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Fiocruz Virtual Campus offers first course in three languages


Isabela Schincariol (Campus Virtual Fiocruz)


The Fiocruz Virtual Campus has announced its first course available in three languages in its platform:  Healthcare in phonoaudiology - An approach on oral sensorial-motor alterations in the field of neonatology. This is an online course that focuses on phonoaudiology professionals of the Brazilian Public Health System network, additional health networks and other health professionals interested in dysphagia. This is the first course of the Fiocruz Virtual Campus available in Portuguese, English, and Spanish. Enroll online until September 30th.

The course was developed by the National Institute of Women, Children and Adolescents Health Fernandes Figueira (IFF/Fiocruz), in the context of the Fiocruz Program of Promotion of Innovation (Inova Fiocruz), in the modality “Generating Knowledge - New Talents” (2019). It is being coordinated by phonoaudiologist Mariangela Bartha, who has about 25 years of experience in the field and is responsible for the initiative. 

Bertha notes that the first class of the course, offered only in Portuguese, had more than 60 students enrolled, and revealed great interest of Brazilian professionals who work in other countries, highlighting Brazil’s expertise in the field of neonatal healthcare. She also mentioned that the course was born out of her doctorate work, in which she researched the practice of changing human breastmilk viscosity to facilitate swallowing by newborn babies, as well as the characteristics of thickening agents.

“I realized we much to contribute both nationally and internationally, as the Brazilian expertise is more advanced than that of other countries, alghough this field still requires worldwide studies. The course is based on more than 20 years of experience and dedication to the Unified Health System (SUS, in the Portugues acronym), and is also a way to show the society the scientific prodution of Fiocruz researchers with hard work and quality”, Bartha added.  

The modules of the course were distributed in themes, with the participation and discussion of the multiprofessional team, showing the interdisciplinary work carried out at the neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with the goal of promoting assistance and incentive to the use of breastmilk for newborns and infants with complex health conditions and who have dysphagia.

The idea is to develop abilities so as to contribute to the comprehension of students regarding diagnostic and therapeutic procedures by means of a structural and funcional evaluation of the dynamics of feeding, from a natural perspective (nursing from the mother’s breast) as well as from al anternative standpoint (using a cup or a bottle) in newborns and infants with alterations in their oral sensory-motor development. The goal is to improve the quality of the healthcare provided and to promote an extended look on the theme, interceding early and in a preventive way.

According to Ana Furniel, coordinator of the Fiocruz Virtual Campus, the course tackles a theme that is very important and, in addition to the innovation and advancement it brings, as it expands the reach of Fiocruz courses, it also carries a challenge: the Virtual Campus enrollment system is not yet available in other languages. “We had been working on turning it multilingual. However, as activities soared due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were forced to prioritize courses and new material on the subject. The system will be adapted soon.

The course is self-instructional. However, doubts can be sent through the virtual learning environment of the Moodle platform. The lessons are expected to take place between October 1st and December 13th. The course is structured in eight successive modules of 5 hours each, for a total of 40 hours of course.  

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