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Diplomacy in Action

The United States and Brazil: Health Cooperation

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
April 9, 2012


President Obama and President Rousseff are united in their desire to strengthen public health systems and to advance science and technology research, both in their own countries and around the world. For several decades the United States and Brazil have participated in a bilateral dialogue that provides a formal venue for discussing our mutual interests in medical research, disease surveillance, and improving public health. President Obama and President Rousseff have further advanced our bilateral health cooperation through the U.S.-Brazil Working Group on Public Health, under the U.S.-Brazil Joint Commission on Science and Technology.

The U.S. and Brazilian governments have a strong and fruitful relationship on health cooperation including key collaborations such as:

  • Field Epidemiology Training Program (EPI-SUS): EPI-SUS trains Brazilian field epidemiologists to improve disease detection and response capacity and the exchange of information globally. In addition, EPI-SUS epidemiologists participate with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) activities in Angola.
  • Global HIV/AIDS: CDC has had an in-country office in Brazil since 2003 and is co-located within the Brazilian Ministry of Health (MOH). Through collaboration with the MOH and other in-country partners, CDC activities focus on HIV/AIDS program monitoring and evaluation within the national program.
  • Chronic Diseases: The United States and Brazil are working together to strengthen chronic disease surveillance and evaluation. The collaboration has resulted in the establishment of a risk factor surveillance system and expansion of national physical activity programs;
  • Immunizations: For the past four years, the United States and Brazil, together with the Pan American Health Organization, have supported Rubella Elimination in the Americas and other immunization-related objectives.
  • Influenza: CDC supports increased capacity for influenza surveillance, improved laboratory sampling and testing, and enhanced rapid response capability and training through a cooperative agreement with the Brazilian MOH. In collaboration with CDC, Brazil developed the fourth version of their pandemic influenza plan in 2010, which is based on lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
  • Research: As of 2010, Brazilian research institutions receive more National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported international research funds than any other country in Latin America – one indicator of the high quality of their research. CDC and NIH are also partnering with Brazil in the “Science without Borders” initiative.
  • Cancer: Brazil is one of five member countries (also Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay) of the U.S.-Latin America Cancer Research Network, an effort to involve regional academic laboratories, research institutes and centers, and hospital systems are developing the infrastructure to conduct and sustain high-quality cancer research throughout Latin America.
  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Access and Care: Another high priority activity is the exchange of information and experts in furtherance of the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities, which shares best practices between CDC, HHS, and the Brazilian MOH and civil society experts on racial disparities in access to health, data collection and hereditary diseases and blood disorders.
  • Regulatory Public Health Activity: Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ANVISA (the FDA counterpart agency within the Brazil Ministry of Health) have enjoyed a very productive and long relationship with informational exchange on processed food, medications and medical devices, and firm inspections being done by ANVISA in the U.S. and by FDA in Brazil. This relationship was further strengthened with the signing of a confidentiality commitment document by both Agencies. At this point, FDA and ANVISA are involved in pre-decisional as well as post-market assessment of regulated products and capacity-building events. With respect to the Brazil Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA which covers raw produce, fish and seafood), FDA has a close relationship with joint activity in the regulated food categories of interest and there are FDA firm inspections being conducted in Brazil.

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