primary health care (PHC), recalling the value of Astana Declaration as the path towards universal health coverage and the achievement of the SDGs. Devoted to strengthen primary health care through adequate funding and equitable allocation of resources for PHC that prioritize people's health needs, with a special emphasis on the poor and vulnerable segments of the population.
- Noted that the high number of maternal deaths in some areas of the world reflects inequalities in access to quality health services, and the need to improve actions focused on the progressive reduction in the maternal mortality, neo-natal mortality, infant mortality, and under-5 mortality, aligned to the SDGs targets 3.1 and 3.2. In this regard, recognized that breastfeeding, associated with services of milk banks, is an important and high impact strategy for reducing infant mortality, as well as a cost-effective policy adaptable to different cultural contexts.
- Welcomed the Declaration of the 1st Meeting on Human Milk Banks (HMB), held in August, 2019, in Brasília, that mobilizes efforts to expand the sharing of best-practices and technologies focused on food and nutritional security in neonatal and nursing infant care, and agreed on the creation of the BRICS Network of HMB, for sharing knowledge and experiences including research outcomes and technologies.
- Expressed concern with the reemergence of measles, that has been challenging and could also lead to a worldwide shortage of vaccine. In this regard, recognized the urgent need to improve global vaccination coverage and to strengthen access to vaccines and other quality immunobiological inputs at fair prices, taking into account the reemergence of other vaccine-preventable diseases. Reaffirmed commitment to strengthen actions, in order to achieve the targets established in the WHO Global Vaccine Action Plan. Furthermore, agreed to face the challenges of vaccine hesitancy, antivaccination movements and fake news in the BRICS countries.
- Recognized the need to implement actions that promote access to safe, quality, effective and affordable, essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and other medical products, that satisfy population needs. Reiterated the importance of implementing the recommendations from the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines and reaffirmed our commitment to promote access, including through the full use of TRIPS flexibilities, confirmed in the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, and agreed to protect our policy space against TRIPS plus provisions and other measures that impede or restrict such access.
- Welcomed the outcomes of the 5th BRICS Regulatory Agencies Meeting, held on October 2019, in Brasília, especially the conclusion of the text negotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Field of Regulation of Medical Products for Human Use. Reaffirmed commitment for regulatory system strengthening to prevent, detect and respond to substandard and falsified medical products, under the WHO framework.
- Reaffirmed the importance of investing and collaborating in research and development (R&D), technology transfer and promoting transparency in R&D costs. Encouraged fostering innovation models that delink the cost of investment in R&D from the price and volume of sales, to ensure the affordability of medical products.
- Reaffirmed the commitments made at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against Tuberculosis, held in September 2018.
- Welcomed the results of the 4th and 5th meetings of the BRICS Tuberculosis (TB) Research Network, held respectively this year on February, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in July, in Beijing, China, in which our countries fostered dialogue in promoting research on TB medicines and diagnosis, contributing to the elimination of TB. In addition, expressed our support to the organization of the 6th meeting of the Network, that will be held in New Delhi, on November 4th and 5th, 2019.
- Welcomed financial support granted by the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China to the Global TB Program of the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide initial support to the BRICS TB Research Network Secretariat. Further agreed that Russian Pro Tempore Presidency moves forward with this decision and present how the Global TB Program of the WHO will support the administrative needs of the BRICS TB Research Network Secretariat. Welcomed the BRICS Innovation Summit to be held in 2020, in South Africa.
- Decided that the BRICS TB Research Network will submit the agreed report of each official meeting to the BRICS Health Senior Officials and, in addition, the Pro-Tempore BRICS chairship will present an annual report of the BRICS TB Research Network activities during each annual Senior Officials' Meeting, that precedes the BRICS Health Ministerial Meeting.
- Welcomed the BRICS TB Research Network's initiative of the Collaborative Research Program for TB, developed by network's members in 2019, aimed at promoting new scientific, technological and innovative approaches to tackle the TB burden, by supporting scientific projects in a wide range of relevant issues related to TB. Recognized the Brazilian initiative, within the realm of this program, to launch its national public call for research proposals on TB by December 2019.
- Agreed to explore the possibility of the New Development Bank in supporting the financing of health projects for the benefit of our peoples.
- Reemphasized the important work and role of BRICS countries in addressing health emergencies and reaffirmed the need to support efforts to strengthen Member States' capacities to deal with health emergencies and fully implement the WHO International Health Regulations (2005).
- Stressed that non-communicable diseases kill more than 41 million people each year, which is equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. Reaffirmed the importance to scale up some cost-effective, affordable and evidence-based interventions to tackle NCDs, including policy, legislative and regulatory measures, aimed at minimizing the impact of the main risk factors for NCDs and promote healthy diets and lifestyles.
- Committed to raise awareness and enhance the fight against rare diseases, recalling the importance of ensuring early diagnoses, access to treatment and investments in R&D to reinforce BRICS capacities and develop new cost-effective technologies, responding to the challenges imposed by the social and financial impact of rare diseases on health systems.
- Highlighted the importance to raise awareness and discuss access to precision medicine, by using genetics in order to generate more efficient and cost-effective gene therapies and treatments, especially for rare and oncologic diseases, thus contributing to the sustainability of health systems in the future.
- Acknowledged the potential of new and emerging digital technologies in the health sector, including telehealth and digital health, in order to achieve the goal of universal health coverage and quality health care.
- Agreed to promote dialogue among BRICS countries regarding issues of common interest for joint participation in multilateral fora, such as the WHO and the United Nations.
- Supported the proposal to hold the 10th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting in the Russian Federation, in 2020.
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Source: Official website of Brazil's 2019 BRICS Presidency