Oswaldo Cruz Foundation an institution in the service of life

Início do conteúdo

Fiocruz receives UNFPA delegation and discusses cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean


Ana Paula Blower (Fiocruz News Agency)


Joining efforts to reduce maternal, child and fetal mortality rates in the region as soon as possible. This was one of the mottos of the meeting (7/14) between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Susana Sottoli, the UNFPA delegation in Brazil, the Chief of Staff of the Presidency of Fiocruz, Zélia Profeta, among other representatives of the Foundation. Sottoli was at Fiocruz to learn about the lines of cooperation with the Fund and map new areas of partnerships, such as the proposal for a course on maternal, child and fetal death surveillance, offered by the Fiocruz Virtual Campus, which is part of the Vice-Presidency of Education, Information and Communication (VPEIC). The meeting aimed to discuss the strategic partnership between UNFPA and Fiocruz, focusing on South-South cooperation, with the possibility of expansion to Latin America and the Caribbean to expand access to training and education actions.

At Fiocruz, Zelia Profeta and Susana Sottoli talked about areas of cooperation (photo: Peter Ilicciev)

The Virtual Campus has proved to be a tool with great potential for cooperation as it provides free courses, freely accessible anywhere in the world. The platform was presented during the meeting, as well as the maternal death surveillance course, which is in its seventh edition and has students in more than 500 Brazilian municipalities. The Good Practices Portal of the Fernandes Figueira Institute (IFF/Fiocruz) was also presented to the UNFPA delegation as a means of sharing knowledge and training.

Zélia Profeta emphasized Fiocruz's willingness to expand the cooperation with UNFPA based on what is already being developed and on new opportunities. She cited ongoing projects that could generate partnerships. “This is the time to bring together what is already underway and establish proposals to expand this cooperation and set a timeline for these partnerships to actually happen”, she said.

To speed things up, a new meeting will be scheduled by the end of August to define the following steps and structure the adaptation of the course on maternal, child and fetal death surveillance. Now, Fiocruz and UNFPA will meet internally to outline the best paths, needs and possibilities. With this, it is intended to build on an existing project to save women's and children's lives in the shortest possible time.

“We can commit to seeking information with our offices in key countries in the region with higher maternal mortality rates, and to establishing a dialogue with national health institutes to better understand the receptiveness and needs on this matter. It is crucial to research these aspects and we cannot wait”, Sottoli said.

The UNFPA representative in Brazil, Florbela Fernandes, emphasized the urgency of the actions: “For us, contributing to reach a zero level of maternal mortality is essential; the longer we delay, the more women won't get the services they could have received. We are fully committed to doing whatever is necessary. Fiocruz is one of the centers of excellence in South-South cooperation, so we have to give examples of where cooperation is working. Now that we have a favorable environment, we have to take advantage of it and do our part”.

An important point within the debate on the south-south cooperation was how to act on the particularities of each country, its needs and possibilities – thus achieving mutual benefits and valuing local knowledge. The next meeting on the extension and adaptation of the course, therefore, will have as a principle the reality of each country considered.

In the end, the director thanked the meeting and the reception at Fiocruz: “For me, it was a great learning experience, the information they provided us with gives us hope to move forward in a joint work. Zélia Profeta echoed the message: “Our discussion was very important, we must use the potential that Fiocruz has to reduce inequalities”.

Back to the topBack