Rio Grande do Norte has been ranked as one of the six best states in Brazil in using science to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The state had a score of 9.2, behind Paraiba, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo and tied with Espiritu Santo.
The data are the result of the work “Science and pseudoscience during the Covid-19 epidemic: The role of ‘knowledge brokers’ in state government policies in Brazil”, issued by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and implemented by researcher Rodrigo Fracalosi de Moraes.
The study evaluated the performance of the scientific committees and their interaction with the authorities responsible for implementing the anti-Covid-19 policies in the states. The butiguarius committees working with the State Departments of Public Health (Sesap) and Education were evaluated. In the survey conducted, RN emerged with the best indicators in terms of transparency and commissions impact, among others.
The state also scored best for excluding the use of unscientific measures, such as recommending a putative “early treatment group/Covid virus” or pursuing herd immunity.
The document concludes by praising CISABB’s initiative in forming a government committee of experts with a reference specialist with backgrounds in various fields.
The committee is still working, bringing together experts from universities and the Sesap administration, and holding regular meetings where the epidemic situation is monitored, the scenario evaluated and possible actions recommended.
“The result of this survey by Ipea shows how worthwhile the choice of science is. The result achieved is the result of the joint work of the Sesap administration and all the professionals helping us so far. The creation of the commission is a position taken at the beginning of the epidemic that has saved and continues to save lives. That leads to many other positive public health outcomes for the state as a whole,” State Minister for Public Health Cipriano Maia stated.
From this interaction between the state and academia emerged important tools used by public health in the fight against the epidemic – which are being expanded to include everyday use.
One of them is the Regula RN platform, created in partnership between Sesap and the Laboratory for Technological Innovation in Health at the Federal University of the RN (LAIS-UFRN). The system provided an unprecedented management model for the family in the public health network, with complete transparency and agility, which helps save lives across the country, in addition to providing permanent monitoring to the whole community on the state of the Covid family in the country during a pandemic period.
The Regula RN ecosystem is being expanded, in a project that also includes researchers from the Advanced Center for Technological Innovation (Navi) and the Foundation for the Support of Education and Technological Development of RN (Funcern) – both from the Federal Institute of RN (UFRN). The new system will streamline all public health beds in the state’s network, as well as schedule highly complex tests and surgeries.
Another fruit of the partnership is the RN+ vaccine. The integrated system Sesap and municipalities to provide more speed and clarity in the dissemination of data from the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 and influenza in the country, with data update in real time and an information system available to every citizen, with the issue of proof of vaccination.
With the RN+ vaccine, in the most transparent way, at any time, citizens can see the level of immunization in their state or municipality against covid-19, both for the general public, aged over 18 and between 12 and 17, and split between the first doses The second and the third.
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