BRICS STATEMENT on Agenda Item: 11.8 on Preparation for a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on ending tuberculosis at the 71st World Health Assembly (21-26 May, 2018)

BRICS STATEMENT on Agenda Item: 11.8 on Preparation for a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on ending tuberculosis at the 71st World Health Assembly

(21-26 May, 2018)

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa.

We recognize tuberculosis as one of the main priorities in the global health agenda. It is the leading cause of death worldwide from a single infectious agent and one of the top 10 global causes of death.

Our five countries have an essential role towards the end of this epidemic. We are countries with a high TB burden. But, more importantly, we are committed to developing innovative approaches to combat it.

With our BRICS TB Cooperation Plan, adopted in 2016, we have joined efforts to promote universal access to diagnosis and treatment, in combination with promoting research and innovation, in line with relevant global targets.

As the first activity under the Plan, the BRICS TB Research Network was established in 2017 and presented at the First WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB, in Moscow last November.

The Network is a multi-stakeholder platform for collaboration among our governments, civil society, academia, PAHO and WHO, with a view to helping push for a common research agenda with global impact. The BRICS countries are currently discussing how to develop new technologies for screening and diagnosing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), responsible for a third of all deaths due to antimicrobial-resistant infections worldwide. The main objective here is to provide more accurate diagnosis and timely treatment to patients. Through this partnership, our countries also aim to develop more effective preventive measures while reducing the incidence of the disease.

To achieve the TB targets and milestones of the Sustainable Development Goals and of WHO’s End TB Strategy, care and prevention-related actions should be reinforced in the context of universal health coverage (UHC). Addressing the social and economic determinants and consequences of TB is also critical.

These are some of the messages that we will put forward in the preparation of the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, next September. We encourage other member states and relevant stakeholders to also actively take part in these efforts, sharing good practices and lessons learned from TB responses.

We thank WHO for supporting the preparation of the High-Level Meeting. Our work during this WHA, including the approval of a resolution under this item, is a clear sign of the global health community commitment to a successful meeting in New York.

 Finally, we are pleased to invite you all to join us in the BRICS’ side event “Towards Ending TB - BRICS efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage in the context of preparations for the UN High Level Meeting on TB”, on 23 May, which will be an opportunity to further exchanges on the way forward in such an important issue for global health.

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