Sweech

Hassle-FREE Online Campaigns On Sweech

Brics partners can show SA how to fix health system

Comment on this story


South Africa hosts the fifth summit of the Brics alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in Durban tomorrow and Wednesday. The five Brics countries represent about 43 percent of the world’s population and account for 25 percent of the gross global product.

They also account for a significant and growing portion of global scientific productivity and technological innovation.

The Durban summit will consider a wide range of policy issues and development programmes.

Its theme is “Brics and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”. It will focus on funding for infrastructure in Africa and the establishment of a Brics development bank, a scientific research centre and a think tank for public policy and international affairs.

Statements and communiques from various ministerial and technical working groups’ meetings will also be considered by the Brics countries’ heads of states and governments.

In January health ministers from the five countries met in New Delhi. They issued a communique and made resolutions that they hope will be endorsed by the summit in Durban.

The health ministers “resolved to collaborate and co-operate for development of capacity and infrastructure to reduce the prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis through innovation for new drugs or vaccines, diagnostics and promotion of consortia of tuberculosis researchers to collaborate on clinical trial of drugs and vaccines, strengthening access to affordable medicines and delivery of quality care”.

They also committed to “focus on the unique strength of Brics countries such as capacity for research and development (R&D) and manufacturing of affordable health products, and capability to conduct clinical trials”.

South Africa’s participation in Brics offers opportunities to strengthen its capacities for health research and innovation. Compared with the rest of the Brics members, the country’s health research and innovation system has gaps or weaknesses that undermine its ability to reduce its burden of disease.

The challenges include relatively low scientific productivity in biomedical and clinical research. According to UN agency Unesco, in 2008 South Africa produced about 1 450 peer-reviewed scientific publications in clinical research compared with about 8 800 by Brazil, 13 600 by China and 7 500 by India.

The country’s relatively low scientific productivity in health fields is related to low investments in research.

South Africa spends less than 2 percent of its national health budget on research despite its subscription to declarations such as the 2000 Bangkok Declaration on Health Research for Development and the 2008 Algiers Declaration of the Ministerial Conference on Research for Health in the African Region that indicate an intention to spend at least 2 percent of national health budgets on research.

South Africa’s annual gross expenditure on R&D in general is less than 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This is in comparison with Brazil’s expenditure of 1.10 percent of GDP and China’s 1.5 percent of GDP.

More than 50 percent of the funding for research on HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis is from external or foreign sources particularly the US, the EU and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This raises the question of whether current research initiatives are well aligned to the country’s health priorities.

South Africa’s capabilities for turning research outputs into innovations – products such as medicines and vaccines – need to be strengthened.

There are weak links between research institutions and industry in general and pharmaceutical companies in particular.

Findings of research projects are rarely translated into commercial products. There are many factors that account for this. They include a weak entrepreneurial culture in research institutes and limited funding dedicated to commercialisation of health innovations.

The creation in 2008 of the Technology Innovation Agency by the government may be a step towards addressing the challenge of turning health research results into medicines, diagnostics and vaccines. However, it is taking this agency a relatively long time to get a sharp focus on innovation.

The country has policies, regulations and legislation for promoting health research and innovation. The state is required to institute legislative and other measures to ensure that citizens’ health rights are realised. Such measures include ensuring that health research is conducted to generate products for reducing the country’s disease burden, and to make medicines available to citizens.

Policy instruments include the National Health Research Policy and the National Health Act. According to these instruments, the government is expected to allocate at least 2 percent of total public sector health expenditure to priority research and the Department of Health was meant to increase its allocation to R&D from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent of its total budget within three years from 2001. Currently the department spends less than 1 percent of its budget on research.

The challenge facing the government is to ensure the effectiveness of policies, regulation and legislation through their implementation. The government’s record on policy implementation is not good. This is manifested in long delays in approval of clinical trials. It takes about a year to obtain such approvals in South Africa while it takes less than six months in Brazil and China. The costs of clinical trials in Brazil, China and India are half those in South Africa.

South Africa can reap substantial gains by learning from and collaborating with Brazil, China and India on ways of strengthening national health research and innovation capacities. It has health challenges of a relatively huge burden of disease, a national health system that needs strengthening, and high dependency on foreign sources of medicines, diagnostics and vaccines.

Brazil, India and China have created world-class laboratories, promoted the creation of local pharmaceutical companies, improved the regulatory infrastructure and reduced costs of conducting clinical trials. They have innovation-based health research policies and programmes.

South Africa should benchmark its investments in health research and innovation to those of the other Brics members and aim at experimenting with similar policy instruments for capacity building. Brazil’s experience demonstrates how important investment in health research is for the economy in general and for industrial production of medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics. The country devotes at least 3 percent of national health expenditure to health research. External funding accounts for less than 5 percent of the budget for national health research.

South Africa will host the next Brics health ministerial meeting in January. It would serve better if the meeting was dedicated to exploring specific ways and means by which the bloc can support South Africa in strengthening its health research and innovation capabilities.

In preparation for the meeting, the Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, the Medical Research Council and other agencies should conduct a comprehensive audit of the national health research and innovation system.

The audit would identify specific areas of health research co-operation with the other Brics countries.

 

John Ouma Mugabe is a professor of science and innovation policy at the University of Pretoria’s Graduate School of Technology Management. Views expressed in this article are personal.


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks
Calmine
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Dudutuli246
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
kncyLuv
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
mitch09
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 40.
View Profile
mako_001
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 70.
View Profile
Melone
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
sweetnessmgm
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 63.
View Profile
Garnet3107
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Foxy88
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
Royalness
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Beautyful_gal
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Leratomntande
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
SexLips
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
vengodess
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 100.
View Profile
Dlodlolas75
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 49.
View Profile
Nola_505
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
candy954
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 70.
View Profile
kiara_111
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 35.
View Profile
blosoble
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
TT200
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
DDeeZA
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 50.
View Profile
Cyndilouper
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
FanceFace
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
samke_722
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 25.
View Profile
TABIEE
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 100.
View Profile
smilyz
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
curvalicious
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Thel_89_zzz
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
PrincessEdelweiss
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Smashizo
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 37.
View Profile
marryme2014
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
armor2014
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 70.
View Profile
maria8022
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
vicky74
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Mag137
I'm a 60 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 57 and 67.
View Profile
lexy278
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Emjae
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
pumpania
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
sassyfoxylady101
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Shazzyyyy
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
spesy59
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
Mistry_lady
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
gloml66
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 58.
View Profile
briluu
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 37.
View Profile
hellena_596
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Curvz
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
CYAGal
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
leez83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
MASESHIA
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile
tkay011
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
ally_charmy80
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
RareT0paz
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 60.
View Profile
Resa1995
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 70.
View Profile
ntando_784
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
ME_JE
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
xoxohayleyxoxo
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
BOTSHELOMAN
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
fiksBee
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 40.
View Profile
sbobo736
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
nwaolisa
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
Casiopiea40
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
danda100
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 52.
View Profile
Roroe
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
Voicelady
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
ChocLatte
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
zama1zn
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
Sthandwasakhesit
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 35.
View Profile
Bonwel
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 36.
View Profile
Rivee
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
Bathandwa83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 47.
View Profile
Leematt
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 29.
View Profile
kgotlas
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Blaq_chic
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
kauwel
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 55.
View Profile
Rosey903
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
honeybee_036
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
mcgoyer
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 35.
View Profile
kafze
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 45.
View Profile
mello_185
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 60.
View Profile
RealBlackPearl
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
joocypie
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
fungi1971
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Sweetlipsss627
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
Baabbygirl
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
lala408
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
MeltChocolate
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
ProVoq
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
ranga322
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 40.
View Profile
Noxy727
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 36.
View Profile
simphy337
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Noks76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Yahoo
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 60.
View Profile
LolliCandy
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
Funfoodie3012
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
hlehle888
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
Zama101
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 100.
View Profile
LadyJimpster
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
MissD123
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 47.
View Profile
lulubaby
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 70.
View Profile
LavishT
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 27.
View Profile
bangstar
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 23.
View Profile
Fanzonator
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
LIONKING915
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
Seriousaboutlife325
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
dlalo
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
chumisto
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
charged
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Chacal
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Qtip
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
Moxion
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Shadra143
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
Siwithpie
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 45.
View Profile
shooter_949
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 50.
View Profile
Smooth_Kriminal
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Jono693
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Mxo87
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Minkh
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 29.
View Profile
Diva1308
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Dayo78
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 50.
View Profile
Jabz_0
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
bloodmoney370
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
Vbe2014
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Henry071
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Thamza_77
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Washe
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
Lucky123nxt
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 40.
View Profile
mattgeah
I'm a 31 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Mash70
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
tsvoritsvoto
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 25.
View Profile
THOKZANHLA
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 44.
View Profile
Oupa0414
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
Deathrow5662
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
gothicD
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 37.
View Profile
mixido2
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
jakobus
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Ernie_Manyesa
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 45.
View Profile
michaelangelo
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 25.
View Profile
oceanmoon
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 55.
View Profile
Rendzo
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Mokoka01
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
STONE_228
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
lookingforfunza
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 40.
View Profile
Mahlobo
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
Sabloma
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 35.
View Profile
CoolnCalm
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
tripplekkkk
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
myth909
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
gario
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 50.
View Profile
Kelvin7777
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
Satisfactor99
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
tonym
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
shiva709
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
GWL321
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 46 and 56.
View Profile
PoundzMm
I'm a 23 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
ngla35
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Thulani1234
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
SPG
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 50.
View Profile
2282B
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 37.
View Profile
Deejay_homy
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile
Clownstotheleftofme
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
catcher182
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 24.
View Profile
sbo123sss
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Mpeks
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Bento1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
Jb24golf
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
TuEsDAy
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Gemini24
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Terror000
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Ma1010n
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
GastFR
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Lawrence218
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
bobbylava
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 31.
View Profile
JonnyBee
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 28.
View Profile
mcD
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
GD1
I'm a 70 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
bigbhele
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 55.
View Profile
kpl23
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 34.
View Profile
Siyabulela90
I'm a 24 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
sweetman465
I'm a 67 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 62.
View Profile
princepoqo
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
mesut909
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
dev_xoxox52
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 65.
View Profile
hawk619
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
loner729
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Eriqnes
I'm a 33 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
TSKgosiemang
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
mfhalim
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
IceTy
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile

Business Directory