Daniela Rangel (CCS)
Fiocruz received a Dutch delegation that was in Brazil for prospection meetings involving big data in the areas of health and life sciences, on the 11/29. In addition to representatives of the Dutch government, the group also included professionals from different universities in Holland.
The delegation was able to get to know Fiocruz’s actions regarding big data, such as the National Laboratory of Scientific Computing (LNCC) and the Center of Integration of Data and Knowledge for Health (Cidacs), among other initiatives. The Consul for Science, Technology and Innovation, Petra Smits, summed up the goal of their visit: “The first time I came to Fiocruz I asked myself why we were not collaborating more. Therefore we have come to know more about Fiocruz’s work and to identify where we can work together”.
The political councilor of the Dutch Ministry of Economic and Political Relations for Climate, Robert Thijssen, highlighted the priority areas for international cooperation projects defined by the Dutch government: “Chronic diseases, especially dementia, are challenges not only for our country, but for the whole world. We want to step up from treatment to a search for a cure”. For the Fiocruz coordinator of Prospection Actions, Carlos Gadelha, the institution’s differential meets the needs of the Dutch government, as Fiocruz work ranges from research to production. “We have brains as well as hands”, stated Gadelha.
The coordinator of Inova, Fiocruz program for innovation, Milton Osório Moraes, mentioned the fight against the zika outbreak as an example of the use of technology and innovation to solve a public health issue. “It is important to bring some ‘new’ diseases to the discussion, as they normally involve matters such as genetic sequencing and the development of innovative products”, said the coordinator.
The Dutch team showed interest in understanding how Brazil is dealing with the issue of a drop in the vaccination coverage and the consequent return of diseases previously eradicated. “I do not think that our problems area as the rest of the world; people are not so distrustful of the efficacy of vaccines here” Gadelha explained. Milton Osório Moraes, coordinator of Inova, added: “In Brazil, the austerity policy in the health sector is much worse than the anti-vax movements”.
The meeting with the Dutch delegation was organized by Fiocruz Global Health Center (Cris/Fiocruz) and included the participation of researchers of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz) and Institute of Communication and Scientific and Technology Information in Health (Icict/Fiocruz).