Flávia Bueno (TGHN)
In 2016, for the first time in Latin America, Brazil was the epicenter of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The unusual increase in babies born with microcephaly and other neurological disorders initially attracted the attention of bedside doctors in the Northeast; months later, the world looked at the country and its babies with concern.
This was clearly a public health emergency, but it demanded a coordinated and interdisciplinary response. Firstly, due to the environmental character of the etiological agent, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which for decades has transmitted endemic diseases such as dengue. Second, for its biological character; children and mothers affected by the disease. But, mainly, due to its social aspect, and the impact on the life and surroundings of the affected families that would last forever.
The Zika Social Sciences Network was created gathering efforts by researchers, institutions and society to respond to these questions from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities. Its focus is the repercussions and consequences of the Zika epidemic on science, health and society. Considering these implications, its main objective is to investigate the social, political and epistemological processes related to the impact of the Zika virus epidemic, treating the situation as a social and health problem in Brazil, but also as a global health issue.
In all these years of work, the Network brought together about 60 researchers, from 10 units of Fiocruz and 15 external institutions, in addition to representatives of civil society. More than 30 bibliographic productions were published, including articles, chapters and books; 8 events were organized, in addition to the production of technical guidelines and databases.
The Zika Network virtual space will be the place where all this collection will be published. Its inauguration is very symbolic when Fiocruz celebrates its 120th anniversary and represents the renewal of the Network's mission for the study and intervention on emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.