“There are epidemics that may emerge in the near future, if there is no multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary cooperation between different countries,” Filomeno Fortes told Lusa, as an example of the Ebola virus case. Worsen”.
The doctor and public health specialist said that all Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP), with the exception of Cape Verde, which have “reasonable” health coverage, have seen faulty health structures mobilize, with priority, the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This had an impact on vaccination coverage against other diseases. Polio, for example, is one of these diseases. Measles is another very important disease in these countries and its coverage has automatically decreased,” he added.
According to Filomeno Fortes, covid-19 also had an effect on “screening of patients with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, in patients diagnosed with tuberculosis and AIDS who stopped taking treatment regularly.”
Faced with this scenario, Philomeno Fortes warned: “We risk that if there is no rapid coverage of these losses in the near future, we will face epidemic situations.”
In this regard, he revealed that the Institute of Health and Tropical Medicine (IHMT) is currently negotiating with Angola, which holds the rotating presidency of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), which will take place later this year, in October. , in a symposium/workshop on primary health care, in which participants from all CPLP countries participate.
The goal is to “update health indicators and strategies to reduce this impact” on health caused by the coronavirus.
The IHMT is also preparing the organization, at the CPLP level, for a course on molecular epidemiology.
“This molecular epidemiology appears as a priority, after the example we got from the Covid-19 pandemic and will be a very important tool for our countries in the response, prevention and early detection of epidemics or epidemics in the future,” explained Philomeno Fortes. .
“We are also involved in a research project with some of these countries – Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique – in relation to the coronavirus itself and in relation to the neglected tropical diseases, which are naturally also exacerbated by this emergency,” he added. .
On April 24, 1902, the College of Tropical Medicine was established by law, which would become IHMT, which was the fourth school of Tropical Medicine to be established in the world.
On the eve of the celebration to mark the 120th anniversary of the establishment of this institution, Filomeno Fortes confirmed that the Institute has put together a very strong holdings and bibliographical collection more than 120 years old which represents all the scientific work developed in the former Portuguese colonies.
“The initial task of this institute, the School of Tropical Medicine, was to study the tropical diseases that afflicted the Portuguese during the colonial period who were destined for the former colonies,” he said.
Today, IHMT’s mission is to provide services to the community in the field of tropical diseases.
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