Amanda Sobreira (Fiocruz Ceará)
Fiocruz Ceará will welcome a researcher from Pasteur Institute and begin integrated research works aiming at setting up the Fiocruz-Pasteur Platform at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation campus in Eusébio, in Fortaleza’s Metropolitan Area, in the state of Ceará. The announcement was made by the representative of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Leandro Batista, during the event that gathered scientists from both Institutions and from the University of São Paulo (USP), at Fiocruz Ceará. “The French Government is a historical partner of Pasteur Institute, Paris and believes that science should guide the responses to public health. Thus, the Ministry supports the platform by creating a position of intenational technician expert in the cooperation with Ceará to contribute with the consolidation and development of the project”, informed Batista.
Representatives of Fiocruz, the Pasteur Institute and the Government of Ceará meet to discuss cooperation in the state (photo: Fiocruz Ceará)
Last Monday (April 18th), the researchers of Fiocruz held a Scientific Seminar to present the projects and researches that are being developed at Fiocruz Ceará, related to Immunology and Immunotherapy, that are strategic areas for the institutions. Oh Tuesday (April 19th), the French delegation, composed by representatives of the French Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy of France in Brazil) and researchers from the Pasteur Institute and USP got to see the infrastructure and the Technology Park of the Fiocruz Campus in Eusébio. The link between the three institutions will be Nacer Boubenna, scientific agent of the Embassy of France in Brazil.
The cooperation with Pasteur Institute will speed up the development of researches and supplies for the treatment of chronic-degenerative diseases (including cancer and multiple sclerosis), which can make the treatment accessible to the population. “The production of immunobiologicals has a very high cost that can reach up to R$30,000 per application in each patient, which makes the treatment unfeasible for most Brazilians”, states João Hermínio Martins da Silva, Research Coordinator at Fiocruz Ceará. This aspect was also highlighted by the general coordinator of Fiocruz Ceará, Carlile Lavor, showing the importance of producing supplies in Brazil to lower the costs and enable the access to health to all Brazilians. “We had a clear example during the COVID-19 pandemic. When we started to produce an 100% national vaccine, the population got the vaccine faster, with a free distribution and a lower cost for the Ministry of Health. “That is what Fiocruz does, it promotes health, improving the access and the quality of services. Having the partnership of Pasteur Institute and USP in the project is of utmost importance for everyone”, highlighted Carlile.
On the other hand, the Fiocruz vice-president of Production and Innovation in Health, Marco Krieger reinforced the centenary bond that exists between the institutions and spoke about the challenges of the techinical-scientific cooperation with Pasteur Institute. “It is a partnership of over one hundred years, with institutions that work in different ecosystems that complement each other. Thus, the synergy gets more sense, since when we work together, we make an even greater power. It is a moment of joy, but it is also a lot of responsibility, because we have to duty of honoring this venture that is born being supported on such strong shoulders”, declared Krieger.
In Ceará, the installation project is under the coordination of professor Wilson Savino, special advisor of Fiocruz for the cooperation with French institutions. He highlighted the work developed through 13 years of Fiocruz in Ceará. “Although this partnership already exists, I believe that the higher level of cooperation between USP, Fiocruz and the Pasteur Institute may be considered an historical event. Even though Fiocruz Ceará is very recent, it is vigorous and has an important contribution for public health in Brazil, since its origins with the Family Health Strategy, until recently in its actions against COVID-19. We will converge a lot more to complement the research themes and we will be able to generate a lot more synergy in the production and dissemination of knowledge”, stated Savino.
At the opening event, the secretary of health, Marcos Gadelha, represented the Governor of the State of Ceará, Izolda Cela, and spoke about the partnership as a key element for the development of public health. The pandemic brought a lot of learning and warnings for the health sector, such as the importance of surveillance in health and the use of technologies to ease these processes. In this perspective, we restate that the Government of the State of Ceará and the Department of Health will keep encouraging and supporting the partnership with these institutions that make health more accessible and egalitarian for all”, stated Gadelha.
The Secretary of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Ceará, Carlos Décimo; the vice-president of the State University of Ceará, Dárcio Ítalo Teixeira; and the president of the Regional University of Cariri, Francisco do O' de Lima Júnior also attended the event. The researcher and scientific deputy director of the Vice-President International Affairs of Pasteur Institute - Paris, Fernando Arenzana; the advisor of the Center of International Relations of Fiocruz, Ilka Vilardo; the scientific ambassador of the Embassy of France in Brasília, Nacer Boubenna; the co-coordinator of the Pasteur-USP platform and representative of Pasteur Institute in Brazil, Paola Minóprio, and the person in charge of missions of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Choé Rabiet also attended the France delegation.
Meeting with the governor
The French delegation and Fiocruz researchers were welcomed by Governor Izolda Cela last monday (April 18th) afternoon, on the Palace of Abolition, seat of the Government of Ceará. During the meeting, the vice-president of Fiocruz, Marco Krieger updated the Governor on the cooperation with the Pasteur Institute, while researcher Odorico Monteiro, Coordinator of the Chamber of Innovation, Production and Entrepreneurship of Fiocruz Ceará, highlighted the work of Renasf - Northeastern Network of Education in Family Health - that acts educating masters and doctors, in partnership with 30 higher education institutions from seven states. The researcher also reminded that 35 students from the biotechnology program of the Vocational School of Eusébio, an initiative supported by Fiocruz, work at the Support Unit for the Diagnosis of COVID-19, strengthening the integration of Fiocruz in the scientific and technological development of the municipality.
Carlile Lavor highlighted another Fiocruz initiative in the State, the partnership with URCA, in the elaboration of the project of MedURCA, the medicine program of the Regional University of Cariri, that started its first class in March. Indeed, Fiocruz is finishing the “framework need that will culminate in a change of quality, contributing with the scientific and technological growth of Ceará”, commented Savino.
The governor, who is a science and education enthusiast, reiterated the support to the initiatives of Fiocruz Ceará and stated that soon she would visit the headquarters in Eusébio again. “To us, it is a privilege to have the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in the State, an institution that had a brilliant and decisive operation in Brazil during the pandemic. I affirm that Fiocruz will have all the support of the state, as always, in its initiatives that are so important to the education of our health professionals and to the health of all Brazilians,” stated Izolda Cela.