Brazil to produce measles/rubella vaccine for poor countries

Reuters, 10/28/2013

Brazil´s top biomedical research and development center announced plans on Monday to produce a combined measles and rubella vaccine for developing countries, mainly in Africa.

The first Brazilian vaccine developed specifically for export will be made by Bio-Manguinhos, a unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Brazilian health minister Alexandre Padilha announced the vaccine plan at a medical science conference that the Gates Foundation organized in Rio de Janeiro.

Read more…


Brazil’s doctors jeer at Cuban medics arriving to work in rural health scheme

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 08/28/2013

Dilma Rousseff, the Brazilian president, has accused the nation’s doctors of “immense prejudice” towards their Cuban counterparts after the first medics to arrive from Havana were greeted with jeers.

The Cuban doctors have been invited to work in Brazil to support the fragile health system – one of the issues that prompted mass protests in June. Under the government’s Mais Médicos (More Doctors) programme, 4,000 Cuban professionals will work in poor and remote areas of Brazil that are short of hospital staff.

After the first contingent of 400 arrived at the weekend they were booed by local doctors, who oppose what they describe as a stop-gap measure that fails to address the need for more investment in hospitals and better pay for doctors.

Read more…

Foreign doctors allowed to work on the fringes of large cities

Flavia Foreque – Folha de S. Paulo, 06/13/2013

Doctors with a diploma obtained abroad, invited by the Brazilian government to work in primary care, can be based in large centers such as the city of São Paulo.

To do so, the professional must serve the regions of the municipality where there is currently a shortage of doctors, such as the outskirts of the city. Since the beginning of the debate, the Ministry of Health has stressed that the goal is to serve these regions, in addition to cities in the countryside.

“Of course the greatest need is in the North and Northeast, but not only the cities in the countryside. The outskirts of the large cities also have a shortage of doctors,” Minister Alexandre Padilha (Health) said to Folha.

Read more…


Brazil dengue cases almost triple as new strain spreads

BBC, 02/26/2013

Health authorities in Brazil say there has been a steep rise in the confirmed cases of dengue fever this year.

More than 200,000 people were infected in the first seven weeks of 2013 compared to 70,000 in the same period last year, official figures suggest.

The southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul has been hardest hit.

Read more…

Once slim, more Brazilians tipping the scales

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 04/10/2012

30% or more body fat is considered obese. In Brazil, still less than 15% are in that category compared to nearly 30% in the U.S. But a new report by the Brazilian Health Ministry suggests Brazilians are now tipping the scales more than ever. (Credit source: Forbes)

Eating on the run and sugary drinks has nearly half the Brazilian population now classified as overweight or worse — obese. Investors, look for Brazilian health care and medical device names trading on the BM&F Bovespa, because fat is trending.

The thought of overweight Brazilians flies in the face of the stereotype that the country is teeming with tall, tan and trim bodies. But as Brazilians go from drinking milk from a plastic bag for breakfast with maybe a cookie, to maybe popping down a Red Bull instead, more and more Brazilians are eating like a middle class society: on the run, loaded with sugar, or just overdoing it at the buffet restaurants that dominate the São Paulo lunch hour scene.

According to the country’s Health Ministry, 43% of adults were overweight in 2006. The government considers people overweight if their fat content is more than 25% of their body weight. In 2011, the number rose to 48.5%.  Those who have more than 30% body fat are considered obese, and their numbers have grown from just 11% in 2006 to 15.8% today.

Read more…

Brazil to give away condoms for carnival revelers

Marilia Brocchetto – CNN/WCVB, 02/16/2012

Revelers in Brazil’s most famous city will enjoy more than just sun, live music and dancing when Carnival festivities start this week. Rio de Janeiro state officials are also giving away 3 million free condoms.The new government initiative aims to stop the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases during the five-day event, the state health department said.This year’s campaign targets gay men between the ages of 19 and 24, Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said, according to state-run Agencia Brasil.

Brazil active in effort to widen global access to medicines

Fabiola Ortiz – IPS News, 10/21/2011

Brazil is keen to take part in the international effort to expand access to medicines and to produce its own drugs, and will start by becoming the world supplier of medicines to treat Chagas disease.

The announcement was made by Health Minister Alexandre Padilha at the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, which opened Tuesday Oct. 19 in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil plans to double its production of medicines to treat Chagas disease, in response to requests from multilateral aid organisations.

Read more…