BRICS will strengthen global health system: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 15:50 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) The BRICS platform will contribute to the global effort towards strengthening health systems, particularly in the public sector, through specific action plans of collaboration, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here Friday.

He was addressing the second meeting of health ministers and officials of the BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The two-day meet discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in manufacturing affordable health products and developing advanced health technologies.

The meeting resulted in adoption of a Delhi communique, which is about concrete plans on issues like integrated management of non-communicable prevention, coordination and financing of research and development for medical products, strengthening health surveillance and drug discovery and development.

Acknowledging this meeting to be a step forward, Azad stressed on adopting technological co-operation to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs), improving universal access to health-care and affordable medicines.

"Together we can significantly control NCDs through concerted action," Azad said, and cited the example of the comprehensive NCD surveillance system in Brazil.

Azad said "despite diverse geographical and climatic backgrounds, we share the same challenges in the domain of public health".

"BRICS countries represent about 43 percent of the world's population. Our joining hands will give a collective expression to global public health aspirations and this platform will lead to better health not only for our peoples, but also for the world at large," he said.

The third meeting of BRICS countries will be in South Africa in January 2014.

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