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Fiocruz is elected for the WHO’s tropical disease council


23/06/2021

Fiocruz News Agency (AFN)

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Fiocruz was elected a member of the Joint Coordinating Board of the WHO’s Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). The election took place last Thursday (June 17), during the Council’s 44th meeting, giving the Foundation a mandate spanning from January 1st, 2022, to December 31st, 2025.

“This acknowledgment of Fiocruz is a momentous event. Together with the Council, the Foundation will seek to go deeper into proposals bound to a vision that takes into account mainly neglected populations all over the world, by means of efforts in the field of research, education in health and, first and foremost, in thinking of preparing society for public health emergencies”, says Fiocruz president, Nísia Trindade Lima, reminding that over its 121 years of existence, the institution has always played a prominent role in the fight against the so-called tropical diseases.

The Joint Coordinating Board (JCB) consists of 28 members and is the organ that governs the TDR. Its main role is to coordinate the interests and responsibilities of all parties involved. TDR is a global scientific cooperation program created in 1975. It focuses on improving the health and well-being of poor populations affected by infectious diseases, by means of research and innovation. TDR is co-funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), by the World Bank, and by the WHO, permanent members of the Council.

Fiocruz was elected to take up one of the four seats reserved to “cooperation partners”. According to the Brazilian mission in Geneva, the choice of the Foundation was “the subject of a widely positive evaluation of the TDR’s Secretariat, which confirmed its interest in increasing the conversation, also with the goal of elevating the profile of Brazil’s participation in the Council”. Brazil’s last mandate as a full member of the JBC ended in 2013.

Trindade also mentioned that Fiocruz has played an important role in the TDR since its creation; the program has already been led by Carlos Morel, former Fiocruz president. Fiocruz hopes to contribute with “strengthening cooperation between countries, with a vision of equity, research and education in health that relies on access by part of the population as its most strategic focus”, Trindade said.

The three remaining seats were given to Burkina Faso, Zambia, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi). Seven of the eight seats available reserved for governments that provide financial contribution to the TDR will be occupied by Malaysia, Mexico, and Switzerland, in addition to the constituencies: Germany-Luxembourg, Panama-Spain, and United Kingdom-USA. One remaining seat is still open.

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