The South American Health Council (SHC) has six Structuring Networks composed of institutions indicated by the Ministries of Health of the 12 member countries of UNASUR. These institutions must be able to operate effectively, efficiently and sustainably systems and health services through Research & Development and training activities. The coordination of the network is defined by the election of one of its institutions by the Technical Group on Human Resources Development and Management, with a mandate of four years.


The Network of National Institutes of Health (RINS), created in March 2010, in Peru, is integrated to the National Health Institutes (INS) or similar institutions of Unasur member countries. Its mission is to contribute to the development of health policies with scientific and technological solutions to health problems. It also seeks the development of South American Health Systems, through the integration and strengthening of the National Health Institutes and its counterparts in order to achieve the improvement of living conditions, the reduction of social inequities in health and the well-being of the South American people.

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The Network of Health Technical Schools of UNASUR (RETS) is composed of institutions and organizations involved with training and qualification of technical personnel in the health field in the Americas, the Caribbean, the Portuguese-Speaking African Countries (PALOP) and Portugal. During its first five years of existence, from 1996 to 2001, RETS comprehended only Latin American countries. Its reactivation began in 2005, when its Executive Secretariat was transferred to the Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic School of Health (EPSJV), a technical-scientific unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), which is a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Education of Health Technicians. One of the main challenges of this new stage is to expand the Network to other regions, including all countries of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).

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The Network of National Institutions and Institutes of Cancer (RINC) is an initiative for coordination and cooperation amongst national public institutions in Unasur member countries and in other Latin American ones. Created by the South American Health Council, RINC has the responsibility to develop and/or implement cancer control policies and programs in South America. Its goal is to aggregate regional efforts in network in order to reinforce a comprehensive prevention and control of cancer in the region.

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The Network of Public Health Schools of Unasur (RESP) is a network of governmental health schools, composed of institutions involved with the human resources training for health systems of the bloc’s member countries, indicated by their respective ministers. RESP aims to be directly linked to the national health policies of member countries, constituting an integration space for the production of new technologies that contribute to the improvement of health systems in the region.

The RESP is a proactive platform for information exchange, knowledge exchange and capacity-building. The network aims to promote technical education, research and exchange, so that an educational infrastructure is created for the development of public health workforce.

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Network of Disasters Risk Management

The Network of Disasters Risk Management was created by the South American Health Council resolution 04/2012 and is coordinated by the Ministry of Health of Peru alternating with the Ministry of Health of Chile. The network was created in the context of the consolidation of regional integration spaces and aims to reduce risks and give a timely and adequate response in cases of disasters, from the health perspective.

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Constituted in the High-level Regional Meeting on International Cooperation in Health, the Network of International Offices and International Cooperation in Health (REDSSUR-ORIS) is a joint strategy that aims to promote the institutional strengthening of Unasur Ministries of Health through the improvement and the intensification of interregional, regional and international cooperation. It is a network that aims to improve the coordination of interregional technical cooperation activities; promote a better coordination between the Offices of International Relations in Health (ORIS) in order to improve the cooperation processes in the region; and improve the ongoing capacity-building of work-force of ORIS and the Ministries of Health technicians acting in the international ambit.

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