At WHA, BRICS Countries Pledge Cooperation In Public Health, NCD Drafting Group Continues Work On Resolution

“The BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — pledged in a joint communiqué on the sidelines of the 66th World Health Assembly [WHA] in Geneva, Switzerland, to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in promoting [the] health of their peoples,” Xinhua reports. “[T]he BRICS decided to continue cooperation in the sphere of health through the Technical Working Groups on five thematic issues, such as strengthening health surveillance system[s]” and “reducing non-communicable disease [NCD] risk factors,” the news agency notes, adding that the countries also “reiterated their commitment to support WHO as a coordinating authority in global health and expressed support for the leadership role and broad directions of WHO’s action plan and further emphasized the importance of providing access to quality primary health care services for all” (5/23). Also at the WHA, WHO members “this week have made non-communicable diseases a top priority, and work on a draft resolution and action plan is being carried out by a drafting group that will report back later in the week,” Intellectual Property Watch reports. “The draft resolution endorses a WHO global action plan (GAP) framework for NCDs, which includes a set of 25 indicators to monitor trends and assess progress in strategies across regional and country settings, and nine voluntary global targets,” the news service notes (Ngo/New, 5/22).