‘BRICS’ Countries Vow to Fight Diseases in Poor Nations

Posted July 11th, 2011 at 8:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The grouping of top five emerging countries vowed Monday to help the world's poorest nations to fight diseases and to improve access to low-cost and effective lifesaving medicines.

Meeting in Beijing, health ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — known as the BRICS countries — said their cooperation will help strengthen public health systems.

The ministers said they would collaborate with international health groups, such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations agency UNAIDS, to increase access to affordable medicines and vaccines for diseases, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

The five emerging countries account for 40 percent of the world's population.

The gathering in the Chinese capital was the first ministerial-level meeting of health officials from the BRICS bloc.

The grouping called on WHO members, especially developed nations, to boost funding for the organization, while WHO director general Margaret Chan urged BRICS countries to increase production of affordable generic drugs.