Ana Paula Blower (Fiocruz News Agency)
Fiocruz received, in the last week, visits from authorities and foreign delegations interested in acting and in possible areas of cooperation with the Foundation. On different occasions, the Chinese ambassador to Brazil, Zhu Qingqiao, and the Swiss Federal Councilor, Guy Parmelin, participated in meetings at the Official Residence, where they reinforced their willingness to expand existing partnerships and invest in new ones, mainly in the areas of surveillance, public health, one health, innovation, production and research. Another point highlighted by the delegations was Fiocruz's central role in the region during the pandemic and how necessary it is to join forces to face new global health crises.
Last Thursday (7/6), the president of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira, welcomed the Chinese ambassador to Brazil, Zhu Qingqiao, who was accompanied by a delegation that included the consul general in Rio de Janeiro, Tian Min. Moreira formally thanked the Chinese government and the ambassador for their support during the pandemic, especially in the supply of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) for the production of vaccines. He also recalled president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's trip to China, in which he was part of the presidential delegation, noting that the main agreements in the health area were signed by Fiocruz.
At last week's meeting, the president of Fiocruz and the ambassador reinforced their mutual interest in expanding partnerships, especially in the areas of research, surveillance and pharmaceuticals, highlighting that this is a propitious moment to such end. In this sense, Qingqiao was informed about the new vaccine plant being developed by Fiocruz and asked for more information in order to collaborate with investments, shedding light on possible partnerships with the Chinese business sector as well.
One cooperation that was highlighted with the aim of being put into practice was the installation of the Sino-Brazilian Infectious Diseases Research and Prevention Center (IDRPC). In April of this year, an agreement laying the foundations for the partnership was signed in Beijing. “We are very interested in developing scientific-technological partnerships with China. From Fiocruz's perspective, the relationship between the countries is very promising”, said Moreira, drawing attention to the fact that the Foundation is a central hub in the region. “Thus, cooperation with China implies regional partnerships, not just Brazil”.
The ambassador stated that now is the time to establish specific projects and put them into practice: “In recent years, we have made many advances in our cooperation in the areas of public health and disease prevention and control. We see Fiocruz playing an important leadership role in this Sino-Brazilian cooperation”, said the ambassador. “We can think of conducting more joint research and greater data sharing, besides increasing the synergy with companies, expanding cooperation in biological technology and genetic technology and in the areas of traditional medicine, to work on the development of new drugs”.
Commitment to public health
On a trip to Brazil, the Swiss federal councillor Guy Parmelin was at Fiocruz, last Friday (7/7), accompanied by an economic-scientific delegation, which included the ambassador to Brazil, Pietro Lazzeri, and representatives of the government and of the industry in the European country. The group was received by the vice president of Production and Innovation in Health, Marco Krieger, for an approximation meeting. In addition to an institutional presentation by Fiocruz, the meeting focused on potential areas of cooperation, such as innovation, bioeconomy and one health.
Guy Parmelin was welcomed by Marco Krieger at Fiocruz (photo: Peter Ilicciev)
Minister Parmelin praised Fiocruz's commitment to advancing public health and promoting scientific knowledge. “From groundbreaking research to the development of life-saving vaccines, their contributions have had a profound impact on public health, not just in Brazil, but globally as well. Fiocruz is a reference in infectious diseases, immunology and tropical medicine”, he said.
He highlighted that Switzerland is also committed to research in tropical medicine. “The renowned Swiss Tropical And Public Health Institute, in particular, is a long-standing partner of Fiocruz, and this partnership has produced promising scientific results in the past and we hope it will continue to do as such in the future,” he highlighted.
The minister recalled that Fiocruz collaborates with Swiss suppliers of pharmaceutical products and equipment and highlighted that there is still much to expand in terms of cooperation between Switzerland and Fiocruz: “We have many possibilities to better collaborate, in different sectors”.
Krieger reinforced Fiocruz's commitment to providing quality and technological development to the Unified Health System (SUS, the Brazilian public health system) to reduce disparities. “Our first function is to supply Brazilian public health in a sustainable way. We work with high technology to have better quality and price in order to further supply neglected populations, which includes treatment, for example, of chronic diseases, of HIV/AIDS. We are open to discussions in all these fields”, assessed Krieger.