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African delegation and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency visit Fiocruz to discuss collaboration on demographic data pilot project


Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)


Fiocruz's experience in using data and information to formulate health policies led to a two-day visit by the delegation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) this Monday and Tuesday (2/28 and 29). Accompanied by members of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the group was able to learn a little more about the Foundation's operations, from drug research to vaccine production and including education. There was still room for bilateral talks, with the emergence of new proposals.

The two days of meetings resulted in proposals for new bilateral agreements, the publication of joint articles and the holding of a webinar (photo: Pedro Paulo Gonçalves)

The visit is part of a tripartite agreement between Brazil; the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), from the United Kingdom; and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) for a pilot project on the production and use of demographic data. In the first phase, Rômulo Paes, a researcher at the René Rachou Institute (Fiocruz Minas), and Augusto Paulo Silva, advisor for Africa at the Fiocruz Global Health Center (CRIS/Fiocruz), participated at the invitation of ABC as consultants, shortly presenting Brazil and the Foundation's experience, such as the COVID-19 Observatory.

After this first prospecting phase, the delegation from Nepad, a development program of the African Union, came to Brazil to learn more about Fiocruz and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Based on these visits, they should be preparing a work proposal.

“The first phase had a strong participation from the United Kingdom, with our punctual technical assistance. Now, in this second phase, the project will be structured, with strong participation of Brazil, which should include Fiocruz and the IBGE”, explained Wofsi Yuri de Souza, General Coordinator of Technical Cooperation and Partnerships with Developed Countries (CGTP), from the ABC.

At the meeting on the 5th floor of the Vinicius Fonseca Administrative Center, of the Immunobiological Technology Institute (Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz), there were many questions about Fiocruz's broad performance, such as basic service, professional training, research and response to demands from the Ministry of Health. International cooperation models were also discussed.

“They are very interested in improving their health data and developing technology to be used in public policy-making. We have several competencies that can help them, such as support in the training of human resources, transfer of method in the use of data and advice on public policies”, commented Rômulo Paes. “It will depend on what they will require”.

The idea is that the Nepad mission – consisting of representatives from South Africa, Cape Verde, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Mozambique and Senegal – leaves Brazil with a proposal outlined for the second phase. The first had a greater involvement of Mozambique and Cape Verde. The second should deal more with strengthening the technical and institutional capacities in the area of public statistics and demographic data in South Africa, Mozambique, Eswatini and Seychelles, with the technical contribution of Cape Verde and Senegal, associated with Brazilian collaboration and partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“The first phase gave us the chance to talk to many institutions and look at areas for collaboration. It covered a short period. For the second phase, we seek that it lasts longer. Therefore, we need to talk to many institutions, get to know the Brazilian environment and specific areas for collaboration”, said Gideon Nimake, head of Delegation and senior program director from the Knowledge Management and Program Evaluation Division at NEPAD, South Africa.

In addition to the meeting at Bio-Manguinhos on Monday, the group returned on Tuesday to visit the Mourisco Castle, the Stable, and for a new meeting at the Cris. The two days of talks resulted in proposals for new bilateral agreements with Mozambique, the publication of joint articles, the holding of a seminar and Fiocruz's participation in a conference in South Africa at the end of this semester.

Valber Frutuoso, Institutional Relations Advisor to the Presidency; Pedro Burger, Cris Assistant Coordinator at the CRIS; Cristina Guilam, general coordinator of Education at the Vice-Presidency of Education, Information and Communication (VEPEIC) and Erika Kastrup, advisor at the CRIS.

Nepad was represented by Adilson de Jesus Martins da Silva, Director of the Department of Demographic and Social Statistics of the National Institute of Statistics of Cape Verde; Carla Maria Elias Caomba, National Director of Scholarships of Mozambique; Fasil Teka Birega, Finance Officer at the Operations Directorate of NEPAD, South Africa; Funeka Ncumisa Yazini Nobantu April, Coordinator of the BRICS Research Center, South Africa; Lukovi Seke, Science and Technology Program Director and ASTII Project Leader at NEPAD, Congo; Mamadou Sy, Director of Research Strategies and Planning at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation of Senegal; Maximiano Dgedge, Head of the Statistics Department at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Mozambique; Nilsa Sandra Miquidade, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Mozambique; and Pamla Gopaul, Coordinator of the Policy Bridge Tank (which strengthens collaboration between think tanks and decision makers).

Rachida Aligy Ussen Mamade, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Mozambique, represented Auda.

For ABC, in addition to Wofsi Yuri de Souza, Plinio de Assis Pereira Junior, Manager of the General Coordination of Trilateral Technical Cooperation with International Organizations, and André Luiz Galvão, Manager of the Technical Cooperation and Partnerships with Developed Countries.

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