Daniel Lang is the ZIKAction scientific local coordinator in Brazil.
Information nowadays is the most precious element for the success of any activity as we all know.
In order to optimize the activities of ZIKAction in Brazil, the project management team organized a Brazilian counterpart led by me, Daniel Lang, and including local project managers Ana Carolina Gomes* and Heloisa Setta**.
We started our work by obtaining as much information as possible about the different local realities and all barriers we should overcome to determine a successful working plan. One does not realize how realities may differ from region to region, even in the same country, and especially for a country as Brazil with continental dimensions. Hence, visiting each site and getting to know personally each key player was fundamental to initiate supporting the program.
The two sites – Santa Casa in Sao Paulo and Cesar Cals in Fortaleza – were visited and connections with supportive working groups were made, mainly through FIOCRUZ investigators, Secretary of State of Ceará, Financial Project Managers, and the ZIKAction team.
The local teams are highly motivated and centralizing and disseminating information in a fast way are crucial to establish an effective and productive communication pathway.
Each site has its own barriers to overcome.
In Sao Paolo, the bureaucracy of Santa Casa Hospital could dramatically slow or even prevent the use of ZIKAction funding properly and rapidly, so the local project managers, Ana Carolina and Heloisa worked hard to identify an external institution that could support the investigators adequately and avoid bureaucracy issues.
Cesar Cals Hospital in Fortaleza is linked to the Secretary of Health of Ceará, so in order to have the ZIKA-VT and other study protocols approved, a detailed program had to be designed, organized, approved and published in the federal newspaper, the “Diário Oficial da União” as a public way of documenting public programs.
At present the regulatory submission process of the VT protocol is about to end and we expect to be ready to start enrolments in San Paulo and Fortaleza in the next season, to be initiated around November.
Early in July the team of TGHN, namely Trudie Lang and Leandro Abade visited the local sites in the country and established the first face to face connection with the team in Fortaleza. The REDe connection was settled!
We look forward to supporting all other ZIKAction protocols in the region as well as to assist REDe to hire its local coordinator in Fortaleza!
*Ana Carolina Gomes is senior analyst for international cooperation and international projects at Fiotec/Fiocruz, and consultant for negotiation and implementation of international programmes and grants, with expertise in projects funded by the European Commission.
**Heloisa Setta is consultant for project management and administrative and financial aspects of international projects, with expertise in projects funded by the European Commission.