Pamela Lang (Fiocruz News Agency)
"Brazil is back": this is how the Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade Lima, expressed the resumption of Brazil's international agenda in the field of Health in her speech on the second day of the 76th World Health Assembly (5/22). In her speech, the minister reinforced the need to democratize the international health system, defended the reform of the International Health Regulations and highlighted the innovative and pioneering resolution that the country is taking to the event on the health of indigenous peoples. Additionally, Nísia Trindade Lima made clear Brazil's priorities on the global agenda.
Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade Lima highlighted Brazil's priorities on the global agenda during the 76th World Health Assembly (photo: Pamela Lang)
"At this moment, we need to substantially strengthen the surveillance systems and health systems as a whole. We will need greater innovation, technology transfer, financing, aimed at more equitable health systems", defended the minister. "We have to decentralize the production of drugs, vaccines and strategic inputs to ensure equitable access across the world".
As part of the Brazilian delegation at the event and an institution that plays a central role in the state's strategy, Fiocruz has participated in parallel events aimed at advancing cooperation in line with this agenda and the needs identified by the Ministry of Health. Last Monday (5/22), the President of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira, participated in two events related to the production of vaccines. The first, promoted by the global initiative Regionalized Vaccine Manufacturing Collaborative (RVMC), was a high-level closed panel discussion that gathered ministers of health from several countries that were strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also participating were directors from agencies, companies and institutions, such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and GAVI, a global alliance for vaccines.
High-level panel discussion that brought together representatives from several countries heavily affected by the pandemic (photo: Pamela Lang)
At the meeting, the President of Fiocruz shared the institution's successful experience in facing the pandemic as to the production of vaccines and kits for the diagnosis of the disease, but pointed out the challenges faced in the supply chain. "Despite having a significant production capacity, Fiocruz faced many challenges related to the supply chain, due to competition from the simplest to the most complex health inputs around the world, in addition to the closure of important markets. These challenges made clear the need to strengthen our Economic-Industrial Health Complex", highlighted the President of Fiocruz.
"The current government is committed to strengthening the local production of drugs and other health technologies in order to improve access. In this context, we have developed projects to reduce the dependence on imports of active pharmaceutical ingredients and promote manufacturing self-sufficiency, thinking not only of meeting our national needs, but also of meeting regional and international demands".
Mario Moreira also defended the combination of efforts and articulation with important cooperation initiatives, such as the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturing Network (DCVMN) and the new Regional Platform for Innovation and Production of Medicines and Health Technologies in the Americas, recently launched by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
Fiocruz participated in the event 'Regional and National Health Security: from m-RNA to a sustainable vaccine production structure' (photo: Pamela Lang)
Additionally, as part of the RVMC program, Fiocruz participated in the event Security in the Regional and National Health: from m-RNA to a sustainable vaccine production structure. The event was also promoted by the WHO m-RNA vaccine Technology Transfer Program. The Immunobiological Technology Institute (Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz) was chosen by PAHO/WHO, in September 2021, to act as one of the regional hubs for the production of these vaccines. The WHO program aims to address global inequity in access to vaccines and ensure health security by improving the production capacity of m-RNA vaccines against COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries.
The RVMC was launched in 2022 during the World Economic Forum with the aim of reducing inequality in the distribution of vaccines between a few rich countries and low- and middle-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.