New Delhi: BRICS countries Thursday discussed thematic areas of joint cooperation to tackle common health issues before finalising a joint action plan.
Health Secretaries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) met at the two-day second BRICS Health Ministers' Meet which started here.
The first day's programme saw presentation of thematic areas by each of the member nations at the BRICS Health Platform for mutual cooperation.
The gathering will conclude tomorrow with the adoption of Delhi Communiqu? of BRICS Health Ministers' Meet and concluding remarks by India's Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. India chairs the five-nation cooperation programme.
In his inaugural address, India's Health Secretary P K Pradhan called for increased mutual cooperation with specific and agreed plans of collaboration to harness common strengths and overcome weaknesses.
"BRICS countries represent 43 percent of the world's population. This is both a strength and challenge for us. If we stand united, we can achieve a lot of positive development not only within our own countries but also on various international platforms," he said.
Pradhan said topics like WHO's Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) Recommendations and the world body's Reforms have been included in the agenda as they are relevant to a collaborative health research and development as well as to resource allocation and priority setting, budgeting and financing.
He said India supports open-source drug development for encouraging the global health agenda for universal access to affordable medicines and health commodities of assured quality.
Involvement and priority setting for this should be driven by public health needs of developing countries and a common platform to help provide better health facilities to the people, he said.
First Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 21:04