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MedTrop 2023: Social Forum, a space for people and communities affected by invisible illnesses

Satellite events offer the opportunity to expand horizons and enrich the experience of participants


One of the main contributions of the Forum is the discussion on the importance of social engagement and active participation of the community in the fight against infectious diseases.

The satellite events of the 58th Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (MEDTROP) are unique opportunities for professionals, researchers and students to delve deeper into specific topics and participate in high-level discussions. These events, held in parallel to the main congress, address current and emerging issues in the field of Tropical Medicine, bringing together renowned specialists and stimulating scientific debate.

The Brazilian Social Forum for Combating Infectious and Neglected Diseases is an extremely important event that brings together specialists, researchers, health professionals and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, with the objective of debating and proposing solutions to the challenges in combating diseases. infectious and neglected diseases and encourage dialogue between different sectors of society in favor of fighting these diseases. The Social Forum seeks to contribute to the formulation of effective strategies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases, as well as to the implementation of comprehensive and inclusive public policies. Furthermore,

For Dr. Alexandre Menezes, epidemiologist and executive director of NHR Brasil, by bringing up the discussion on infectious and neglected diseases, the Social Forum stimulates the mobilization of civil society, governments and academic institutions, promoting a broad reflection on responsibility collectively in building a healthier and more equitable world. “The Brazilian Social Forum for Combating Infectious and Neglected Diseases plays a crucial role in strengthening the fight against these diseases, joining efforts, knowledge and resources in favor of a more just and egalitarian society”, he warns. Still according to him, throughout its editions, the Social Forum has been a remarkable and fundamental event for the discussion and search for solutions related to infectious and neglected diseases in the Brazilian context.

Dr. Menezes recalls that MEDTROP has been chosen as the ideal stage for the Forum, due to its relevance in the field of Tropical Medicine and its potential to attract a diverse and engaged public. “Our main objective is to promote awareness about the infectious diseases that affect the Brazilian population, with an emphasis on those that are neglected and have a significant impact on public health. Diseases such as leprosy, dengue, malaria, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and Chagas disease are widely discussed, with a special focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and control strategies”, he adds. In addition, the challenges faced in combating these diseases are discussed, such as low investment in research, scarcity of resources for prevention and treatment,

Finally, Dr. Menezes emphasizes that one of the main achievements of the Forum is the awareness and engagement of leaders among people affected by these diseases, various sectors of society in the fight against neglected infectious diseases. “The active participation of representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, in addition to the presence of health professionals and academics, has strengthened the discussion and the search for integrated solutions. The Social Forum has also enabled the exchange of experiences and the creation of partnerships, encouraging collaboration and joint work to tackle these diseases more effectively,” he observes. During the event, good practices, innovative strategies and successful initiatives that can be replicated in different regions of Brazil are shared.

At the end of the Forum, recommendations and proposals are prepared to be sent to the competent authorities, with a view to strengthening health policies related to neglected infectious diseases. These recommendations include the need for investments in research and development of new therapies, improving health infrastructure, expanding access to diagnoses and treatments, in addition to strengthening public policies. The Brazilian Social Forum for Confronting Infectious and Neglected Diseases is a landmark in the debate on the subject in Brazil. Through the discussions and propositions presented during the event, it is expected that concrete measures will be adopted to reduce the incidence of these diseases, improve access to adequate diagnosis and treatment, and promote equity in the care of affected populations.