Recognising that multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) due to its high prevalence and incidence mostly among the marginalised and vulnerable sections of society, the health ministers of these countries on Friday agreed to collaborate and cooperate for development of capacity and infrastructure to deal with the disease.

Adopting Delhi Communique at the end of the two meeting of BRICS nations, the health ministers resolved to reduce the prevalence of TB through innovation for new drugs/vaccine, diagnostics and promotion of consortia of tuberculosis researchers to collaborate on clinical trials of drugs and strengthening access to affordable medicines and delivery of quality care.

The Ministers also agreed to adopt and improve systems for notification of TB patients, availability of anti-TB drugs at facilities by improving supplier performance, procurement systems and logistics and management of HIV-associated tuberculosis in the primary health care. They resolved 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.

Importantly, the nations committed to strengthen cooperation to combat malaria through enhanced diagnostics, research and development and to facilitate common access to technologies developed or under development in the BRICS countries.

These nations will also focus on the research and development, manufacturing of affordable health products and capability to conduct clinical trials while emphasising on the importance of child survival through progressive reduction in the maternal mortality, infant mortality, neo-natal mortality and under-five mortality, to achieve Millennium Development Goals.

BRICS is a platform of nations with developing economies representing 43 per cent of the world’s population.

  • The health ministers resolved to reduce the prevalence of TB through innovation for new drugs

  • The Health Ministers’ forum will be institutionalised and will meet annually