Rosemary Mburu-Muchiri 0

Calling BRICS Countries to Invest in Health

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Calling upon BRICS Leaders to Invest in Health
At the 5th BRICS Summit. March 2013. Durban, South Africa.

We, representatives of civil society organizations responding to HIV&AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa noted with enthusiasm that at the second BRICS countries’ ministers of health meeting (11 January 2013), the ministers:
re-committed to the BRICS Declaration of 2012 to address emerging health threatsagreed to share experience and expertise in the areas of surveillance, existing and new strategies to prevent the spread of HIV, and in rapid scale up of affordable treatment.reiterated their commitment to ensure that bilateral and regional trade agreements do not undermine TRIPS flexibilities so as to assure availability of affordable generic ARV drugs to developing countriescommitted to strengthen cooperation to combat malaria through enhanced diagnostics, research and development and committed to facilitate common access to the technologies developed or under development in the BRICS countries.

We are concerned, however, that despite these critical commitments, BRICS countries fall short on health financing in their respective countries and on South-South collaboration on HIV, TB and Malaria research and bilateral and regional TRIPS ; further noting that, BRICS development financing does favour mineral rich countries and disregards health and equity issues related to the overall development of these countries.

We recognize that the momentum in achieving MDGs has enabled the world to realize tremendous gains against major development concerns, particulary on health MDGs. On HIV, TB and Malaria, an ever-increasing number of people now have access to effective prevention, treatment and care, meaning that fewer fall ill and millions of lives have been saved, while promising progress has also been made on future prevention technologies such as microbicides and vaccines. Political and financial leadership and increased investments have also helped to reduce poverty and to promote economic development, human rights, access to education, social protection, community mobilization and engagement, and stronger mutual accountability and global solidarity. These incredible achievements show that an end to the three diseases is possible.

We have the evidence that The Global Fund to Figth AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund) highly contributed to this significant progress to end these three diseases. Since its creation in 2002, The Global Fund has provided AIDS treatment for 4.2 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 9.7 million people and 310 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund has become the main financier of over 1000 AIDS, TB and malaria programmes valued at over $22 billion in 151 countries, including BRICS’ countries.

We do believe that the achievement of the upmentioned BRICS’ commitments to health issues and BRICS’s wiligness to end AIDS, TB and Malaria should be based on urgent and effective measures to increase domestic investments in health and to fully fund the Global Fund.

Therefore, at the 5th BRICS summit, we call upon leaders in BRICS countries to:
Increase total health expenditure per capita;
Commit to securing a fully funded Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria in this replenishment year in new contributions for 2014-2016;Support a dedicated, ambitious and specific post-2015 health goal, which focuses on ending HIV, TB and Malaria, newborn, child and maternal death, reproductive ill health and the main non-communicable diseases;Increase funding and collaboration for research and development of TB, HIV, Malaria drugs and vaccines;Accelerate R&D of HIV prevention tools such as, preventive vaccines, microbicides, drugs for treatment and for prophylaxis; improve delivery and regimens of proven tools such as condoms, medical male circumcision, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Treatment as Prevention (TasP).

In return, African civil society organisations responding to HIV &AIDS, TB and Malaria are committed to the following strategic actions:
Mobilising communities to access services and contributing to the provision of prevention, treatment, care and support services;Promoting human rights and access to essential medicines for all by advocating for rights and evidence-based policies on health and for mechanisms to strengthen health systems in Africa.Acting as a watchdog to ensure accountability, good governance and more efficient management of programmes and resources for all stakeholders, including civil society organisations;Encouraging governments, citizens, development partners and the private sector to contribute significantly to funding health and research and development interventions, in general, and the HIV, TB and Malaria responses in particular.Using our experience in the response of these diseases to support the achievement of Millennium Development Goals.

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Africa Civil Society Platform on Health: African Council of AIDS Service Organisations (AfriCASO) East Africa Network of AIDS Services Organisations (EANNASO) TB Advocacy Group Tuberculosis Advocacy Consortium Network for African People Living With HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa (NAPSAR+) Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) Pan African Treatment Campaign (PATAM) Central Africa Treatment Action Group (CATAG) Global Youth Coalition on HIV and AIDS (Africa Region) World AIDS Campaign International Evolve Cameroon

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