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Brazil’s Ministry of Health and Foundation Announce Alliance to Advance Innovation in Global Health | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

First initiative of the alliance is the launch of Grand Challenges Brazil, a program to accelerate research to improve the health of women and children

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: +1.206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

BRASÍLIA, Brazil – The Brazilian Ministry of Health today announced a strategic alliance with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to prioritize the development of solutions for pressing global health issues. This Alliance will dedicate resources to explore new ways of tackling challenges associated with vaccines, nutrition, maternal and child health, and infectious disease control.

The flagship initiative under the alliance is the launch later this year of Grand Challenges Brazil – a program aimed at catalyzing innovative health research. Initially focused on maternal and child health, the Ministry of Health, National Council on Research and the Gates Foundation will allocate up to USD $8 Million (R $14.7 Million) for research to prevent and manage pre-term birth.

"Solutions developed in Brazil may have an important impact not only domestically but also abroad, leading to the country being acknowledged internationally for its capacity for innovation in health," said Alexandre Padilha, the Brazilian health minister.

Complications related to pre-term birth are the second leading cause of death in children under five globally, and solutions developed in Brazil could have broad impact both within and beyond its borders. This initiative will work toward similar goals as those of the Stork Network, a national maternal and child health program launched by President Dilma Rousseff in 2011.

"The Gates Foundation's investment in Brazil is a recognition of the Brazilian scientific capacity. Investment in research and innovation in health is a priority of the Ministry of Health in this government" said Secretary of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies of the Ministry of Health, Carlos Gadelha.

This strategic alliance builds on the expanding collaboration between the Brazilian government and the Gates Foundation. The two partners are already collaborating to control tuberculosis and dengue fever and improve productivity among small famers, as announced by Bill Gates in a report to the G20 last November. Among other goals, the Alliance will work to fund the development and manufacturing of vaccines to better meet the needs of the GAVI Alliance and to explore cutting-edge vaccine research.

The alliance is grounded in the Ministry of Health and the Gates Foundation’s shared goal of promoting health equity. Brazil’s strong network of researchers and universal public health system create an opportunity to develop breakthrough health advances. The Gates Foundation’s commitment to accelerate the development of life-saving technologies will support these advances to improve the lives of Brazilians and millions of people around the world.

“Brazil’s leadership is helping to ensure that innovation in health is prioritized,” said Trevor Mundel, president of the global health program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We believe this collaboration can serve as a model for international donors and emerging economies to work together for global impact.”

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Brazilian Ministry of Health's Secretariat of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies
The Secretariat of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies (SCTIE) of the Ministry of Health is responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of the National Policy of Science and Technology in Health. The SCTIE promotes technical cooperation between States and Municipalities in Science and Technology, and coordinates with governmental and non-governmental agencies with the goal of promoting scientific and technological development in health.

Department of Science and Technology
The Department of Science and Technology (DECIT) of the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies is responsible for incentivizing health research in Brazil, through Federal funding or the establishment of research networks. This area of the Ministry is also responsible for the evaluation of health technologies for inclusion in the Brazilian Unified Health System and promotes the scientific dissemination of studies funded by the Ministry.

Grand Challenges
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognizes that solving our greatest global health and development issues is a long-term effort. Through Grand Challenges, the foundation along with other Grand Challenge partners such as USAID and Grand Challenges Canada, are committed to seeking out and rewarding not only established researchers in science and technology, but also young investigators, entrepreneurs and innovators to help expand the pipeline of ideas to fight diseases that claim millions of lives each year.

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