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Fiocruz opens a virtual exhibit: “Zika: affecting lives”


Museu da Vida (COC/Fiocruz)


Six years after the National Health Emergency declared by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, Zika is still a public health issue that mobilizes many actors in society. Fiocruz is launching the virtual exhibition Zika: lives affecting lives, produced by the Zika Social Sciences Network and the Oswaldo Cruz House (COC/Fiocruz), through the Museum of Life. The exhibition is the result of collaborative scientific research, produced with intense social participation, and its goal is to raise awareness regarding the fact that Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome (CZVS) goes beyond microcephaly, which is only one of its possible manifestations. See the exhibition.

Photo: Joelson Conceição Souza

“The narrative of this exhibition was created to stimulate involvement with the issues caused by the Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome in its multiple dimensions, giving visibility to what still needs to be prioritized and faced. It also highlights the crucial role played by Brazilian science, families and the National Public Health System (SUS) in the response to the zika epidemic in Brazil”, explain Lenir da Silva, Mariana Albuquerque and Fabíola Mayrink, curators of the exhibition.

The production is part of Fiocruz’s 120th-anniversary celebrations, turned in 2020, and counted on the participation of families, managers, health professionals, and researchers. Online visitors will find assisting technology resources and contents are originally in Portuguese and translated into Libras (the Brazilian Sign Language), English, and Spanish.

The exhibition is divided into four parts, with photographs, texts, videos, and an interactive game. The first part tells the story of how the zika virus arrived in Brazil and the unexpected increase in cases of microcephaly. The second one shows the increasingly harder everyday life of families affected by the CZVS and the articulation of scientists in their search for knowledge. In the next module, visitors will get to know the mobilization of researchers, families, professionals and SUS managers, as well as the main responses to the needs of the people involved. The fourth and last part invites visitors to ponder on what we still need to do regarding zika and its consequences, such as the development of vaccines, promotion of inclusive education, and more appreciation of the SUS.

The virtual opening will take place on March 29, at 10:00, with a virtual mediation in the exhibition area on Fiocruz’s YouTube channel. The event will also include a debate with Fiocruz president, Nísia Trindade Lima, and with Amanda Mota da Silva, representing families affected by zika. The meeting will take place at a moment in which all eyes are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, a moment in which we must reinforce the importance of public health and of the role of social protection policies in the fight against inequalities in Brazil. 

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