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RETS-UNASUR

Updated: 12/05/2014
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The Network of Health Technical Schools of the Union of South American Nations (RETS-UNASUR) was established in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in December 2009 during the 2nd General Meeting of RETS. Its origin, however, is intrinsically related to the history of the South American Health Council (also called Health-UNASUR) and the South American Health Agenda established in December 2008.

In April 2009, Technical Groups (TGs) were created during the 1st Ordinary Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Santiago, Chile, to be responsible for the viability of the five major objectives of the Agenda: (1) establishing the South American epidemiological
shield; (2) developing universal and equitable health systems; (3) providing universal access to medicines and other health supplies; (4) promoting health and jointly tackling its social determinants; and (5) strengthening the training and management of human resources for health.

The creation of networks of institutions structuring national health systems was considered one of the priorities within the WG for the Development and Management of Human Resources for Health and is expressed in Resolution Nº 07/09 of the 3rd Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held in November 2009 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

A month later, during the 2nd Meeting of the RETS, representatives from the Ministries of Health and health technicians training institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay, as well as the area of Human Resources of some national PAHO/WHO offices, signed the charter of the Network of Health Technical Schools of UNASUR (RETS-UNASUR).

At the time, during the first meeting of the new Network, the Work Plan for the period 2010 to 2013 was approved and the Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic Health School (EPSJV/FIOCRUZ) was chosen as the manager institution and the host of the Network’s Executive Secretariat for that same period. The creation of RETS-UNASUR was formalized at the 2nd Ordinary Meeting of UNASUR-HEALTH, held in Cuenca, Ecuador, on April 29th and 30th, 2010.

Designed as a sub-network of the RETS, RETS-UNASUR is composed of government agencies responsible for the formulation of health technicians training policies and education institutions conducting training programs for the training of health technical workers indicated by the Ministries of Health of the Member States of UNASUR. Their general purpose is “to strengthen the field of health technicians training in countries members of UNASUR through the exchange of experiences and development of technical cooperation, in order to increase and improve teaching, research and technological development activities, leading to the improvement of national health systems and their adaptation to the needs of
their populations and regional integration”.

The 2nd Regular Meeting of RETS-UNASUR was held in Recife, Brazil, on November 8, 2013. At the time, network members discussed and approved the Regulation of the network and the Work Plan Plan of Work for the biennium 2014-2105.

UNASUR-HEALTH: A strategic Council

Expressed initially in the Cuzco Declaration signed in December 2004, during the Third Meeting of South American Presidents, the idea of creating the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) was only implemented in May 2008, in Brasilia, Brazil during a meeting of Heads of State and Government. According to its constituent treaty, UNASUR’s objective is to “build in a participatory and consensual manner a cultural, social, economic and political space of integration and union among their peoples, prioritizing political dialogue, social policies, education, energy, infrastructure, financing and environment, among others, with a view to eliminating socioeconomic inequality, achieving social inclusion and citizen participation, strengthening democracy and reducing asymmetries within the framework of strengthening the sovereignty and independence of States”.

Besides economic integration, the UNASUR project, which gathers 12 independent nations of South America – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela – provides for the adoption of joint measures for different sectors, among which are defense and health. Accordingly, in December 2008, the South American Defense Council and the South American Health Council  were created and composed by the 12 ministers from each field. At the same time, members of the Heads of State and Government Council set the South American Health Agenda, to be detailed at the first meeting of Health Council and implemented over the next three years.

Projects and cooperation activities

  • The "Mercosul Project"
  • "Plan de Mejora" (Argentina)

Reference Documents

News

  • 06/19/2018
    On Friday (15/06), the Ministers of Public Health of Mercosur met in Asunción, where they agreed on the criteria for the frontal labeling of food. Uruguay is advancing on the issue and plans to issue a decree. The objective is to regulate foods with excessive contents of fats, sugars and salt. The leaders also ratified the work done for the joint purchase of high-priced medication.
  • 06/13/2018
    On June 11, 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) certified Paraguay as having eliminated malaria, the first country in the Americas to be granted this status since Cuba in 1973. “It gives me great pleasure today to certify that Paraguay is officially free of malaria,” said Dr TedrosAdhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, in a recorded statement. “Success stories like Paraguay’s show what is possible. If malaria can be eliminated in one country, it can be eliminated in all countries.” In 2016, WHO identified Paraguay as one of 21 countries with the potential to eliminate malaria by 2020. Through the “E-2020 initiative,” WHO is supporting these countries as they scale up activities to become malaria-free. Other E-2020 countries in the Americas include Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Suriname. “I take pride in saying that PAHO has accompanied Paraguay in the crusade of malaria elimination since the beginning,” said Dr Carissa F Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), WHO regional office for the Americas.
  • 06/05/2018
    On May 28, during the 143rd session of the Executive Board (EB143) of the World Health Organization (WHO), Brazil was elected to occupy the presidency of the Council, the governing body of the Organization, in the period of 2018/2019. The country did not occupy that position since 1961. The position will be exercised by the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Maria Nazareth Farani de Azevêdo.
  • 05/21/2018
    The 71st World Health Assembly begins today. The event, which is held in Geneva, Switzerland, until Friday (26), is considered the highest decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). That is where the sanitary guidelines that must be followed all over the planet come from voting that involves the 194 member countries of the organization. As an integral part of the United Nations system, for a long time of its newcomers, 70 years of existence, the organization played an absolute role in the design of global health priorities. A few decades ago, however, this is no longer the case. "WHO is not the most powerful actor in the global governance of health If we talk about financial weight, there are several actors that are more important than WHO, and depending on the area, depending on the disease, depending on the issue, there are other actors that are very important ", situates João Nunes, professor of International Relations at the Politics Department of the University of York, in England.

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