BSTM announces the winners of the 2019 Tropical Journalist Award

Luiz Henrique da Silva Gomes, Valéria Dias da Silva, Éricka Flávia Marques de Araújo and Ana Graziela Aguiar are, in this order, the winners of the printed media, online, radio and TV categories.


This years edition had 89 contending articles: 30 in the Online category; 26 in the TV category; 25 in the Printed category and 8 in the Radio category

For four months, the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (BSTM) received submissions of reports to compete for the 2019 Tropical Journalist Award in four categories: Printed media, Online, Radio and TV. The reports were evaluated by a judging committee composed of three specialists in Tropical Medicine, all members of the SBMT, plus the coordinator of the BSTM’s communication advisory.

After a careful analysis of the 89 reports, the Commission chose as the winner of the printed category, among the three finalists, the article Search for a response to viruses , by journalist Luiz Henrique da Silva Gomes, published in the newspaper Tribuna do Norte , on March 30 2019. According to the report, tests performed on six patients confirmed the presence of the Chikungunya virus, but infectologists from the state health network and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) who studied the case did not rule out other hypotheses and pointed out four possibilities.

Click here to access the article Search for a virus response .

In the Online category, among the three finalists, the winner was the special report In Acre, USP investigates malaria and the health of mothers and their babies, by journalist Valéria Dias da Silva, published in the USP Journal on September 13, 2018. The report gathers texts, videos, articles and infographics that describe three projects of the University of São Paulo (USP) held in Mâncio Lima and Cruzeiro do Sul, cities of Acre that lead malaria case numbers in Brazil. These studies are carried out by researchers from two USP units: The Institute of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Public Health.

Find here the special report In Acre, USP researches malaria and the health of mothers and their babies .

Individual reports

Malaria Project

USP investigates malaria where the disease most occurs in Brazil

Biolarvicides may be an alternative in the fight against malaria 

Playlist with the three videos on the malaria project 

Mothers and babies health project

A thousand days of life: USP accompanies the health of mothers and babies in Acre 



Malaria scares Brazil again. What does the University have to do with it? 

Food in early life: a window into the future 

Children and tropical fevers: 15 years of research by USP in Acre 

In the TV category, among the three finalists, the winner was the report Chagas disease: the sickening of the heart, by journalist Ana Graziela Aguiar, aired on TV Brasil, on August 16, 2018. The program Paths of the Report, gave voice to people living with the disease, intending to show that Chagas disease was not in the past. It has not been eliminated and there are still people being infected. Chagas disease is considered one of the neglected diseases, a group of endemic tropical diseases, especially among the poor populations of Africa, Asia and Latin America. To the cardiologist and coordinator of the Chagas disease clinic at the University of Pernambuco, Wilson de Oliveira Junior, the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies it as an extremely neglected disease. In fact, it is not democratic, it is extremely undemocratic because it affects only the poor population. And it is a disease that is generated by poverty and causing more poverty, says the doctor who is also founder of the House of Chagas, the first clinic in the world dedicated entirely to the treatment of disease and the reception of patients. The reporting team was in Recife to visit the clinic, talk to doctors and people living with the disease. In Abaetetuba, Pará, the program met two families who became infected with the disease by eating açaí.

Lack of knowledge leads to difficulty in diagnosis and treatment. A survey by the Médecins Sans Frontières – MSF Brazil, conducted in five Brazilian cities in 2015, found that 32% of the medical professionals in the basic health care units did not know how to diagnose Chagas disease, and less than 14% how to offer proper treatment. To the researcher in Public Health at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) Andreia Silvestre, Brazil needs to know these individuals who have Chagas disease, to know who they are and how many, in order to provide the appropriate treatment. We need to have a look at those millions of patients who have been affected by Chagas disease in the past and who have not received adequate treatment and who today have to live with the chronic disease.

Chagas disease is not eradicable because it is a zoonosis. It can be eliminated (zero incidence), but control measures must be maintained, unlike an eradicated disease, such as smallpox.

Click here to read the report Chagas disease: the sickening of the heart.

Finally, in the recently created Radio category, among the three finalists, the winner was the article Health alerts for vaccination against yellow fever; specialist stresses the importance of vaccination, by journalist Éricka Flavia Marques de Araújo. The report was broadcasted on Radio Brasil Campinas, on February 20, 2019. In this article, the infectious disease doctor Marcelo Nardi Pedro stressed the importance of immunization to prevent an outbreak of the disease in the country and also clarified that the vaccine, although it has some side effects, should not be missed.

Click here for the report Health alerts for vaccination against yellow fever; specialist emphasizes the importance of vaccination.

Besides the prize of R$ 1.500,00 for the winning journalists, the winners from each category are invited to attend the 55th Congress of the BSTM  to receive the title of 2019 Tropical Journalist during the events opening ceremony, which will be held in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, between July 28 and 31.

Who evaluated the reports

The first expert who contributed to the difficult decision to classify the reports was emeritus professor Dr. Pedro Tauil. He holds a PhD in Tropical Medicine from the University of Brasília (UnB), where he is currently a volunteer professor at the Faculty of Medicine and the Graduate Program in Tropical Medicine. Dr. Tauil has experience in the field of collective health, with emphasis on epidemiology, working mainly on the following topics: epidemiology and control of malaria, dengue and yellow fever and epidemiological methodology.

The second specialist who participated in the choices was the Doctor in Tropical Diseases, Researcher and Tropicalist Doctor, André Siqueira. He has a degree in Medicine from the University of Brasília (UnB), a Medical Residency in Infectology from the University of São Paulo (USP), Masters degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (2011) and PhD. in Tropical Diseases from the University of the State of Amazonas (UEA) / Dr. Tropical Medicine Foundation Heitor Vieira Dourado (2014). He is a Researcher at the National Institute of Infectology Evandro Chagas (INI-FIOCRUZ).

The third specialist who assisted in the choice was Professor Dr. Carlos Henrique Nery Costa. He completed a PhD in Tropical Public Health at Harvard University, and was president of BSTM between 2011 and 2013. He is currently a professor at the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI), a physician at the Natan Portella Institute of Tropical Medicine and coordinates the Leishmaniasis Research Laboratory. Dr. Carlos Henrique is also the general coordinator of the BSTMs medias.

The fourth evaluator was journalist Denise de Quadros. She coordinated the Social Communication of the Federal Council of Psychology (CFP), the press of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Mapa) and was head of the Social Communication Office of the Federal Districts State Secretariat for Children (SECriança). Since 2018 she has been working as a communications adviser for the Brazilian Network of Tuberculosis Research – REDE-TB and coordinates the BSTM communication services since 2012.

Click here to know more about the winners of the previous editions and learn more about the Tropical Journalist Award, created by the BSTM in 2014.…