VIII REDE-TB virtual workshop: Science and Technology facing the pandemic

The virtual space will be a way to encourage research regarding advances and challenges for the elimination of tuberculosis and the mitigation of its impact on vulnerable populations


Despite the changes caused by the coronavirus, interest in science has grown in proportion to the worsening of the pandemic

Suddenly the routines were, and still are, completely changed. The pandemic has changed the way we live, interact and work. We are adapting to new ways of living, alone and with others. Thus, the VIII National Workshop of the Brazilian Network for Research in Tuberculosis REDE-TB followed this trend and will be held virtually, simultaneously with the 56th Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (MEDTROP Play 2021), which will be held between October 25th and 28th.

The vice president of REDE-TB, Dr. Ricardo Alexandre Arcêncio, associate professor at the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing (EERP-USP), explains that despite the changes caused by the coronavirus, interest in science has grown in proportion to the worsening of the pandemic. “At this moment, scientific production is crucial. We need to put science and technology against the pandemic. The scientific community has been playing its role in the search for evidence in research on Tuberculosis, the exchange of knowledge and social mobilization are fundamental for the advance in the control of the disease in the country. Thats why REDE-TB chose to hold the Workshop in a virtual environment”, he adds.

Also according to him, the events objective is to stimulate and strengthen academic debate on the topic of Tuberculosis, as well as to promote the integration of teaching, research, service and management. We want to promote the exchange of experiences and information between professionals, managers, researchers, academics and civil society on the advances and challenges of TB in order to foster debate and add knowledge, and this way, translate knowledge into practice and public policies, says the vice president.

In this regard, preparations are progressing. Dr. Silvana Spindola, full professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), coordinator of the Diagnosis area of REDE TB and member of the scientific committee of the VIII Workshop, emphasizes that the idea of providing participants with a virtual space for the exhibition of their works will be a way to encourage research regarding advances and challenges for the elimination of Tuberculosis and the mitigation of its impacts on vulnerable populations. For her, this will be an excellent opportunity to bring together organizations, universities, research institutions, industries, NGOs, associations interested in participating in the process, as well as promoting investments in Tuberculosis research.

For Dr. Anna Cristina Calçada Carvalho, researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz), member of the TB Area in Pediatrics at REDE-TB and the Scientific Committee, the realization of the VIII Workshop in parallel with the activities of MEDTROP Play will update and improve knowledge of the researchers, students and professionals in different areas of knowledge related to health, throughout the process of assisting, caring, evaluating and treating Tuberculosis. Our program foresees current debates based on the most robust and current evidence, from the standpoint of the guests, as well as panels with renowned national and international experts, with a broad and unique language, in interconnection with the demands of society and in the perspective of interprofessionalism and multidisciplinarity”, she emphasizes. The program will also include a conference with Dr. Antônio Ruffino Netto, professor at the University of São Paulo (USP) and coordinator of the Epidemiology Area of REDE-TB, who will address the creation and trajectory of REDE-TB, which this year completes 20 years of existence.

Regarding the participation of students from different levels of education (undergraduate, stricto sensu and/or lato sensu), Dr. Monica Kramer, a researcher at the National School of Public Health (Ensp/Fiocruz), a member of the Area of TB in Pediatrics at REDE-TB and also a member of the Scientific Committee, sees it as an opportunity that can arouse even more interest in research, as well as introduce the innovations brought at the event into their praxis. For her, this is based on the fact that, for example, the 2018 National Workshop, held simultaneously with MEDTROP, brought together around 800 applicants. To this moment, the VIII Workshop already has more than 300 registrations.

REDE-TBs National Workshops have become a reference in the Brazilian calendar and in discussions on research on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, with a history traced over almost 20 years. In partnership with development agencies, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Ministry of Health, in addition to international cooperation, REDE-TB events have always been based on the priority proposal of interdisciplinary and intersectoral work to promote interaction between government, academia, health service providers, civil society and industry, in order to develop and implement new technologies and strategies to improve the control of Tuberculosis across the country. At each event, REDE-TB renews itself, through the insertion of new actors and new scientific and technological knowledge brought at its conferences, which, in conjunction with civil society, strengthens its mission to control the disease and advance public and definitions of strategic actions in the health agenda, always seeking to mitigate and alleviate the human suffering resulting from the disease”, emphasizes the president of REDE-TB and Professor at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), Dr. Ethel Maciel.

In addition to the VIII National Workshop of the Brazilian Network for Research on Tuberculosis REDE-TB, there are also: Entomol8, ChagasLeish, National Meeting on Research on Malaria, 4th Brazilian Social Forum on Combating Infectious and Neglected Diseases and COVID-19. Forum. Participation in satellite events, which took place simultaneously with the Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine, expands the participation of the audience and enables the integration of groups. They represented an excellent opportunity for participants to exchange their expertise, discuss possible partnerships in other areas and in collaborative projects. Among the activities of MEDTROP PLAY, 16 pre-congress courses, 24 conferences, 48 mini-courses, 72 round tables and the presentation of free themes and E-posters are planned.