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Cablegate: Brazil: Moving Forward On Bilateral Health Issues

VZCZCXRO1382
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHSO #0726/01 2392032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 272032Z AUG 07
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7389
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8500
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2874
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 2408
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 2835
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 2110
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 3450
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1179
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0539
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 3734
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8276
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0153
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0150
RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 0019
RUEHBQ/AMEMBASSY BISSAU 0005
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SAO PAULO 000726

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/BSC, OES/IHA AND S/GAC
NSC FOR TOMASULO
AID/W FOR LAC/AA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOVSOCI TBIO EAID TSPL BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: MOVING FORWARD ON BILATERAL HEALTH ISSUES

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED; PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The government of Brazil is interested in increasing
bilateral health cooperation with the United States and particularly
in setting up joint programs in Africa, especially in the area of
training medical technicians. According to Brazilian contacts,
working together on health issues is of strategic importance. In
addition to coordinating national strategies, Amazonas State is
seeking U.S. assistance in battling malaria.

2. (SBU) During his visit to Rio de Janeiro as head of the U.S.
delegation to the 15th Pan Am Games, Secretary of Health and Human
Services (HHS) Michael Leavitt discussed bilateral health
cooperation with Brazilian counterparts. Ambassador Clifford Sobel,
HHS Office of Global Health Affairs Director William Steiger, HHS
Office of Global Health Affairs Americas Director Rosaly
Correa-de-Araujo and notetaker accompanied Secretary Leavitt. End
Summary.

Bilateral Health Cooperation
----------------------------

2. (SBU) Noting that he has served as a researcher and professor at
the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) for 27 years, Health Minister
Jose Gomes Temporao stated that he views bilateral cooperation on
health issues as not only extremely important, but as an area of
strategic interest for both the United States and Brazil. Secretary
Leavitt responded that with President Bush's and President Lula's
recent calls for increased interaction between our two countries, a
robust health agenda could serve as a fundamental area of common
interest. He stated that he looked forward to having a health
attache seconded soon to the Embassy in Brasilia.

Joint Commission Review
-----------------------

3. (SBU) Health Ministry International Relations Minister Santiago
Alcazar pointed to the "excellent" work of the joint commission on
health issues as a starting point for further activities. He noted
that the commission had established five areas of bilateral
cooperation, discussed the ethical requirements of research on human
subjects, made clear that there was no intention to change health
regulations or legislation in the United States or Brazil, and
focused on cooperation in third countries, especially in curbing the
spread of malaria.

4. (SBU) Commending the commission's goals, Secretary Leavitt said
that Brazilian efforts to train medical workers overseas complements
U.S. programs in Latin America and potential activity in Africa. He
noted that the United States would be interested in learning how
Brazil trains medical technicians and that the United States and
Brazil could possibly cooperate on mounting joint projects.
Concurring with Secretary Leavitt's idea, Minister Temporao said
that Brazil has trained approximately 300,000 medical technicians
already and would like to learn about our experience in Panama. He
added that Brazil is curious about U.S. hospital care because Brazil
wants to improve hospital quality. Brazil would also like to learn
more about Medicare and Medicaid and how they work with HMOs as well
as organizing a healthcare system with public payments and private
providers. Noting that FIOCRUZ already has an established
relationship with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH),
FIOCRUZ President Paulo Buss asked Secretary Leavitt to press for
even greater cooperation between the two bodies. Secretary Leavitt
said we would be pleased to add these issues to our bilateral health
agenda.

FIOCRUZ Efforts in Africa

SAO PAULO 00000726 002 OF 003


-------------------------

5. (SBU) FIOCRUZ President Buss noted that President Lula is
interested in opening a FIOCRUZ office in Mozambique and that this
entity would have ties to the African Union in Addis Ababa. This
project could create medical training courses and train public
health professionals, particularly in Portuguese-speaking African
countries. FIOCRUZ has already established a school of public
health in Angola, offering a top-level master's program to 35
students. FIOCRUZ is also assisting Mozambique's counterpart
institution in creating a similar Master's program in Mozambique.
The proposed school will have regular exchanges with FIOCRUZ's
Master's program in Angola, focusing on diagnosing infectious
diseases. Brazil is eploring a similar initiative in
Guinea-Bissau, h added. FIOCRUZ would be interested in partnering
with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prvention (CDC) and
the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Health
Affairs to wrk on some of these ideas. Basso also suggested
creating an NIH-FIOCRUZ working group on infectious diseases.

Amazonas State Meeting
----------------------

6. (SBU) During a separate meeting with Amazonas State Secretary
for Planning and Development Denis Minev, Secretary Leavitt asked if
Amazonas State had an interest in the United States helping battle
the state's increasing malaria problem. When Tropical Medicine
Foundation of Amazonas (FMT-AM) President Sinesio Talhari noted that
the Amazonas State Government is working hard to control malaria,
FMT-AM Specialist in Malaria Investigation Marcus Vincius Guimaraes
de Lacerda added that even with the federal government assisting,
malaria growth is difficult to curb. Lacerda said that the sheer
size of Amazonas State and the rapid growth of pockets of
inhabitants outside the capital, Manaus, make anti-malaria efforts
challenging. Distributing bed nets could be a good strategy for
battling malaria, he added. FMT-AM President Talhari stated that
malaria resistance, the need for newer drugs, and the lack of
training and technology are additional difficulties. Secretary
Minev added that testing for malaria takes a long time, meaning that
farmers, who are often from the rural, difficult-to-reach and more
highly-prone to malaria areas, lose labor time and prefer to not get
tested. Secretary Leavitt responded that joint research seems like
a potential area of cooperation as a possible first step in looking
at fighting the spread of malaria.

Areas for Joint Work

7. (SBU) Secretary Leavitt identified several priority areas for
joint work in which the United States would primarily provide
technical assistance. The two sides discussed the development of a
Biosafety Level 4 laboratory in Brazil; exploration for the creation
of a training center for health-care workers in the Southern Cone,
modeled after the Regional Health-Care Training Center in Panama
that is part of the health component of the President's Initiative
to Advance the Cause of Social Justice in the Western Hemisphere;
the exchange of scientific experts between Brazilian and American
institutions; the Promotion of pharmaceutical research and
development in Brazil; and joint work on malaria and HIV/AIDS in
Portuguese-speaking Africa. These priority areas would be part of a
U.S.-Brazil Health Alliance to serve Latin America.

8. (SBU) Along with the other members of the U.S. Delegation,
Secretary Leavitt and Ambassador Sobel attended the opening

SIPDIS
ceremonies of the XV Pan American Games on July 13, and the next day
met with the U.S. baseball and men's gymnastics teams. The
Secretary and Ambassador Sobel also dined with Pernambuco State

SIPDIS
Governor Eduardo Campos and granted a number of interviews with
Brazilian and international media outlets (print and television), at
FIOCRUZ, at the Pan American Athletes' Village and in a separate
press opportunity at his hotel.

SAO PAULO 00000726 003 OF 003

9. (U) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Brasilia, HHS, and
approved by Ambassador Sobel.
SOBEL

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