2019 Medtrop-Parasito opens perspectives for integration of science, education and technology
Congress addresses a response to the difficult institutional political-economic scenario faced in Brazil, given the great restriction of funding for Science, Technology & Innovation, as well as health and especially education07/05/2019
This year, the 55th Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (MedTrop) will be held simultaneously with the XXVI Brazilian Congress of Parasitology, with the 34th Meeting of Applied Research in Chagas Disease and 22nd Meeting of Applied Research in Leishmaniasis (ChagasLeish2019) and with the 4th Brazilian Social Forum for Confronting Infectious and Neglected Diseases. The program of the event will have 13 axes, that is, 13 simultaneous sessions, something unusual for MedTrop, plus Chagas Leish, totaling 15. To find out more about the 2019 MedTrop-Parasito, the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (BSTM) communication advisory spoke to the presidents of the 55th MedTrop, Dr. Rosália Morais Torres and Dr. Walderez Dutra. Check the full interview below:
SBMT: The theme of the conference Convergence and inclusion: in search of sustainable solutions for the diagnosis, treatment and control of tropical diseases opens perspectives for the integration of science, education and technology seeking, in interdisciplinarity, health benefits, for development the individual and the society. Can you tell us why you chose this theme?
Dr. Rosália Morais Torres: The theme reflects the main challenges that science faces today: the need and responsibility to be inclusive, to commit to society and the needs of people, of the neglected populations. The advances and all the technology that we have today lead us to consider transdisciplinarity as an essential element to reach these objectives. This congress is transdisciplinary and inclusive in its essence, by adding Tropical Medicine and Parasitology.
SBMT: Which other issues do you think will be highlighted?
Dr. Walderez Dutra: The 2019 MedTrop-Parasito will address themes traditionally addressed at both congresses, ranging from basic parasitology to patient care. Taking advantage of the proposed interdisciplinarity, we highlight the several conferences involving translational research, which illustrates the value of scientific interactions to find solutions for direct application to affected populations. The congress also highlights the technological advances applied to research, health, education and scientific dissemination. Current issues, such as the influence of migratory crises on health and the resistance developed by several of the pathogens associated with tropical diseases, will also have a special attention.
SBMT: Could you tell us a bit about the events schedule?
Dr. Rosalia Morais Torres: The fact that this years congress embraces two simultaneous events – the Brazilian Congress of Tropical Medicine and the Brazilian Congress of Parasitology – brought an unusual diversity in the program in relation to the themes and their approaches. Elaborating the program was a challenge for the coordination of the three events in order to seek the most comprehensive and inclusive tune and solutions, always keeping the focus on the central theme of the Congress: Convergence and inclusion: in search of sustainable solutions for diagnosis, treatment and control of tropical diseases.
The program of the event was built based on thematic axes. Among them, we can mention some: Politics and education; Environment and Epidemiology, Entomology, Clinical medicine, Parasitology, Immunology. In this way, depending on the aspect to be discussed, a subject can be approached in several axes. For example, the epidemiological aspects of malaria will be treated on one axis, the clinical aspects of the disease will be addressed in the clinical axis and, their vectors, in another axis. This is a different proposal, the solution we found to address as many topics as possible that would interest the two congresses, converging on a single proposal.
SBMT: How has it been to organize this historic congress (which occurs simultaneously with other major events) in times of crisis?
Dr. Rosália Morais Torres: At the same time, it has been an honor and a great challenge. We know that the country is experiencing a moment of crisis; the contingency of resources strongly affected Brazilian science and was reflected in a significant reduction of funds for research and scientific events in general. This was exactly one of the main reasons for joining the two congresses: making both viable in a challenging economic context. Our position has been to get around financial problems by seeking all possible partnerships and solutions compatible with this new reality.
SBMT: How are the final preparations for 2019 Medtrop-Parasito?
Dr. Rosália Morais Torres: This is an important moment, as we are promoting the Congress schedule, which is always one of the greatest challenges for its coordinators. We are working with enthusiasm to disclose the event, because we are convinced that the program is exceptional, approaching highly relevant and exciting scientific topics, always chosen in light of the central theme. In order to give more researchers opportunities, we have extended the deadline for submissions until May 30, and we hope to have a greater number of researchers and a significant number of submissions.
SBMT: Could you advance the number of participants so far?
Dr. Rosália Morais Torres: So far, we have about 2000 people registered.
SBMT: When the joint meeting of the 2019 MedTrop, the XXVI Brazilian Congress of Parasitology (Brazilian Society of Parasitology) and the 2019 ChagasLeish Applied Research Meeting, was approved at the SBMT assembly, you assumed a great responsibility. Hosting simultaneous events, besides creating opportunities to congregate researchers from related areas, further strengthens Brazilian Science and sovereignty in the search for solutions to critical problems. It is mainly a response to the difficult institutional political-economic scenario faced in the country, in the face of great funding cutbacks for Science, Technology & Innovation, as well as health and especially education. All the congresses, which would maintain the respective identities and missions of the participating Medical Societies, will benefit from this partnership, in particular from the organization regarding logistical aspects to optimize resources, in order to sustain the high scientific quality of these events. Missing less than two months for the 2019 Medtrop-Parasito, what are your expectations?
Dr. Walderez Dutra: We recognize and live, in this organizational process, the challenge of dealing with budget constraints. However, in a positive way, the association of events, initially stimulated by this scenario, allowed us to create a program in fact convergent in interests, and at the same time, diverse. Thus, researchers from both societies will be able to inquire about specific aspects of their areas, but will have, in a very special way, the opportunity to participate in sessions that bring broad interests. In this sense, our expectation is that this program will instigate future interdisciplinary collaborations, which will make the search for solutions to tropical diseases more efficient. In terms of participation, the 2019 MedTrop-Parasito brings a list of top-level Brazilian and foreign researchers, recognized for excellence in their areas of expertise. Therefore, our expectation is that this excellent programming will attract a significant number of participants of the whole community. We want this congress to be marked as an important way to stimulate collaborations and interactions between people from all over the world.
SBMT: Would you like to leave a little final message?
Dr. Walderez Dutra: We are waiting for you all at UFMG, in Belo Horizonte, for a great scientific meeting that will be the 2019 MedTrop-Parasito. Submit your papers and come discuss important issues with an international, interdisciplinary and interested community. It will be our pleasure to welcome you in our home.
Dr. Rosália Morais Torres: The mountains and Minas and the cordiality of the people of Minas Gerais are waiting for you!
Check out the complete schedule: https://www.medtrop-parasito2019.com.br/conteudo/view?ID_CONTEUDO=451…