Julia Dias (CCS)
The president of the National Public Health Institute of Guinea-Bissau (Inasa -Instituto Nacional de Saúde Pública de Guiné-Bissau), Dionísio Cumba, was at Fiocruz on May 3 to discuss new forms of cooperation with the Foundation. The institute already possesses a bilateral Cooperation Agreement with Fiocruz, executed in 2015, which must be expanded.
From left to right: technical advisor of the Coordination of Health Surveillance and Reference Laboratories of Fiocruz, Tania Fonseca, vice-president of Production and Innovation in Health, Marco Krieger, Secretary of the Network of National Public Health Institutes of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Rinsp-CPLP), Félix Rosenberg, president of the National Public Health Institute of Guinea-Bissau, Dionísio Cumba, and coordinator of Cris/Fiocruz for Africa and CPLP, Augusto Paulo Silva. (Photo: Pedro Linger/Cris)
“Health is the most affected area when a country is going through difficulties”, stated the president of Inasa. The African country has a history of political instability since its independence and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is one of the lowest in the world.
The project of support for the conception and construction of a National Public Health Laboratory (LNSP) of Inasa was the main theme considered during the visit, which included a meeting with leaders of various Fiocruz units. Representatives of the Center for International Relations in Health (Cris/Fiocruz), of the Sérgio Arouca National School of Public Health (Ensp/Fiocruz), of the Government School, of the Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnical School of Health (EPSJV/Fiocruz), of the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectiology (INI/Fiocruz) and of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz) and the Secretary of the Network of National Public Health Institutes of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Rinsp-CPLP), Félix Rosenberg, took part in this meeting.
The vice-president of Production and Innovation in Health, Marco Krieger, represented the president’s office of Fiocruz in a second meeting. He demonstrated the interest of the Foundation in expanding the cooperation with the country. “We want to find solutions that are adequate for our capacity and the needs of Guinea-Bissau”, he explained.
Among the needs discussed were the infrastructure required for the establishment of the laboratory and the training of professionals, following the example that has already occurred in other African countries, such as Mozambique. Other cooperation already initiated and that must continue to progress is the creation of a Human Milk Bank in the country.
“A child dying of hunger is very shocking. So, this area of maternal-infant health is a priority for us”, said Cumba. Fiocruz has extensive experience in the area, with the work of the Fernandes Figueira National Institute for the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents, (IFF/Fiocruz) as an international reference.
This one more step of the cooperation between Fiocruz and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), which is coordinated by the Center for International Relations in Health (Cris/Fiocruz). For Augusto Paulo Silva, coordinator of Cris/Fiocruz for Africa and CPLP, this is a cooperation of extreme importance and the laboratory of Inasa is a pioneering project for Guinea-Bissau, which he believes has the potential to become a model in the history of cooperation between Brazil and Africa.