CGHH Report on Fiocruz Events

Posted on 18 May 2016

CGHH is delighted to report new developments arising from the recent GHH and GHES seminars held at Fiocruz in Brazil, in conjunction with the WHO.

The latest Global Health Ethics Seminar and also the latest Global Health Histories Seminar were recently held with much acclaim at Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro.

The 4th GHES Seminar focused on issues of ‘Bioethics,’ in a webinar format that allowed a global audience to watch the discussion live and interact with speakers. This event featured a panel of spekaers, including: 

Dr. Carla Saenz (PAHO/WHO Regional Bioethics Advisor) who spoke on “Public Health Ethics: Towards the Integration of Ethics in Health in the Americas”.

Dr. Abha Saxena (Coordinator, Global Health Ethics, WHO) on “Ethics Guidance for responding to epidemics – Lessons from Ebola and Zika.2 And 

Dr. Sergio Rego (Coordinator of the Graduate Program on Bioethics, applied ethics and public health, FIOCRUZ) on “Ethics, public health and emerging diseases: a view from Brazil.” 

This event commenced with a welcome message from Dr. Paulo Gadelha, the President of Fiocruz; Dr. Paulo Elian, the Director of COC; and Prof. Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Director of the University of York Department of History's CGHH. The Bioethics seminar was moderated by Dr. Paulo Buss (Cris/Fiocruz). About the event, participant Dr. Abha Saxena said: “WHO has been reaching out to a wide audience through such webinars for the past one year, but due to differing time-zones, it is often difficult to reach out to our Latin American colleagues. I am therefore very excited about being able to share our work with you, and get your feedback. Ethics being a lot about context and culture, your inputs and insights will be very helpful.”

The 97th GHH Seminar was held the next day, and the topic for discussion this time was Leprosy. The panel of speakers was moderated by Dr. Marcos Cueto (COC/Fiocruz) in a similar webinar format, featuring 

Dr. Mirta Roses Periago (Director of the Pan American Health Organization) who spoke about “The public health legacy of leprosy: teachings and frustrations."

Dr. Rosa Castalia F. R. Soares (CGHDE/DEVIT/SVS-MS) on “Integrated approaches in leprosy: best practices from Brazil.” And 

Dr. Euzenir Sarno (Fiocruz) on “Learning from history to better understand Leprosy”. 

About these events, Professor Deborah Smith (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of York) said “The University of York's strategy puts interdisciplinary collaborative research at the heart of our mission, working to drive innovative global partnerships. The Seminar Series organised by the Centre for Global Health Histories, based in our Department of History, aligns strongly with these ambitions, forging interactions with some of the world's major public health research institutions, including Fiocruz in Brazil. We are delighted to support these Seminars and particularly the recent events focusing on leprosy and bioethics, attracting scholars from across the disciplines to discuss critical issues affecting global health." 

Launch of Leprosy: A Short History

Following the 97th GHH seminar, a launch was held for CGHH’s latest publication, Leprosy: A Short History. Information about the book, including a free download link, is available here.

Leprosy: A Short History presents critical perspectives on the disease, examining leprosy’s impact on society at different times, from the medieval period up to the present day, and from regional, national to local perspectives. The book provides intriguing and thought-provoking examples, which aims to inspire debate and further attention towards the disease and its significant role in the history of public health.

The launch saw the book praised for its innovative content and style. The Brazilian officer in charge of Neglected Tropical Diseases, commented that this book presented complex, policy relevant information in easy to understand forms, and that her own work would be deeply influenced in the future by the insights provided by this publication. This book is the latest in a line of similarly-styled books, including Health for All: The Journey to Universal Health CoverageTropical Diseases: Lessons from History, and Tuberculosis: A Short History.

This book was a collaborative effort between the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories, FIOCRUZ, Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation and The Nippon Foundation. All at CGHH would like to express our gratitude to all of the authors involved in this project, the WHO Global Health Histories initiative and to the University of York’s Department of History, including Dr. Sethina Watson who contributed a chapter to the book, the publisher Orient BlackSwan, and the Wellcome Trust for their generous support of this project.

WHO GHH Seminar Partnership with Fiocruz

Coming out of this event is the splendid news that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH), University of York, UK (also the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories) will take a step further in the internationalisation of the WHO Global Health Histories project. Now, the annual WHO Global Health Histories seminar series, which is rooted in the WHO Regional Office for Europe, will also be held in the Americas, in partnership with Casa de Oswaldo Cruz (COC/Fiocruz), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation’s centre for the history of science and health. The Brazilian institution, located in Rio de Janeiro, will be in charge of the organisation of the events in the continent.

Casa de Oswaldo Cruz’s vice-director of Research, Education and Science Communication, Dr. Magali Romero Sá, explained that this step forward demonstrates how flexible and accommodating different voices and perspectives the project is. “It is very important to include historians, epidemiologists, social scientists and policy makers from all over the world in those discussions. Fiocruz is proud to collaborate with WHO and the CGHH in broadening these debates,” she said.

More information about this exciting GHH seminar news is available here.