In a unique partnership, Brazil and China are setting up two joint centers for the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
In Brazil, the center will be located at the highly respected Fiocruz foundation and the one in China at Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital.
CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports.
The initiative is part of an agreement, signed by both countries early this year, to fight epidemics ranging from influenza to tuberculosis.
According to Carlos Morel, Fiocruz Director for Technologic Development in Health, “China and Brazil have been hit by very serious epidemics, particularly Zika in Brazil and SARS and influenza in China, so we have decided to collaborate in order to help and face together this very serious problem of health ”
The agreement aims to tackle infectious diseases that have now become a global challenge.
Dengue, for example, is a virus spread through mosquito bites. It is major health threat in Brazil. This year alone, almost 20,000 cases have been confirmed, according to the Ministry of Health. The virus is also showing up in other countries, including China.
“Travel, airplanes, climate change, for instance, if you raise temperature some insects go to a region where they were not before and insects can be vectors of diseases, Zika, for example is transmitted by insects” said Morel.
Tackling infectious diseases is critical and Fiocruz, being the world’s largest manufacturer of the yellow fever vaccine, also plans to develop new prevention projects with the help of China.
“I think this agreement between the countries will allow us to discover new viruses that could be a menace to the world and to create new vaccines” said Marcos Freire, the institute’s Scientific Adviser.
Experts say that health cooperation is now key with the threat posed by epidemics growing along-side increased globalization.