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Brazil’s Secretary of Health Care visits PAHO to discuss proposals for international technical cooperation

Brazil’s Secretary of Health Care, Dr. Helvécio Miranda Magalhães, travelled to Washington, D.C., this week for a working visiting at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). 

A central focus of the visit was Brazil’s proposal for an international cooperation agenda for BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other emerging economies, which seeks to promote information exchange and technical cooperation to strengthen health systems based on primary health care and promote universal coverage.

Dr. Magalhães met with PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago and PAHO Assistant Director Dr. Socorro Gross, and is scheduled to make a presentation to PAHO staff and other guests on "Experiences and challenges of Brazil in strengthening the Unified Health System (UHS) with strategies based on primary health care."

Dr. Magalhães is also meeting with representatives of different PAHO technical areas to discuss, among other things, the incorporation of an international technical cooperation agenda into strategies for health system reform and universal coverage. Brazil’s Ministry of Health is promoting this agenda in BRICS and other emerging economies with the goal of setting up a special knowledge management platform to promote innovative knowledge transfer among these countries.

Dr. Magalhães will also meet with members of PAHO’s Area of Health Systems based on Primary Health Care to discuss technical cooperation between PAHO and Brazil in this area.

Dr. Magalhães received a medical degree from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in 1985 and a doctorate in Community Health from the University of Campinas in 2005. He has served as Municipal Health Secretary for the city of Belo Horizonte (2003-2008) and as the city’s Secretary of Planning (2008-2010).  He has also been President of the National Board of Municipal Secretaries of Health of Brazil (CONASEMS).  Since January 2011, he has been Secretary (Vice Minister) of Health Care of the Ministry of Health of Brazil.

PAHO, which celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, is the oldest public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and the quality of life of the people of the Americas. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO.


Dr. Magalhães’s presentation can be viewed at:

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