The world’s top emerging economies have pledged to collaborate to improve access to affordable medicines and strengthen health systems in developing countries.
Health ministers from Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa met for the first time on Monday (July 11) in Beijing to explore how they can support the international effort to improve the health situation in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The ministers said they plan to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technologies to poor countries to allow them to produce their own low-cost but effective medicines for diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis.
“It is within BRICS countries that most of the affordable drugs are found to supply the developing world. So we think the partnership is strong enough to be able to influence events around the world,” South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said, according to The Associated Press.
Meantime, the head of the Joint U.N. Program on AIDS, or UNAIDS, warned that it would be a “big mistake” for donors to stop funding AIDS prevention efforts in China, Reuters reports.
“I think it’ll be a big mistake for a donor and particularly, for anyone who’s invested in China today, to withdraw, for the simple reason that this funding is a catalytic fund,” Michel Sidibe said at the sidelines of the BRICS ministers meeting, as quoted by Reuters.
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