BRASILIA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday launched a strategy that seeks to encourage the national production of priority items for the public health system with an investment of 42 billion reals (8.45 billion U.S. dollars).
Lula signed the decree that established the National Strategy for the Development of the Health Economic-Industrial Complex during a ceremony at Planalto Palace.
"This is the realization of a dream that we have had in mind for a long time. Brazil needs to make the decision to become a great country. We will be a great country when we define a sovereign country by the quality of life of its people," he was quoted as saying in the local press.
Prior to the event, he spoke about the strategy on the weekly program "Conversation with the President," where he said that the health sector imports products worth about 20 billion U.S. dollars.
"If we have an industry actively producing, and our consumption capacity is extraordinary due to the SUS (Unified Health System), we will develop Brazil, develop the industry, generate quality employment and meet domestic demand," he stressed.
In the same program, Health Minister Nisia Trindade stressed that the objective of the strategy is to reduce the country's dependence on imports of medicines, supplies and vaccines.
The program aims to quadruple the national production of vaccines by investing in what already exists in the national vaccination policy and by seeking innovation.