Julia Dias (AFN)
Fiocruz attended the Brazil Africa Forum, which this year focused on the challenges brought by the pandemic. With the intention of strengthening the relations between Brazil and Africa, the Forum brings together top-level authorities and specialists to discuss global health, national health systems, economic recovery, commerce and finance, international cooperation, science and technology, vulnerable communities, poverty and hunger, regional experiences, local responses, and future scenarios.
Fiocruz president, Nísia Trindade Lima, attended the Global Health plenary, which took place on November 3 and whose theme was Upscaling investments to achieve better results. The plenary discussed post-pandemic economic recovery scenarios. Although the pandemic has not hit the African continent as hard as other parts of the world, it has deeply affected the local economy. The pandemic has shown the clear relation between health and economy, and those debating in the plenary discussed how investments in health can be better oriented in the future.
In her speech, Fiocruz president defended that the 2030 Agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be a guide for post-pandemic solutions. Lima also defended international cooperation and the strengthening of health systems as ways of increasing our preparedness for new health crises in the future. She defended universal access to vaccines and treatments against Covid-19, such as was decided at the World Health Assembly.
Lima presented the actions undertaken by Fiocruz in Brazil during the pandemic and mentioned the project Conexão Saúde: de olho na Covid-19, (Health Connection: Keeping an Eye on Covid-19), which employs primary healthcare and health agents for surveillance in the favelas, an example that can be adopted in African countries. “In addition to technology, the organization of health systems can also be an innovation”, she stated. Fiocruz currently has countless cooperation programs with African countries, especially those that speak Portuguese.
Fiocruz president emphasized that health should be seen as a solution for the crisis from an economic standpoint as well. “Health generates jobs and income”, she said, defending the idea of a health economic and industrial complex as a driving force for development.
In addition to Fiocruz, the other panelists of the plenary were Donald Kaberuka, Chairman of the Global Fund, AU Special Envoy for Africa and Founder and Managing Partner of SouthBridge Group; Bineta Diop, AU Special Envoy on Women Peace & Security; Otaviano Canuto, Former Vice-President and Executive Director at the World Bank; and Carlos Malet, Co-founder of Sphera Global Health Care.