Fiocruz News Agency (AFN)
Last Monday (24 October), Nísia Trindade Lima, president of Fiocruz, was granted the official certificate of the 2022 Brazilian Women Making a Difference Award. The award is granted by the US embassy and consulates in Brazil, as acknowledgement to relevant women all over the country. The certificate was handed to Lima by Mark Carr, cultural attaché of the United States Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, who visited the Foundation in the company of the consulate’s culture advisor, Carla Waehneldt. The event was also attended by Cristiani Machado, vice-president of Education, Information and Communication (Vpeic/Fiocruz), and Pedro Burger, assistant coordinator of the Center for International Relations (Cris/Fiocruz).
Award honors women who are making a positive impact in their communities (photo: Pedro Paulo Gonçalves)
“I am very honored to be the recipient of this prize”, Lima celebrated. “As I say and share with representatives of our institution, I know that many of the honors I receive are related to a collective work, which only makes it more special to me that I am a representative of an institution as relevant as Fiocruz”. Mark Carr emphasized the relevance of the award. “Today I have the great pleasure of delivering the official certificate”, he said. “Thank you for having us here. Fiocruz runs many projects and its president certainly deserves being among the seven Brazilian women acknowledged by the US Embassy and Consulates in Brazil, for their outstanding contributions to society. We hope we can continue with this partnership in the future”.
The award is given to women of different origins who are having a positive impact in their communities and inspire others. Lima was awarded for being the first woman to be Fiocruz president in 120 years and for her acknowledged contributions, over her entire career, in the fields of health, research, and science.
Carla Wahnaldt, the consulate’s culture advisor, reinforced the importance of the visit and the consulate’s willingness to collaborate. “This return home is important to keep dialogue open in the various fronts of our cooperation. You can rely on our office”. Assistant coordinator of international relations, Pedro Burger complimented the awards. “This is a very interesting initiative and I congratulate the consulate for it. We have held some meetings here at Fiocruz with US representatives and I recently attended the reception of vice-consuls in the economics and politics areas, replacing the ones we know. This is crucial to maintain the continuity of our collaborations”.
There are also several initiatives between Fiocruz and the USA in the education sector. The vice-president of Education, Information and Communication, Cristiani Machado, listed a few. “The US is the main destination of our doctoral students and our master’s degree researchers. There are many interactions between researchers and universities”, she mentioned. “We have recently welcomed students from Princeton University, after a Global Health conference there, where Lima had lectured. Between June and August, seven students from the university’s Global Health program were inserted in different Fiocruz units. It was a very successful program”. The university has now made “sandwich” doctorates available to Fiocruz students.
Six other women were granted awards. The are Ana Maria Ferreira da Cunha, Government Relations and Social Responsibility Director of Kinross Brazil; Chopelly Glaudystton Pereira dos Santos, president of the Articulation and Movement for Transvestites and Transsexuals of Pernambuco (Amotrans) and member of the LGBT Forum in Pernambuco; Jaceguara Dantas da Silva, Appeals Course Judge of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul; Joana Célia dos Passos, professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC); Renata Malheiros Henriques, National Coordinator for Women Entrepreneurship of the Brazilian Small Business Development Service, (SEBRAE); and Sinéia Wapichana, Coordinator of the Environmental Department of the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR).
“I feel very honored, because I’ve seen the other women who received the awards”, said Lima. “They are dedicated to human rights, to activism in various fields. They’re six women who do plenty of justice to the award”. Lima highlighted the references for the award, such as contribution to equity and engagement of the society, and the role played by science in these fields. “As a representative of the field of science, also as a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), I feel that science must also have this commitment. In an institution such as ours, this needs to be reinforced: health as a right”.