Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, played a leading role in Brazil events on schistosomiasis
27 AUG 2018
Through a series of meetings and events in Brazil, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, through the Global Health Institute, showcased, once more, its strong commitment in the fight against schistosomiasis and other infectious diseases
Our companies current engagement in infectious diseases, with focus on schistosomiasis, continues to be recognized by the global health and schistosomiasis community.
The integrated approach for innovative health solutions for vulnerable populations and the relevant programs led by the Global Health Institute have raised increasing interests by key stakeholders worldwide who were in Brazil at the occasion of the 15th International Symposium on Schistosomiasis (August 1-3, 2018, Rio de Janeiro).
In Brazil, schistosomiasis persists as a public health problem. It is a largely neglected disease, although it is of considerable relevance, especially in the poorest regions of the country.
The Symposium in Rio, which represents the main scientific conference of the year devoted uniquely to schistosomiasis, covered a range of topics: from innovations (in genomics, immunopathology, biochemistry, molecular biology and epidemiology) to recent progresses in diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
It was the perfect opportunity for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to present the progresses of the R&D schistosomiasis-related programs including: the drug discovery activities for new candidates, the new pediatric praziquantel formulation project (run through a Consortium of partners), the work for highly sensitive and specific diagnostic detection methods, the early research gene editing approach.
A booth throughout the symposium also allowed to exchange additional details on the Institute and its programs.
At the occasion of the 15th International Symposium on Schistosomiasis, representatives from the Institute and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Brazil joined forces for exchanges with partners in Brazil. The meeting with Fiocruz Presidency triggered the opportunity for new collaborations; the one with the Farmanguinhos Director and Management allowed to foster our ongoing partnership in the context of the Consortium Pediatric Praziquantel program. The Information Session at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Brazil in Rio was the opportunity to raise further awareness on Global Health.
In addition, on August 2nd, a reception event warmly celebrated the Global Health Institute. In presence of high caliber representations from International organizations and Brazilian government, as well as representatives from global health institutions and academia, the event succeeded in enhancing Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany,’s position in the global health and schistosomiasis field.
Figure 2: on top, the speakers at the MGHI reception: (from left) Jorge Souza Mendonça (Farmanguinhos), Jeann-Marie Marcelino (Brazil Ministry of Health), Takafira Mduluza (University of Zimbabwe); below, our team: (from left) Mayra Barreto, Bruno Souza, Fabienne Teixera, Caterine Bravo, Priscila Rodrigues, Jutta Reinhard-Rupp, Elly Kourany-Lefoll, Flavio Valente; bottom: (from left) Jim Mulry and Claudia Cecalupo at the entrance; then, Jutta Reinhard-Rupp with Farmanguinhos colleagues: Alessandra Lanzillotta Esteves, Jorge Souza Mendonça, Juliana Johansson Soares Medeiros, Daniel Lacerda de Oliveira; next, Claudia Cecalupo with the Symposium’ organizer, Tereza Favre; on the right: Beatrice Greco and Jim Mulry.
The event also promoted an additional Global Health initiative.
The lanyards for the participants were necklaces made up of beads created 100% recycled paper and handcrafted by Masai women in Southern Kenya. The purchase we made provides sustainable income for the women to care for their families as well as 200,000 gallons of clean water (per necklace) – which is so important in the context of the schistosomiasis control and elimination agendas.
This initiative is led by JustoneAfrica which is a non-for-profit organization that cares for orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya by providing access to clean water, education and operational support.
All these events confirmed the significant and long-lasting commitment of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to improving the health of underserved populations who lack access to health services and solutions. Prevention, diagnostics and treatments for schistosomiasis are very high in the agenda of the entire community and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is uniquely positioned to play a crucial role together with its partners.