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Meeting celebrates victorious partnership that received international award


Ricardo Valverde (Fiocruz News Agency)


Fiocruz hosted, on March 21st, 2022, a meeting that celebrated the victorious partnership in the field of health surveillance. In November 2021, the city of São José dos Pinhais, in the state of Paraná, received the Guangzhou award along with nine other towns around the world. The award selects innovatives approaches adopted by local and regional governments to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), thus improving the quality of life of its citizens. In the meeting held on the 21st, which was attended by ambassador Frederico Duque Estrada Meyer, a diplomat of the Brazilian Consulate in Guangzhou, China, the award was shared among the awarded partners.

Fiocruz president Nísia Trindade Lima shares the Guangzhou Award, delivered in the form of a medal of honor (Photo: Peter Ilicciev)

According to Fiocruz’s president, Nísia Trindade Lima, “the experience showed that the society and local health professionals can generate strategic data to identify the priority areas for surveillance and vaccination, two months in advance, saving lives. The integrated effort among different partner institutions was also crucial for achieving those results. The local actions are fundamental so that we can achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.”

The project Digital technology and social participation on the surveillance and definition of priority areas and actions for the control of the yellow fever in Brazil is a result of a partnership between the Biodiversity and Wild Health institutional platform of Fiocruz, the General Coordination of the Arbovirus Diseases Surveillance of the Health Surveillance Office of the Ministry of Health, the Health Surveillance Office of the State of Paraná and the Zoonoses Surveillance Unit of the Health Office of São José dos Pinhais.

The meeting also was attended by the general coordinator of the Arbovirus Diseases Surveillance of the Ministry of Health, Cássio Peterka; by the director of Health Surveillance of the Health Secretary’s Office of the state of Paraná, Maria Goretti Lopes; by the veterinary doctor Haroldo Greca Júnior, who was the person in charge of implementing the project in São José dos Pinhais and coordinator of the Zoonoses Surveillance Unit of the Health Office of the city; and by the coordinator of the Biodiversity and Wild Health Institutional Platform of Fiocruz, Marcia Chame, besides other members of the team.

Yellow Fever and Implementation of Siss-Geo

During the seasonal period of yellow fever from July 2018 to June 2019, there were epizootic diseases in non-human primates in 73 towns in the state of Paraná, which lead the state’s Health Office to endorse that the population should immediately notify the death of monkeys to the Center of Strategic Information on Health Surveillance (Cievs/PR). In 2019, locals and healthcare professionals began notifying the center through the Siss-Geo app, which was developed by Fiocruz. The app is a participatory tool used to monitor non-human primates, which are sentinels of the yellow fever virus that circulates in the wild areas. The app is used not only by healthcare professionals, but also by the general population through any smartphone.

São José dos Pinhais was the first town to use Siss-Geo as a tool to notify the disease even before the prevention and control strategy was implemented on the state. The team’s work, coordinated by Haroldo Greca Júnior of the Zoonoses Surveillance Unit of the Health Secretary’s Office of the city, became an example and incentive for the Siss-Geo to be presented as a surveillance politic in the region, and now in the entire country of Brazil, and to obtain the international recognition by the Guangzhou Award.

The strategy implemented on the state of Paraná began with regional workshops promoted by the Ministry of Health in 2017, when Siss-Geo was presented to the states. With the dispersion of the virus to Paraná, the conjoined action between the General Coordination of the Arbovirus Diseases Surveillance of the Ministry of Health and Cievs gathered the experience of the corridors of transmission, which was elaborated by the Superintendence of Endemic Control (Sucen) of São Paulo along with computer models of favorability for the occurrence of yellow fever developed by the Biodiversity and Wild Health Institutional Platform of Fiocruz.

This way, there was the implementation of Siss-Geo, with in loco training of the environmental surveillance technicians of the health regionals of the state of Paraná. The training for using Siss-Geo was divided in two stages: a theoretical one, approaching the surveillance of epizootic diseases and the utilization of the platform and the app, signing-up institutional logins so that the municipalities can receive warnings in real-time, and the practical stage, in which there was sample collection and training of the technicians to generate notifications of georeferenced epizootic diseases. The integration of multiple docked skills and the usage of Siss-Geo allowed the identification of priority areas, where the vaccination, orientation and mobilization of health care teams were intensified.

The adhesion of the population and of the Siss-Geo managers brought benefits for the prevention and control of the yellow fever in the state of Paraná. The system reached a large portion of the state’s population, since the professionals were instructed to disseminate its usage. With Siss-Geo, the technical teams were able to validate the pattern of the ecological corridors (routes of possible circulation and amplification of the yellow fever virus), which allowed the foreshadowing of decision making, such as intensifying the vaccination of the general population, as well as the higher risk areas.

The coordinator Marcia Chame emphasized that the tool makes it possible for the society to know the relation between wild health and people. “The conservation of the biodiversity can bring improvements for health and modify the process of transmission of diseases, besides mitigating the impacts of environmental degradation, which leads to some diseases reappearing. The information inserted on the app is analyzed by researchers, that relate the occurrence to multiple data of socio-environmental infrastructure, environmental modifications, climate changes and land usage”.

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