President of MedTrop 2018, Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho, celebrates record number of participants

Congress promoted a broad programming on topics relevant to society, bringing together national and international scientific community to discuss various issues related to communicable diseases and how to face them


the 54° MedTrop gathered researchers, students, health managers professionals of all Brazilian States, mainly from the Northeast, as well as international representatives from 13 countries

The 54th Edition of the Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (MedTrop) was spectacular and deserves all the honors. The president, Dr. Stella Pinto Barrios Son, celebrated the record number of participants and their enthusiasm while saying that the event has exceeded all expectations in the number of participants and that this is already, historically, the largest issue in the 56 years of the SBMT.

The President of the MedTrop spoke to the SBMT press advisory. Check out the complete interview.

SBMT: How to define a Congress that surpassed the expectations of the organizers?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: The congress confirmed all work dedicated for over 11 months in intense coordination between the Organizing Committee and the Scientific Committees for the construction of a comprehensive and high-quality program, which resulted in great interest to join our Congress, along with the opportunity of having four extremely relevant satellite events that brought an additional audience to the Congress.

SBMT: During the opening ceremony of the Medtrop, the Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, emphasized we must reach universal access to means to detect communicable diseases in the Americas and early treatment. In addition, he stressed that MedTrop is a bridge between research and public health. Would you like to comment on these statements?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: This statement meets the goals of the BSTMs Congress, to associate the scientific community to professionals from health surveillance services in the several government stages, to join these efforts for knowledge creation and the application of this knowledge to enhance control actions against several public health problems.

SBMT: In the Congress, details of the tests initiated in the USA involving a single vaccine against zika and dengue in humans was disclosed. How do you perceive this?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: With great optimism and enthusiasm, because zika and other arboviral diseases as dengue and chikungunya have a strong incidence in the Country and are major public health challenges.  This way, all efforts in finding a vaccine should be encouraged, as it is the most appropriate way to avoid the infection in susceptible populations.

SBMT: In the MedTrop was presented the new antiviral drug, already approved in Japan, and that is about to be released in the United States: the Baloxavir marboxil. In your opinion, what is the meaning of releasing a research of early intervention of the drug in hospital care during the Medtrop?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: All the advances to obtain new inputs for coping with infectious diseases are welcome, especially for diseases that affect neglected populations, where the pharmaceutical industry has no interest in investing in the development of new drugs.

SBMT: Another important announcement made in a conference during the congress was regarding the efforts of PAHO to eliminate cervical cancer (HPV) until 2030. Would you like to comment?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: in the same line of the previous answer.

SBMT: Trachoma was another tropical disease put in the spotlight during MedTrop: Brazil has evolved a lot in trachoma prevention. However, as long as the disease is not eliminated, there is always a risk that problems (such as blindness) will succeed. There is no use teaching children to wash their hands if they do not have access to water or soap. And preventing (trachoma) is achieved by measures easy to be deployed. The poor control of the disease is related to poor sanitation conditions . What you would have to add to that statement?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: sanitation is the most appropriate measure to prevent the incidence and transmission of most communicable diseases, in this sense, we had two excellent round tables that presented a wide discussion and data about the situation in Brazil, including the urgency and need for investments in this field.

SBMT: the first day of scientific activities in Congress debated the triple epidemic, that put Pernambuco in the world discussions related to public health. Would you like to comment?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: Our scientific communitys ability was notorious and recognized in responding to the arboviral diseases epidemics and we stress all the work dedicated for the past three years in the confrontation of these major public health challenges.

SBMT: Biologists from four Brazilian States discussed during the round table that addressed the epidemiology and treatment of accidents by poisonous animals in Brazil. At that time, they denounced lack of material, training and attention to the urgent matters of serum therapy.  What do you think about this?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: Again, the need of investments in science and public laboratories to produce the materials demanded by the Ministry of Health to offer vaccines and drugs in the Unified Health System (SUS) and ensure its strengthening.

SBMT: What is the lesson that the 54° MedTrop leaves for a manager with your experience in organizing scientific events, including international events?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: All dedicated and realized work was worth the success of another event as relevant as Medtrop 2018. This is a success of our scientific community, of public health, the SUS and the strengthening of the BSTM:

SBMT: Would you like to add a message to the organizing committee, to the speakers and participants of the 55th Medtrop, that will be held in Belo Horizonte in the first half of next year?

Dr. Sinval Pinto Brandão Filho: We must dedicate the same effort and mobilization to our colleagues in Minas Gerais so we can have a special edition as we had in Pernambuco.…