To promote health and social development, to forge and disseminate scientific and technological knowledge, to be an agent of citizenship. These are the concepts that have guided Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, known as Fiocruz), attached to the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the most prominent science and technology health institution in Latin America.
Inaugurated on May 25, 1900 under the name of Federal Serotherapy Institute, Fiocruz was given the mission of fighting the great problems of public health in Brazil. Therefore, Fiocruz became a think tank concerned with the Brazilian reality and experimental medicine.
Today the institution is responsible for a range of activities which include research development; highly-regarded hospital and ambulatory care services; production of vaccines, drugs, reagents, and diagnostic kits; education and training of human resources; information and communication in the area of health, science and technology; quality control of products and services, and the implementation of social programs. It has over 11,000 employees and health professionals with different levels of involvement, a workforce proud of being at the service of life.
Democracy and diversity
Fiocruz is based at a 800,000-square meter campus in Manguinhos, a neighborhood in the northern of Rio de Janeiro city. Around the three historical buildings of the old Federal Serotherapy Institute – the Moorish Pavilion, the Clock Pavilion and the Mews -, are located ten of Fiocruz’s sixteen technical-scientific units and all the technical and administrative support units. The other ones are located in five brazilian capitals (Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife, Manaus, and Curitiba), and in Maputo, Mozambiques's capital .
Apart from these fixed units, Fiocruz is present in the whole country through its proposals on public health policy-making, by supporting Sistema Único de Saúde (Unified Health System, the Brazilian public health system), research activities, scientific expeditions and the reach of its health services and products.
The Internal Congress, with about 300 leaders and representatives elected by the units, is the highest authority in Fiocruz. Under the leadership of the institution’s president, the Congress takes decisions related to strategic matters, such as institutional projects and any change in the Statutes or the Bylaws.