India asks BRICS to prepare roadmap for tackling NCDs

Its call came at a round-table conference of Health Ministers of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) here yesterday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases.

At the conference, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad sought a roadmap for tackling the menace of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and offered to host the next BRICS Health Ministers' meet in India.

He urged BRICS bloc to use its considerable expertise and work out short, medium and long term steps as part of the roadmap to tackle NCDs and associated risk factors.

At the end of the meting, the grouping decided to hold discussions on identified areas for preparing a roadmap to tackle the menace of NCDs, apart from collaborating and cooperating to achieve progress in common areas of interest.

Besides Azad, the meeting, hosted by Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu, was attended by South African Health Minister Pakishe Aron Motsoaledi, Russian Deputy Minister of Health and Social Development Veronika I Skvortsova and the Brazilian envoy. WHO
Director General Margaret Chan and UN AIDS Executive Director Michele Sideby were special invitees.

Azad highlighted certain key aspects of the political declaration adopted by the UN General Assembly on the NCDs and said that BRICS countries should have a roadmap to work in close cooperation in these areas.

He stressed that it is essential for the treatment and management of NCDs that accessibility and affordability of medicines should not be hindered by TRIPS Plus measures.

Azad said the BRICS forum enjoys a special status since the countries taken together account for approximately 42 per cent of the world population.

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