South American Health Council Constitutive Meeting
The South American Health Council Constitutive Meeting was held in Santiago, Chile, on April 21, 2009. During the meeting, the Council set the attributions of the instances comprising the Council - Coordinating Committee, Technical Secretariat and Technical Groups - and prepared both the Coordinating Committee´s and the Council´s 2009 calendar of meetings.
UNASUR Declaration on the world influenza threat
During the 62nd World Health Assembly, the UNASUR Health Ministries, gathered in Extraordinary meeting, held in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 20, 2009, issued the UNASUR Declaration on the world influenza threat, by which they declare their solidarity to the Mexican people and government and highlight the importance of exchanging information in a timely and efficient manner on suspected and confirmed cases of the AH1N1 virus. Additionally, they request WHO to update and disclose the information, to expand the production capacity of vaccines, antiviral medications and diagnosis kits and undertake to strengthen the health systems and laboratories, as well as to offer a response to the equitative and timely access of the affected population, etc.
Recommendation issued by the TG on Human Resources to the Health Council for ISAGS creation
During the 1st Meeting of the Technical Group on Human Resources Development and Management, held on September 24 and 25, 2009, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the TG recommended the South American Health Council to adopt the proposal of resolution that ratifies the creation of ISAGS and accepts the country as the Institute´s headquarters, as offered by the Brazilian Government. Furthermore, the recommendation 02/2009 requests the TG to produce ISAGS´ project to submit to the Council´s evaluation.
Resolution 05/2009 of the South American Health Council creates ISAGS
On November 24, 2009, the South American Health Council, gathered in Guayaquil, Ecuador, approved Resolution 05/2009, which creates ISAGS and accepts the Brazilian Government´s offer to be the headquarters of the Institute. The document also put the Human Resources Technical Group in charge of the elaboration of ISAGS´ project and its Working Plan, which shall be set by the Consultative Council.
Resolution 01/2009 of the South American Health Council defines Formulation of the Five-year Plan 2010-2015
On November 24, 2009, The South American Health Council, gathered in Guayaquil, Ecuador, approved the Resolution 01/2009, which resolves to formulate the Five-Year Plan 2010-2015. The Plan decribes the Council´s five working areas: Health Surveillance and Response; Universal Health Systems; Universal Access to Medications; Promotion of Health and Action on the Social Determining Factors; Management of Human Resources in Health. Furthermore, it presents priority themes to be dealt with: food sovereignty; hunger, food and nutrition; environmental health; health in borders; health of immigrants; emergencies and disasters; gender; mental health; interculturality; work in health and violence.
2nd Meeting of the South American Health Council
During the 2nd Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Cuenca, Ecuador, on April 30, 2010, the Council authorized the progressive implementation of ISAGS´ Project, by the Resolution 03/2010.
4th Meeting of the South American Health Council
During the 4th Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on April 14, 2011, ISAGS´ Bylaw was approved by Resolution 02/2011 issued by the Council
ISAGS inauguration and 1st Meeting of its Directive Council
On July 25th, 2011, the South American Institute of Government in Health of the Union of South American Nations (ISAGS/UNASUR) was inaugurated. The ceremony had the participation of numerous authorities, such as Ministers of Health, including Alexandre Padinha from Brazil – the Institute´s headquarters – UNASUR Secretary General, Maria Emma Mejía, ISAGS Executive Director, José Gomes Temporão, Director of the Global Health Center of FIOCRUZ, representatives from other international organizations, among others. The 1st Meeting of ISAGS Directive Council occurred on the same day, gathering Ministers of Health of UNASUR member countries.
Constitution of ISAGS´ Consultative and Directive Councils
On July 25, 2011, two resolutions issued by the South American Health Council established two governing bodies of ISAGS.
Resolution 01/2011 created the Directive Council, and the 02/2011 constituted the Institute´s Consultative Council.
The Directive Council is one of ISAGS’ permanent bodies and it orientates the activities of the Institute in accordance with the Health Council’s priorities. It is formed by national coordinators assigned by the Ministers of Health of UNASUR.
The Consultative Council is formed by the coordinators of the Technical Groups and Structuring Networks, as well as by specialists in critical health-related fields of knowledge. The organ is responsible for the formulation of recommendations regarding the planning, management, execution and the evaluation of the programs developed by ISAGS.
Launch of ISAGS´ website
On July 25, 2011, ISAGS´ first website was launched. In only four months of operation, ISAGS´ website had over 1,000 published news articles, an average of 2 interviews per month and it was visited approximately 5000 times.
Workshop "Health Systems in South America: challenges to the universality, integrality and equity"
The Workshop “Health Systems in South America: challenges to the universality, integrality and equity” was held at ISAGS´ headquarters, from July 26 to 29, 2011. The event had the participation of 47 high level representatives of Ministries of Health of UNASUR member countries. Possible themes for cooperation and other points for the construction of a common agenda were identified, namely: Public Policies; Economics and financing; Health Regulation; Communications, Information and Education in Health; Health Industrial Complex; Diplomacy and Health and Participation and Interculturality.
1st Meeting of the UNASUR Network of National Cancer Institutes
The 1st Meeting of the UNASUR Network of National Cancer Institutes (RINC) was held on July 26, 2011, at ISAGS´ headquarters. Among the themes discussed were the first activities of the network and the formation of its operating groups. The meeting had the participation of international organisms dedicated to cancer control advocacy, investigation and programs, restating their support to RINC.
1st Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council
On July 29, 2011, the 1st Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council was held at the Institute´s Headquarters. Issues related to the structuring and operation of the Council were discussed, as well as its role regarding the Structuring Networks and Technical Groups. Furthermore, the activities proposed for the second semester 2011 were approved.
ISAGS´ Bylaw and Headquarters Agreement are debated during Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs
During an Extraordinary Meeting of the UNASUR Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on August 24, 2011, it resolved to approve ISAGS´ Bylaw and to authorize of the signature of its Headquarters Agreement with the Federative Republic of Brazil.
Workshop "South American Sanitary Surveillance Systems"
ISAGS offered the Workshop "South American Sanitary Surveillance Systems" from October 3 to 7, 2011. The event allowed the identification of cooperation needs, wth the presentation of Sanitary Surveillance Systems of each country, followed by debates. Medical devices, medicinal plants and price policies; surveillance systems, advertising and media were also discussed and were identified as priorities for the year 2012.
World Conference on Social Determinants of Health
During the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, a Meeting of the South American Health Council was held, on October 19, 2011. ISAGS participated of the Conference in an active manner, influencing the insertion of priority points of the UNASUR agenda in the Conference´s final document, the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health. The position of UNASUR as to the WHO reform was also discussed. Around 30 delegates among Ministers of Health and focal points of the Technical Group on Social Determinants of Health participated as well.
Workshop "Health Surveillance"
The Workshop "Health Surveillance" was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, from November 16 to 18, 2011. Its objectives were to identify problems and common strategies for the health surveillance management and to build an agenda of priorities for cooperation with ISAGS. From the recommendations made in the workshop, four mentioned specifically ISAGS: diffusion of the experiences of other countries; consolidation and production of knowledge on the epidemiologic transformations in the region and existing capacities in the countries' surveillance area; support of the countries in the conformation of a regional health surveillance policy.
Workshop "Health Communication Policies"
The Workshop "Health Communication Policies" was organized by ISAGS and held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from November 23 to 25, 2011. The event gathered 40 specialists responsible for the Communication and the Health Promotion areas with influence and participation in the design of the UNASUR Health Ministries communication policies, in order to exchange experiences and challenges in the field.
1st South American Forum on International Cooperation in Health
From November 23 to 25, 2011, the 1st SSouth American Forum on International Cooperation in Health was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the theme Cooperation for Integration. The event had the participation of numerous health authorities from governments and international organizations, aiming to debate on themes such as social health determining factors, the reform of WHO, international health cooperation, global health, humanitarian cooperation, health in the borders, among others.
Coordinator Committee of the South American Health Council highlights ISAGS and its funding
National Coordinators from seven UNASUR member countries participated in the Ordinary Meeting of the South American Health Council Coordinating Committee, held on December 7, 2011, in Montevideo, Uruguay. The meeting highlighted ISAGS performance and discussed its funding as a strategic point. The approval of its budget shall be done in the 5th Meeting of the South American Health Council. Furthermore, a Work Group was formed in order to discuss the Rio+20.
5th Meeting of the South American Health Council
The 5th Meeting of the South American Health Council was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 7, 2011. Themes such as the budget of National Health Systems and the search for funding in order to accomplish the Five-Year Plan were highlighted. The new president of the Council, Minister of Health of Paraguay, Esperanza Martínez, assured to help in the articulation of the countries with PAHO and WHO as well as with other regional organisms such as MERCOSUL. A report from the Uruguayan 2011 Pro Tempore Presidency was presented, which highlighted the participation of UNASUR in international fora and the structuring of the Health Council with the creation of new bodies such as ISAGS.
2nd Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council
The 2nd Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council gathered, at the Institute´s headquarters, on March 7 and 8, 2012, representatives from Technical Groups and Structuring Networks of the South American Health Council. Among the themes discussed are the Institute´s achievements, the Council´s bylaw and ISAGS Three-Year Plan 2012-2015.
Unasur Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs approves ISAGS? budget and bylaw
The Council f Ministers of Foreign Affairs of UNASUR, gathered in Asuncion, Paraguay, on March 17, 2012, requested the South American Health Council the prompt approval of ISAGS budget, and decided to elevate to the Council of Heads of State and Governemnt the Resolution project for approving the Institute's Bylaw.
3rd Meeting of the Technical Group on Development and Health Human Resources Management
The 3rd Meeting of the Technical Group on Development and Health Human Resources Management was held in Lima, Peru, on March 29 and 30, 2012. The meeting which, for the first time, had the presence of the 12 UNASUR member-States, gathered representatives from the Technical Group, the Andino Health Organism - Hipólito Unánue Covenant (ORAS-CONHU), PAHO/WHO and Isags, apart from members of the five networks of Structuring Health Institutions, the Scholarship Program and both the Brazilian and the Peruvian Health and Foreign Relations Ministries. The achievements of Peru´s mandate and the challenges Brazil, the country that assumed the position of the initiative’s coordination, shall face.
Approval of the ISAGS´s Triennial Work Plan and Budget
During the 6th Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Asuncion, Paraguay, on April 20, 2012, ISAGS´s Triennial Work Plan 2012-2015 and 2013 Budget were approved by the Resolution nº 06/2012.
Creation of the Network of Disaster Risk Management
During the VI Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Asuncion, Paraguay, on April 20, 2012, its sixth Network was established (Resolution 04/2012) – the Network of Disaster Risk Management – amiming at strengthening the member-States´ health systems in order to reduce risks and to promote a timely and adequate response to disasters.
Signature of the ISAGS? Headquarters Agreement
ISAGS´ Headquarters Agreement was signed by the Brazilian Minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha, and the General Secretary for UNASUR, María Emma Mejía, during the 6th Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Asuncion, Paraguay, on April 20, 2012. The document defined the Brazilian territory as the place where the Institute should be established.
Workshop "Global Health and Health Diplomacy "
The Workshop "Global Health and Health Diplomacy" gathered, for the first time, delegates from Ministries of Health and Ministries of Foregn Affairs of Unasur member States. Furthermore, participated in the meeting, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at ISAGS´ headquarters, from May 07 to 11, 2012, members of the Institute and other international organizations such as MERCOSUR, ORAS-CONHU, WHO and OTCA, aiming to discuss concepts, achievements and new routes on themes like governance, global health and health diplomacy.
Seminar "Sanitary Regulation: Challenges of a World without borders"
Brazil´s National Health Surveillance Agency - ANVISA - has conducted the Seminar "Sanitary Regulation: Challenges of a World without borders" in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 18, 2012, during the 65ª World Health Assembly. Dr. Margaret Chan, General-Director of the WHO; Alexandre Padilha, the Brazilian Minister of Health; Mariana Faria, ISAGS´s Chief of Staff; representatives of UNASUR member States and from many other organizations participated in the event. The aim of the Seminar was to harmonize positions in surveillance-related themes.
Council of Ministries of Foreign Affairs of UNASUR approves 2014 AOP
ISAGS Annual Operating Plan 2013 was approved by the Council of of Ministries of Foreign Affairs in an extraordinary meeting, held in Bogotá, Colombia, on June 11, 2012. The document details activities, products, goals and budget for the year 2013. The approval represents one of the final steps towards institutionalizing ISAGS.
ISAGS hosts the Discussion Panel "Water and Sustainable Development: Elimination of Cholera in the Spanish Island"
ISAGS, PAHO, UNICEF, besides representatives of governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and from the Triangular Cooperation Project Brazil-Cuba-Haiti gathered at ISAGS´ headquarters on June 19, 2012, to promote the "Regional Coalition on Water and Sanitation for the Elimination of Cholera in the Island of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic)" and to present the action plans for the eradication of cholera in these countries, seeking new partners for the initiative.
Ollanta Humalla assumes Pro Tempore Presidency of UNASUR
On June 29, 2012, during an Extraordinary Meeting of Heads of State and Government in Mendoza, Argentina, Ollanta Humalla, President of Peru, was named for the Pro Tempore Presidency of UNASUR and assumed it with the promise of managing the bloc's agenda for "completing the mechanisms for dialogue and participation" in the region.
Paraguay is suspended from UNASUR
The Council of Heads of State and Government of UNASUR has suspended Paraguay (Decision Nº 26/2012) after condemning the rupture of the democratic order in the country and has passed the Pro Tempore Presidency of the organism to Peru, that would only take charge in November, 2012.
The South American Health Council has a new president
On July 23, 2012, the Government of Peru named Midori Habich as the new Minister of Health, who also assumes the presidency of the South American Health Council.
Technical Meeting of Officials and High Level Experts on Social Policy and Human Development
ISAGS participated in the Technical Meeting of Officials and High Level Experts on Social Policy and Human Development, which was held in the ambit of UNASUR South-American Social Development Council, in Cusco, Peru, August 2nd and 3rd, 2012 . Its main objective was to continue the works of the “July 28th Declaration: UNASUR´s commitment against inequalities”, launched in 2011, which recognizes the existence of high levels of inequalities in the countries, that committed to implement actions to fight those rates and to establish a Social Action Priority Agenda for UNASUR. This was the first occasion ISAGS has participated as an observer of a meeting of a Council other than the Health one, which points out to inter-sectorial dialogues in UNASUR.
ISAGS first year celebration
Aiming to celebrate its first anniversary with UNASUR Member-States, ISAGS carried a ceremony out, in its headquarters, in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, on August 9, 2012. The event has gathered 9 from the 12 Unasur Member-States, as well as the General Secretariat, the Pro-Tempore Presidency, members of UNASUR Networks and the press, among others. ISAGS´ role as a political articulator, a government supporter, and its importance for the bloc´s institutionalization were highlited by the participants.
Meeting of the Network of International Offices and International Cooperation in Health
The Meeting of the Network of International Offices and International Cooperation in Health (REDSSUR-ORIS), held in Lima, Peru, on September 3, 2012 gathered representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and ISAGS. The main point of discussion was its Biannual Plan 2012-2013, to which evaluation methods, goals and budget were agreed, apart from its readjustment to Unasur´s General Budget and voluntary contributions from member-States.
7th Ordinary Meeting of the South American Health Council
The 7th Ordinary Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Lima, Peru, on September 6, 2012 gathered delegations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela, apart from representatives from the Secretary-General and ISAGS. Some of the topics discussed were the Peruvian Pro Tempore Presidency´s Work Plan; ISAGS´ Annual Operating Plan 2013 revision, which was approved; the alignment of the bloc´s positions in international forums such as Cairo 2014, COP5 and the WHO Reform; the relationship with third parties, among others. Additionally, the creation of the South American Day for Voluntary, Free and Altruistic Donation of Human Milk was proposed.
Workshop "Governance in Health, Environment and Sustainable Development in an intersectoral context"
The Workshop "Governance in Health, Environment and Sustainable Development in an intersectoral context", organized by ISAGS along with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC/Canada) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 27 to 29, 2012. The event gathered experts and researchers to discuss about governance and intersectoral work in health, environment and sustainable development. In addition to theoretical and methodological explanations, many studies on the themes were presented and the participants could exchange experiences and positions that will subsidize the next Workshop, which will have the participation of representatives of Unasur member-States.
2nd Meeting of the Network of Public Health Schools of Unasur - RESP/Unasur
The 2nd Meeting of the Network of Public Health Schools of Unasur – RESP/Unasur was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 18 and 19, 2012, gathering representatives from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Uruguay and Venezuela, apart from ISAGS and PAHO/WHO. Well succeeded experiences and challenges to human resources training in the region were debated, as well as the Network´s Work Plan 2012-2013.
Launching of the Book Health Systems in South America: challenges to the universality, integrality and equity
This book is the first publication organized by ISAGS and gathers 12 chapters written by all Unasur member States. Moreover, there is an introduction written by the Executive Director of ISAGS, former Brazilian Minister of Health, Jose Gomes Temporão; a chapter that examines health systems in South America and, finally, another one on Regional cooperation aiming to the Health coverage universalization and on Unasur strengths and weaknesses to accomplish that process.
Approval os ISAGS Bylaw by the Council of Heads of State and Government of UNASUR
The 6th Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Heads of State and Government of UNASUR was held in Lima, Peru, on November 30, 2012, and gathered representatives from the 12 Unasur member States. In its final declaration, the council emphasized ISAGS importance in the diffusion of knowledge on health and in human resources training. By means of its Decision Nº02/2012, it approved ISAGS Bylaw, making it official in the bloc. The council also approved the creation of the Network of Public Health Schools of Unasur (RESP-Unasur) (Decision Nº03/2012).
Workshop for Agenda Coordination of Health Policies Intergovernmental Organizations in South America
On December 4-5, ISAGS promoted a Workshop of Health Policies Intergovernmental Organizations in South America, bringing together three of the main regional organizations for cooperation in health, at its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meeting aimed to reconcile the agendas of the three observatories in health and to avoid duplication of efforts in the promotion of public policies in the continent. The "Workshop for Agenda Coordination of Health Policies Intergovernmental Organizations in South America" was attended by the MERCOSUR Observatory of Health Systems, the Andean Organization of Health - Hipólito Unanue Agreement (ORAS-CONHU) and by the Sector of Development in Health from the Caribbean Community (Caricom), of which Guyana and Suriname, both UNASUR member countries, are part of.
Conference "Universal Health Systems: Goals and Challenges"
On February 21st, 2013, ISAGS received the renowned researcher Asa Cristina Laurell for the Conference "Universal Health Systems: Goals and Challenges". The event, organized by ISAGS team, was broadcasted live, in three languages, through the Internet. Furthermore, a group of prominent researchers and health managers watched the Conference live at the Institute´s auditorium and Asa Laurell could answer to their questions and also from internet surfers.
III Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council
The 3rd Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council was held on March 25 and 26, 2013 at the Institute’s headquarters and gathered coordinators of the Technical Groups and Structuring Networks of the South American Health Council, the UNASUR General Secretariat and ISAGS Direction, with the aim of formulating proposals of strategic guidelines and recommendations for 2014. Joint and intersectoral work, the implementation of ISAGS 2013 Annual Operating Plan as well as issues from the international health agenda were some of the themes discussed during the meeting.
Workshop "Critical Nodes of the Social Determinants of Health"
The Workshop "Critical Nodes of the Social Determinants of Health" gathered, for the first time, at ISAGS´ headquarters representatives from the UNASUR South-American Health Council and the South American Council of Social Development. Among the workshop objectives there are the conceptual and political update on the social determinants of health and development, as well as discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This was achieved by Conferences of relevant names such as Rômulo Paes de Sousa, Jaime Breilh, Paulo Buss, Roberto Passos and Marcelo Mondelli and by the discussion of documents which will be presented at the 66th World Health Assembly and the 8th Global Conference on Health promotion. Additionally, the participants discussed the programme of a course which will be organized by ISAGS and offered in 2014.
Conference "Recent changes in the social protection policies of the LAC countries : what we learned"
On May 6th, 2013, ISAGS transmitted its second live, online and trilingual Conference. The event opened the Workshop "Critical Nodes of the social determinants of health, which gathered representatives from UNASUR Health and Social Development Councils. Dr. Rômulo Paes de Sousa, Director of the Rio+ Centre and former executive secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Social Development, talked about lessons learnt from recent changes on social protection policies in Latin-American countries.
Suriname assumes Pro Tempore Presidency of the South American Health Council
Suriname assumed the Pro Tempore Presidency (PTP) of UNASUR during the 7th Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Heads of State and Government, held in its capital city Paramaribo on August 30, 2013. Michel Blockland, Ministry of Health, will be in charge of the South American Health Council until the transference to the next Presidency, Uruguay, to take place around the middle of 2014.
ISAGS releases English version of its first book
The book "Health Systems in South America: challenges to universality, integrality and equity" was first released in 2012, in Spanish, as an unprecedented joint effort of the UNASUR 12 member countries. In 2013, ISAGS presented the book´s English version, increasing the access to the publication.
Workshop Access, Industrial Development and Innovation in Health
The Workshop Access, Industrial Development and Innovation in Health, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from October 17 to 18, 2013, aimed to update the knowledge on Health Economy, create a critical mass and promote debates on the articulation among access, industrial development and innovation in health. The event had the joint participation, for the first time, of representatives of the Ministries of Health and Ministries of Science and Technology of UNASUR member countries, who took part in five thematic panels, conducted by investigators and experts in the area.
Conference "Innovation, access and development: the theoretical and political perspective of the economic?industrial health complex?
The Conference, entitled “Innovation, access and development: the theoretical and political perspective of the economic?industrial health complex”, was held by Dr. Carlos Augusto Grabois Gadelha, Secretary for Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies for Health of the Ministry of Health of Brazil at ISAGS´s headquarters in October 17, 2013. More than 300 spectators followed the presentation, webcasted live in three languages, which also had present audience, formed by representatives of the Ministries of Health and Ministries of Science and Technology of UNASUR member countries, experts and other invitees.
ISAGS launches its second book "Health Surveillance in South America: epidemiological, environmental and sanitary"
On October 29, 2013, ISAGS launched its second book “Health Surveillance in South America: epidemiological, sanitary and environmental” during the VI Brazilian Symposium on Health Surveillance and the II Pan-American Symposium on Health Surveillance, held in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
The volume was presented during the thematic panel “Challenges and Perspectives for Health Surveillance in South America”, with the presence of the ISAGS Executive Director, José Gomes Temporão, and of Jorge Venegas, former minister of health in Uruguay. The panel was moderated by José Agenor da Silva, also former minister of health in Brazil from 2006 to 2007 and director of the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). Representatives of Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay and Suriname also participated.
Workshop Management, Financing and Participatory Management Models in National Health Systems in South America
The Workshop Management, Financing and Participatory Management Models in National Health Systems in South America was held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, from October 31 to November 1, 2013, and aimed to discuss the financing and management models in the health sector, as well as to present the strategies and mechanisms for the strengthening of participatory management developed in the scope of the national health systems of the UNASUR countries. Participated in the meeting 11 of the 12 member countries of the bloc, as well as experts in relevant themes for the event and other invitees.
Extension of the mandate of ISAGS? Executive Director and approval of 2014 AOP
The 8th Ordinary Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Paramaribo, Suriname, on March 20th, 2014, gathered Ministers of Health, national coordinators and representatives of the UNASUR member countries. Among other topics, the Council approved the extension for two more years of the mandate of the current Executive Director of ISAGS, Dr. José Gomes Temporão, and the Institute´s AOP 2014. Furthermore, ISAGS presented the results of an auditing of its accounts and a report on the activities carried out in 2013.
Workshop PHC approaches and strategies to retain health workers in remote, underserved areas of South American countries
The Workshop "Primary Health Care approaches and strategies to retain health workers in remote, underserved areas of South American countries", held at ISAGS´ headquarters from May 13 to 15, 2014, aimed to examine PHC approaches in South American countries and present and discuss strategies for retaining health personnel in underserved areas of South American countries. The event was attended by representatives of the 12 member countries of UNASUR and other invitees who made presentations on PHC experiences in universal systems and the results of the project on mapping of PHC models in the region. In addition, the workshop included a Conference on PHC and Universal Health Systems, presented by Dr. Jose Manuel Freire, which was webcasted live in three languages.
4th Ordinary Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council
The 4th Ordinary Meeting of ISAGS Consultative Council was held at the Institute´s headquarters, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 23 and 24, 2014. The meeting gathered representatives from Technical Groups and Structuring Networks of the South American Health Council t as well as ISAGS´ Executive Direction, which are part of the Consultative Council. During the meeting, a panorama of the Institute´s activities and the execution of its Three-Year Working Plan was presented and the council discussed proposals for the 2015 Annual Operating Plan. Furthermore, they debated ISAGS´ budget and were introduced to its main communication tools.
Workshop Strengthening the State, Regulating the Market: Challenges for UNASUR Universal Health Systems
The workshop “Strengthening the State, Regulating the Market: Challenges for UNASUR Universal Health Systems” was hosted by ISAGS from November 12 to 14 with the participation of representatives for the Health Ministries of the 12 South American nations. the event gathered representatives from eight South American countries at the Institute’s headquarters, in Brazil. The participants presented the main characteristics of their health systems, emphasizing on the state’s regulation tools, on the dimension of the private market, the financing sources and the composition of public and private expenditure in health. The conference “Challenges of universal health system in century 21st” presented by Professor Emeritus of Yale University, Ted Marmor, was the starting point of the workshop.
Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property: Perspectives for UNASUR
The Seminar Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property: Perspectives for UNASUR promoted the debate on public health and intellectual property in the context of the 12 South American countries’. The event took place on 3 rd and 4 th December, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with support of the Argentinian ministry of Health. The conference “Health Innovation Crisis”, presented by Professor of George Washington University Susan Sell, opened the workshop.
In-person period of the course Public Intersectoral Policies and Social Determination of Health
The course actually started in November 2014. The long distance period, formed by two modules – with four unities, each – addressed health as an interdisciplinary and intersectoral area, governance in the area of social determinants and health inequities. The in-person phase, held from January 26-30 at ISAGS’ headquarters, counted with the participation of health and public policy experts that were invited to foster the debate on various issues; among them, the public policies in intersectoral programs, the management of policies, besides integrated practices and models for the monitoring and evaluation of policies. One of the stages of the in-person period was the conference presented by the representative for the Social Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Ana Sojo, which addressed the social determination in Latin America. The initiative’s target audience are public policy managers indicated by the ministries of Health and of Social Development and by the Network of National Institutes of Health of UNASUR (RINS).
8th anniversary of UNASUR
In 2015 the South American Nations Union completed its 8th anniversary. Celebrated every April 17, it corresponds to the day UNASUR was baptized in 2007, at the Margarita Island (Venezuela), during the bloc´s First Energetic Summit. During the ceremony, held at the Organization´s headquarters, in Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador, three new bodies were established.
Apart from the South American School of Defense (ESUDE, for its acronym in Spanish), part of the South American Defense Council, the Gabriel García Márquez Library was also inaugurated, and the bylaw of the Technical Electoral Unit, from the Electoral Council, was approved.
UNASUR has as mission to create a dialogue channel between the bloc´s countries, in a participatory and consensual manner, in order to achieve social inclusion and citizen participation in the cultural, economic, political and social realms. Universal access to social security and health services is also a priority of the bloc.
ISAGS holds the 5th Ordinary Meeting of the Consultative Council
O ISAGS recebeu, nos dias 2 e 3 de julho, os integrantes do seu conselho consultivo para a V Reunião Ordinária. No encontro, foram definidas propostas que irão embasar as ações futuras do Instituto.
Durante a reunião, o Conselho fez um exercício de aperfeiçoamento da matriz de priorização de atividades do ISAGS. O grupo destacou a importância do papel articulador do Instituto em relação ao trabalho dos GTs, Redes e Comissão Coordenadora.
ISAGS holds workshop "Border Health Policies in UNASUR"
ISAGS held the workshop “Border health policies in UNASUR” from October 27 to 29. The event took place at the Institute‘s headquarters, and promoted an extensive look at cross-border initiatives of the South American nations. The opening conference was delivered by the Health Systems expert, Maria Iglesia-Gomez, who shared the European Union’s experience in the subject.
Meeting "Dialogues between cash transfer policies and the social determinants of health in times of global crisis"
ISAGS gathered, from November 4 to 6, experts from the Ministries of Health and from the Council of Social Development of UNASUR for the workshop “Dialogues between cash transfer policies and the social determinants of health in times of global crisis”. Throughout the meeting, the experts have encouraged the technical-political reflection on the importance of the continuity of cash transfer programs in order to fight the inequalities generated by the social determinants of health.The former minister of Health and Social Development of Uruguay, Daniel Olesker, and the former executive secretary of the Ministry of Social Development of Brazil, Rômulo Paes, were one of the main mediators of the debate.
ISAGS organizes meeting about the health technology evaluations
Debating the technical criteria and political limitations that surround the evaluation and incorporation of health technologies was the aim of the meeting organized by ISAGS in Rio de Janeiro, on December 8 and 9.
The event was attended by delegates from eight countries of UNASUR, and the experts Alexandre Lemgruber, regional advisor of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO); Reinaldo Guimarães, vice-president of the Brazilian Fine Chemicals, Biotechnology and Specialty Industries Association (ABIAFINA); and Alicia Framarin, researcher of the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services from Quebec, Canada.
Promulgation of headquarters agreement
Elected president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff promulgated the headquarters agreement between the country and UNASUR, which concluded the stages of ISAGS institutionalization and gave the Institutes the prerrogatives and the diplomatic functions of an international organism.
Strategies to improve the access to biological products: lessons learned and challenges
Experts tackled the challenges to the access to biological medicines during technical meeting organized by ISAGS from 8th to 9th of june.
The event was attended by representatives of Health Ministries from all UNASUR region, besides the South Centre researcher, Carlos Correa; the vice-president of Production and Innovation of Fiocruz and member of UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, Jorge Bermudez; researcher Carlos Gadelha; amongst others.
Carina Vance Mafla takes over as ISAGS director
Carina Vance Mafla is the new ISAGS executive director. The inauguration ceremony of the former minister of Health of Ecuador (2012-2015) took place at the Institute’s headquarters, and was attended by several authorities and representatives of governments of UNASUR member countries.
Vance, who holds a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Berkeley (California, USA), was unanimously chosen by the South American Health Council (SHC) for the position.
Workshop: South American Plan for Disaster Risk in Health 2017-2022
ISAGS held, from the 20th to the 22nd of September, a meeting in conjunction with the Disaster Risk Management Network in order to build a roadmap of the South American Plan for Disaster Risk in Health 2017-2022, strengthening the initiative of the Mutual Cooperation Handbook for Assistance in Cases of Disasters faced by the UNASUR member countries.
Workshop Migrations and Health of South America
ISAGS organized in its offices on November 8th and 9th its Workshop Migrations and Health of South America. It was attended by representatives from UNASUR countries, the International Organization for Migrations and academics from diverse unviersities and institutions.
UNASUR Health Week
Never before had the General Secretariat of UNASUR hosted in one same event such a high number of specialists, representatives of institutions and agencies, eminences of the area and diplomats dedicated to Health issues. UNASUR’s Health Week organized 4 events in 4 days, brought together more than 150 participants and hosted around 54 hours of exhibitions, debates and searches for consensus.
In addition to the envoys from the countries of the bloc, a delegation from the Council of Ministers of Central America and the Caribbean, specialists from Australia, El Salvador, the United States and the United Kingdom also took part in the event, as well as institutions such as the South Center (an intergovernmental organization of developing countries based in Switzerland) and DNDi (“Drug for Neglected Diseases Initiative” dedicated to non-profit research and development of drugs for diseases neglected by the pharmaceutical industry).
Along with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, stood out the contributions of the ministers of Health of Colombia and Ecuador, Alejandro Gaviria and Margarita Guevara. Members of the United Nations High Level Panel on Access to Medicines were also present.
As a result of these days, the Medicines Price Bank of UNASUR was formed; the current status of the Mapping of regional medicine manufacturing capacities was assessed; the results of the food labelling policies of Chile and Ecuador as well as of Australia and the United Kingdom were socialized, aiming at subsidizing the implementation of similar policies in the other countries of the Union; and were shared the experiences of the South American countries in integral policies to combat overweight and obesity as risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs), including the application of sugary drinks taxes as implemented in Berkeley, USA. Regarding the fight against hepatitis C, the criticisms of speculation and abusive practices of the pharmaceutical industry were overwhelming.
Below follows a review of the main achievements of the intense days spent in Mitad del Mundo, on the outskirts of Quito (Ecuador), where the Néstor Kirchner Building, headquarters of UNASUR, stands.
1. The UNASUR’s Medicines Price Bank was approved
The first of the events of the UNASUR Health Week consisted on the Workshop on Medicines Price Bank of UNASUR (BPMU), in which the Group on Universal Access to Medicines of UNASUR (GAUMU) defined the creation of the platform through which the South American countries will shape this tool of transcendental importance for the region. It took place during November 28thand 29th and demanded an intense democratic exercise until reaching, by consensus, a final document.
Through the BPMU, South America will be able to compare how much each country pays for each drug and thus increase their bargaining power and develop common strategies for future joint purchases, which according to the estimations presented could result in annual savings of one billion dollars.
The joint purchase of medicines, the intended natural evolution and goal of the BPMU, is related to another initiative in process: the mapping of regional medicines manufacturing capacities with a view to producing medicines at the regional level in a near future.
For more information on the BPMU, click here and read the article on the subject.
2. The food labelling policy expands throughout the region
The second event that took place between November 29th and 30th encompassed the International Conference on Integrated Policies and Regulation for Food and Nutrition Security.
The significant reduction of hunger in South America, a product of the progressive policies promoted in recent years, has brought new health problems: childhood obesity and other forms of malnutrition. These issues have attracted the attention of international experts who, meeting in Quito, devoted two days to the discussion of integrated policies to address this new problem that has expanded in the region in an alarming way thanks to the irruption of ultra-processed foods in South America, especially among the most impoverished sectors of the population.
The policy of food labelling received much of the attention of the participants, highlighting the initiative promoted in Ecuador. This policy, still in force, involves labelling foods with different colours (similar to traffic lights) indicating the degree of health hazard related to the level of sugars, saturated fats and salt contained in that particular food. Red corresponds to high concentrations while yellow and green reflect medium and low concentrations, respectively.
In 2016, Chile implemented its own policy. In addition to an alert on foods high in fat, sugar, sodium and carbohydrates, this policy also includes the regulation of food advertising for children. Following the presentations by both countries, together with those of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, several South American delegations revealed that their countries are currently in the study process for the implementation of this type of policy.
Learn more about food labelling policy and the International Conference on Integrated Policies and Regulation for Food and Nutrition Security by clicking here.
3. Assessment of the mapping of regional medicines manufacturing capacities
On November 30th, one day after the conclusion of the workshop that shaped to the Medicines Price Bank of UNASUR, the Group on Universal Access to Medicines of UNASUR (GAUMU) met again to define the technical aspects related to the full constitution of the Medicines Price Bank of UNASUR and to assess the current status of the projects “Mapping of Regional Medicines and Health Supplies Manufacturing Capacities” and “Medicines Policies”. Both projects seek to understand the region’s capacities for developing a common policy towards the Universal Access to Medicines.
4. Strong denunciations against the pharmaceutical industry due to the access barriers to hepatitis C treatment
On December 1st, the last day of the UNASUR’s Health Week, was held the High Level Meeting on Strategies Against Hepatitis C in South America, coinciding with the World AIDS Day.
Although there are around 80 million people infected with hepatitis C worldwide (8 million in Latin America), the available treatments are so expensive that the vast majority of those affected do not have access to them. And the reason is not due to the fact that producing these drugs is extremely expensive, but to the speculation of the pharmaceutical industry.
The Secretary General of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper; the Colombian Minister of Health, Alejandro Gaviria; the Ecuadorian Minister of Health, Margarita Guevara; the ISAGS Executive Director, Carina Vance and the DNDi Director, Bernard Pecoul were among the speakers that exposed the abusive strategies and policies, as well as the excessive ambition of the pharmaceutical industry.
Read the full article with all the statements by clicking here.
5. Launch of “Health to the South”
The new trilingual ISAGS publication, Health to the South, was also launched. It is available online here. The first edition includes articles on the approval of the new structure of ISAGS; an analysis on the phenomenon of migrations in relation to Health in South America; an article by Carina Vance on the #NiUnaMenos movement; an analysis of the challenges, achievements and shortcomings of Habitat III; a note on the South American participation in the Global South-South Cooperation Expo; and an advance on the validation of the Regional Plan for Cervical Cancer Control.
It was, in short, an excellent closing of a hectic year for South American politics, focusing on health and strengthening regional integration mechanisms.
As UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper said, it was also an excellent opportunity to present results to the ordinary citizen and demonstrate that the union “is more than a rhetoric of heroes” and that the work of the bloc “has an impact on the daily life of all South Americans”.
The Hiring Process of Health Specialists
The selection process of Health Specialists was opened on November 18, with the publication of an official notice in our social networks and its submission to the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs of the 12 South American countries, and to UNASUR’s General Secretary.
A total of 114 applications were received for the positions of Specialist in Social Determinants of Health, Health Surveillance, Drugs and Health Systems until the 5th of the following month, which were promptly sent to the Ministries of Health of the respective countries for review and endorsement.
The final list of candidates along with the endorsement of the respective Ministries and the candidate"s documentation were reviewed under the following methodology: legal requirements, prior work experience, proficiency in one of UNASUR’s working languages (Spanish and/or English) and the legitimacy of documents (such as resume, photocopy of qualifications and training courses, etc.). The minimum formal education requirements for each position were also checked.
After assessing the merits using a scoring scheme, face-to-face or online interviews were made, in which the candidates performed a practical exercise where they could demonstrate their technical, writing and researching skills, among others.
According to the principle of representativeness of UNASUR countries, recommended by member countries and stipulated in Articles 29 and 34 of ISAGS"s Internal Staff Rules, the greater representativeness of member states was ensured.
The final result was the designation of Angela Acosta (Colombia) for the position of Specialist in Medicine and Health Technologies, Eduardo Hage (Brazil) for Health Surveillance, Felix Rigoli (Uruguay) for Health Systems and Services and Francisco Armada (Venezuela) for Social Determinants of Health.
ISAGS signs collaboration agreement with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
The ISAGS’s Executive Director, Carina Vance, and the President of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (known as Fiocruz), Nísia Trindade, signed last March 13 a new collaboration agreement to further promote and strengthen relations between the two institutions and generate a closer process in their work agendas. "One of the most valuable elements of having ISAGS headquarters in Rio de Janeiro is the proximity to one of the most important health institutions in the world, Fiocruz. By incorporating the new ISAGS’ health specialists with the mission of intensifying the support to the Ministries of Health of the region, an articulated work with the academic institutions of the South American region that look after the public interest can exponentially strengthen our capacity and yield high-impact public policies based on scientific advances", said Carina Vance. Representing Fiocruz, President Nísia Trindade stated her expectations with the agreement: "In times of changes in South America, collaboration with ISAGS is fundamental, especially in areas of action that generate effective results for Public Health. I would also like to emphasize as a central aspect of this agreement the work that we have together with UNASUR, with public health schools, and with the polytechnic school", she concludes. The occasion also counted with the participation of former Fiocruz president, Paulo Gadelha, who received a tribute for his contribution to the creation and institutionalization of ISAGS; Paulo Buss, director of the Centre for International Relations in Health (CRIS/Fiocruz); Frederico Peres, from the Network of Public Health Schools of UNASUR (RESP-UNASUR); Geandro Pinheiro, from the Network of Health Technical Schools of UNASUR (RETS-UNASUR); Flávia Bueno, coordinator of the ISAGS’ Information and Communication Management Unit; and Luana Bermudez, coordinator of ISAGS’ International Relations and Cooperation Unit, as well as the institute’s four health specialists.
Dialogues of the South - ISAGS opens its doors for the community of Rio de Janeiro
ISAGS opened the doors of its headquarters in the city of Rio de Janeiro for the first edition of the cycle of debates "Dialogues of the South", an event that continues throughout the year 2017 with talks on health as a point of convergence between countries of South America.
The first edition had the theme "Health and the new challenges of integration" and was attended by the four new ISAGS specialists, who addressed the problem according to their areas of expertise for a public of academics, students, authorities And members of organizations. "It is necessary to stimulate the dialogue between what is being discussed at the regional level and the vibrant academic community of Rio de Janeiro, especially now that we have a cadre of international specialists," said Carina Vance, executive director.
Meeting of the South American Health Council (CSS)
On March 31st, at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of UNASUR in Quito, Ecuador, the Meeting of the South American Health Council (SSC) was held and brought together the heads of the sanitary portfolios of the countries of the region. The meeting was attended by the current occupant of the Pro Tempore Presidency of the CSS, the Venezuelan Minister of Health Antonieta Caporale, the Ecuadorian Minister Verónica Espinosa, the Vice Minister of Colombia Luis Fernando Correa Serna and the minister within the ministry of Guyana , Karen Cummings, as well as representatives from Bolivia, Chile and Suriname.
Roundtable with candidates for WHO Director-General
During the meeting of the South American Health Council (CSS), ISAGS organized an unprecedented forum in the regional blocs, bringing together the ministers present at the meeting with the three candidates for Director General of the World Health Organization, David Nabarro Kingdom), Sania Nishtar (Pakistan) and Tedros Ghebreyesus (Ethiopia). The objective was to consolidate the doubts and concerns of the ministers on the proposals of the candidates in five questions previously agreed between the authorities, giving them the best inputs for their decision-making.
The election for the Director General of WHO was given at the World Health Assembly in May 2017. The initiative was highly praised by all present and before the meeting with ministers, ISAGS transmitted live from their Facebook an interview with candidates with questions sent through social networks.
VI Meeting of the Consultative Council of ISAGS
On April 19 and 20, ISAGS organized the sixth meeting of the Consultative Council at its headquarters to make recommendations regarding the planning, management, implementation and evaluation of the actions carried out by the institution in the last year and to plan future projects.
The Council is composed of the head coordinators of the Technical Groups and Networks of Structuring Institutions, as well as specialists in critical areas of knowledge in health.
"At the meeting, we reviewed what will be the activities for the year 2017, making sure that we are linked to the technical groups, the ministries of health of the region and the structuring networks ... So, we are planning well the tasks of this year and also, projecting us to 2018 in order to ensure that our work can be transformed into tangible results and benefits for the South American population, "said ISAGS Executive Director Carina Vance.