South African health minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, together with health ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, and China, adopted the declaration of the 13th Brics Health Ministers Meeting during the closing ceremony of Brics health events at the Durban International Convention Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.
South Africa participated for the first time in the third Brics Summit held in Sanya, China, in April 2011. Since its establishment in 2009, the leaders of these five countries have organised 14 formal meetings and nine informal meetings.
Taking stock of important matters
According to the national department of health spokesperson Foster Mohale, the final day of the four-day discussions as part of the build-up to the 15th Brics Summit will culminate with a media briefing to allow health ministers to outline the results of discussions held during the duration of the 13th Health Ministers Meeting. This year’s theme was “Bridging the Gap on Sustainable Health on the Road to Universal Health Coverage 2023”.
Mohlale further adds that the ministers will also elaborate on the significance of building a common and integrated early warning system to prevent mass infectious disease risk and the exchange of knowledge and best practices for integrating traditional medicine into the health system.
Improving traditional medicine
In July, the Brics Health and Pharmaceutical Association of Africa was launched in South Africa with the aim of helping Africa to improve its health systems and be prepared for future pandemics, .
According to Hilton Klein, chairperson and CEO of the Numolux Group, which launched the association, they want to improve the use of traditional medicine. “The plan is to partner with the New Development Bank of Brics to assist us to make available high-quality medicines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices to all Brics-aligned countries at affordable prices, preferably in the local currencies of its member states. We have to be ready as Africa, in manufacturing vaccines, traditional medicine, innovation hubs that look at research and development programs,” said Klein.
The 15th Brics Summit is set to take place from 22 to 24 August at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
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