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WHO Director meets with Lula and Minister of Health this Monday | Brazil

President Lula and the director general of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom GhebreyesusRicardo Stuckert/PR

Published 05/02/2024 09:18

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, meets this Monday, 5th, with president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), at Palácio do Planalto. Adhanom also meets with the Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade. The meetings take place amid the increase in dengue cases in the country.

Officially, Adhanom’s visit to Brazil is for the launch of the Plan for the Elimination of Socially Determined Diseases, a ministry initiative to combat diseases that especially affect vulnerable populations, such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and leprosy. However, members of the government say that it will be inevitable to discuss the dengue situation in Brazil.

Recently, the Ministry of Health began operating a emergency center to coordinate actions against dengue and monitor its spread.

The increase in cases worries authorities, with the numbers for January this year significantly exceeding those for the same period last year. 232,900 cases were identified in the first four epidemiological weeks of 2024, compared to 65,366 in the same period of 2023, representing a growth of 252%.

This Monday, the Rio city hall declared a state of public health emergency due to the disease. Last Friday, the 2nd, it was the disease epidemic became official, with more than 11 thousand confirmed cases and record hospitalizations. Throughout 2023, there were 22,959 cases. The number of hospitalizations broke a record in the first month of the year, with 362 patients hospitalized in the city.

The Minister of Health highlighted the importance of coordination between health managers to contain this increase, especially with Carnival and the return to school approaching. On Saturday, the minister discussed a partnership with the director of the Butantan Institute, Esper Kallás, and the president of Fiocruz, Mario Moreira, aiming to increase the production of the dengue vaccine.

A immunization with the Qdenga vaccine is scheduled to begin this month, without a date set yet. The campaign will be aimed at children and adolescents aged 10 to 14 in areas with a high incidence of the disease, covering 521 municipalities.

Adhanom will be accompanied by the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Jarbas Barbosa.

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