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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

  • 11/14/2017
    Representatives from the Executive Secretariat of the International Network for Health Technicians Education (RETS, from Rede Internacional de Educação de Técnicos em Saúde), which is located at Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic Health School (EPSJV/FIOCRUZ, from Portuguese Escola Politécnica de Saúde Joaquim Venâncio), took part in the VI Meeting of the Union of South American Nation’s (UNASUR) Technical Group for the Development and Management of Human Resources for Health (GTRHUS) on October 17th and 18th. The meeting took place in Lima, Peru, and had the goal of establishing the guidelines for UNASUR’s Human Resources (HR) for Health Policy, which will guide the development and strengthening of the HR management among its member states. Promoted by the GT, the event was attended by representatives from the ministries of Health of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as delegations from the South American Network of Public Health Schools (RESP/UNASUR) (RESP-UNASUR), the South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
  • 11/08/2017
    The Pan American Health Organization and partner agencies recognized new Malaria Champions from Brazil, Haiti and the Dominican Republic today for work on “Closing local gaps toward Malaria Elimination.” Two projects, one in a remote area of the Amazon in Brazil and another one in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, won recognition for their outstanding work in interrupting malaria transmission and developing local systems to access malaria diagnosis and treatment.
  • 11/08/2017
    The Seminar-Workshop Unasul/CPLP of Scientific and Technological update on Yellow Fever and Other Emerging and Re-Emerging Arboviruses happened on October 2nd and 6th, 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, with the objective of strengthening the capacity of the National Institutes of Health in services, train human resources in the prevention and control of yellow fever and other arboviruses.
  • 11/06/2017
    Representatives from the Executive Secretariat of the International Network for Health Technicians Education (RETS, from Rede Internacional de Educação de Técnicos em Saúde), which is located at Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic Health School (EPSJV/FIOCRUZ, from Portuguese Escola Politécnica de Saúde Joaquim Venâncio), took part in the VI Meeting of the Union of South American Nation’s (UNASUR) Technical Group for the Development and Management of Human Resources for Health (GTRHUS) on October 17th and 18th. The meeting took place in Lima, Peru, and had the goal of establishing the guidelines for UNASUR’s Human Resources (HR) for Health Policy, which will guide the development and strengthening of the HR management among its member states. Promoted by the GT, the event was attended by representatives from the ministries of Health of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as delegations from the South American Network of Public Health Schools (RESP/UNASUR) (RESP-UNASUR), the South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

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