"We are winning", says Luiza Trajano about the fight against covid in Brazil

With the collaboration of Luciana Zaramela

A fundamental part of the United for the Vaccine movement — a civil society initiative that accelerated immunization against covid-19 and helped to structure health centers in more than 4,000 cities in Brazil — Luiza Helena Trajano now outlines projects that will have an impact yet more public health and Brazilian science in the coming years. Today, the Chairman of the Board of Magazine Luiza and the Women of Brazil Group also sees with optimism the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic.

“No one can say that [a covid-19] can’t go back. What I can say is that this cycle is winning,” says Luiza Helena, in an exclusive interview with Canaltech. After all, Brazil already has more than 47% of the population with the complete vaccine scheme — two doses or a single dose immunizing agent — which is equivalent to about 100 million immunized people, according to the Our World in Data platform.

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Women in Brazil have plans for the country’s health and science beyond covid-19 (Image: Reproduction/Magazine Luiza)

However, Trajano reinforces that it is still necessary to “have sense”. This judgment is reflected in wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and being together, but with care. She is even betting on an even more significant improvement in the covid-19 scenario by the end of the year. This should happen with advancing the distribution of booster doses of immunizers to key groups.

“We are very encouraging the third dose for those who can take it. And we are working for the area of ​​science to predict in advance the virus that is coming and to be able to take measures [adequadas] before. I think all countries learned this [com a pandemia da covid-19], were taken by surprise,” explains Trajano about the pandemic scenario and the plans that undoubtedly include the Women of Brazil Group.

In fact, the non-partisan initiative already brings together more than 95 thousand women and, in the coming weeks, it should become an institute. For Luiza, “the institute, well done, will provide conditions to seek funding to fund the health science projects, which have already begun” and should prepare the country for other global health risks.

Future of health and national research

Luiza Trajano defends strategies for the permanence of scientists in Brazil (Image: Reproduction/Artem Podrez/Pexels)

“Our goal is not to let good scientists go and strengthen the scientific area in health. Science is in agriculture and in various places, but we take it in health [como foco]”, says Luiza Trajano about one of the ongoing initiatives of Mulheres do Brasil.

For this, Magalu has already become involved with the sponsorship of two projects focused on covid-19 issues. According to Trajano, one of the initiatives should focus on research to understand how necessary the booster doses are and whether they will need to be applied to the entire population. The other action focuses on the epidemiological surveillance of the coronavirus and, consequently, of its mutations.

With both, the idea is to anticipate possible challenges that may be imposed on Brazilian public health, an experience that Mulheres do Brasil is beginning to accumulate in the area. This is because, throughout the year, the United for the Vaccine movement — created by the Group — was in contact with more than 4,000 city halls to understand the issues needed to accelerate vaccination against covid-19 in the country, such as structural barriers and bottlenecks of the Unified Health System (SUS).

Keeping an eye on SUS

Based on this intense experience with the SUS, Mulheres do Brasil also plans to support changes in the free healthcare network for Brazilians, through civil society. “Our fight will be to transform the SUS”, says Trajano. The idea is for the transformations to take place “the same is happening with the Central Bank, which has a career plan”, he explains about one of the points to be addressed.

Another idea, presented by Trajano, is to offer “a 10-year strategic plan for Brazil, from 2022 to 2032, with four pillars: health, education, employment — I’m not even calling it the economy — and housing”. For this, inspirations and models come from different parts of the world, such as Japan and Singapore, always relying on the will and energy of Brazil.

Source: Our World in Data

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