Glauber Gonçalves (COC/Fiocruz), with the collaboration of Erika Farias (CCS/Fiocruz)
Enhancing the actions of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in the view of the new coronavirus pandemic (Sars-CoV-2) by joining the forces of the public and private sectors. This is the goal of the United against Covid-19 program launched by Fiocruz on April 2nd, opening a channel for companies, organizations and individuals interested in being a part of the network of supporters for the initiatives developed by the institution, all over the country, to face this public health emergency.
The donations obtained will be supporting projects and actions that include the construction of the Hospital Center for the Covid-19 Pandemic - National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which will receive patients with severe Covid-19; the production of quick and molecular tests; the expansion of the sample testing capacity; communication actions and distribution of products directed to the people living in the territories where their campuses are installed, with the goal of helping prevent the new coronavirus; and researches for the treatment of the disease.
“In view of the challenges that the public health emergency of the new coronavirus represents to the country, Fiocruz has been sought by donators interested in supporting, with financial, material and logistic resources, the actions announced by the institution to face the pandemic. Therefore, we decided to come up with a site that would provide information on the gathering of these resources in the most simple and transparent possible manner”, states Fiocruz Institutional Development and Management Vice-President, Mario Moreira, who coordinates the United Against Covid-19 Initiative.
The destination of the resources will be coordinated by the Management vice-presidency, with the support of the Fiocruz Resource Gathering Office. The financial management and the accountability regarding fund spending will be in charge of the Foundation for Scientific and Technological Development (FIOTEC). Fiocruz supporters and the society in general can therefore follow the detailed accounting of the application of donated resources on the United Against Covid-19 website. The site also provides information on criteria for donation, as well as details on the initiatives to which the resources will be destined.
Hospital Centre for Covid-19 will be the home of a WHO clinical trial
One of the ongoing actions is the construction, by Fiocruz, of the Hospital Center for the Covid-19 Pandemic - National Institute of Infectious Diseases, in Fiocruz headquarter, in Rio de Janeiro. Coordinated by the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectiology (INI/Fiocruz), this quick-assembly hospital unit will have 200 beds exclusively destined to the treatment of intensive and semi-intensive patients infected by the new coronavirus, strengthening the state and the city governments ability to respond to the disease.
As a parallel project, Fiocruz is preparing to support the populations of the territories where it is present, during the period of this public health crisis. In a joint effort with the organzations of Maré and Manguinhos (two neighboring communities), the institution develops a health communication campaign targeting the inhabitants of slums and peripheral neighborhoods. The goal of the initiative is to provide reliable information to this segment of the population, taking into account the particularities of the territory where they live and the difficulties they face when applying the most general recommendations released by official institutions.
Strengthening of diagnostic capacity and search for treatment
On yet another front, Fiocruz is the coordinator, in Brazil, of the clinical trial Solidarity, launched by the World Health Organization (WHO). The goal of the initiative is to investigate the efficacy of four treatments for the new coronavirus, and will be implemented in 18 hospitals of 12 Brazilian states, with the support of the Ministry of Health. The Solidarity trial is the result of joint efforts from all over the world to provide a quick answer on which drugs are effective against the disease and which are not, and should therefore not be used.
The training of public laboratories and other ICTs to expand the diagnostic capacity for the new coronavirus is another contribution by Fiocruz to help face this pandemic. Since the beginning of the year, the institution has been training professionals of Brazil’s Public Health Central Laboratories (Lacens). Fiocruz is therefore helping decentralize diagnosis all over the country and expand sample processing capacity in the public network of laboratories.
Fore more information on current initiatives, visit the website.