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The municipality of Lule celebrates the centenary of the birth of Laura Ayres

Opening session of celebrations on June 1

Had she been alive, Laura Ayres, the famous doctor and researcher who was the face of the fight against the AIDS problem in Portugal, would have turned 100 on Wednesday, 1 June.

To celebrate the life and work of this Loulé woman, Lule City Councilin partnership with several entities, begins on this day a commemorative program that will last for a year (until May 2023).

The festive opening session of the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Laura Ayres will take place in the Municipal Assembly Hall of Lule, starting at 5:00 pm, with the launch of the commemorative stamp of this ephemeris, presented by Correos de Portugal.

After the welcoming session of Lule Municipal Council President, Carlos Silva Gómez, it was the turn of Dr. Rui Lourenço, Commissioner for the Centenary Celebrations, to open the proceedings. This is followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the entities participating in this initiative: the municipality of Lule, the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA), the National School of Public Health of the University of Nova de Lisbon (ENSP- Nova), the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Algarve, and the Regional Directorate for Culture In the Algarve and Drª Laura Ayres School Group (Quarteira).

The former Minister of Health, Antonio Correa de Campos, is the keynote speaker and has been invited to give an opening speech, even before the screening of the documentary “Laura Ayres – Stories of a Life”.

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The Roundtable “Testimonials of Life” will feature five personalities who will discuss the work and personality of Laura Ayres: Ambassador Jorge Ayres Rosa de Oliveira, son of honor, Francisco Jorge, former Director-General of Health, Francesca Aviles, AIDS researcher. virus, Anna Jorge, former health minister, and Jorge Torgal, infectious disease specialist and public health specialist.

The session concluded with a speech by the mayor lollyViter Alexo, For This Brilliant Woman of Lully, was awarded posthumously in 1993, with the Municipal Medal of Merit – Gold Class.

Also on this day, at 3:00 pm, the exhibition Laura Ayres 1922-2022″ will be inaugurated, open to the public at the Escola Secundária Drª Laura Ayres, in Quarteira, an educational institution that has embraced this inescapable name for health in Portugal as her shepherd.

During the next year, different entities will carry out different activities within the scope of the festivities, focusing on the establishment of an annual lecture at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Algarve, which will be held at the beginning of each academic year and starting next September with Prof. Dr. Henrique de Barros, Chairman of the National Health Council.

Laura Guilhermina Martins Ayres was born in Luli, in the diocese of São Sebastião, on June 1, 1922. She graduated in medicine from the Lisbon Medical School, in 1946, and began a long and prestigious career, as a virologist, epidemiologist, and professor of public health, teaching at the Multiple Nursing Schools, at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Lisbon, currently the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Nova de Lisbon, and at the National School of Public Health.

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He also became prominent in the field of research, focusing on his work on polio, influenza and rubella, specifically on congenital rubella, and the creation, organization and development of the Laboratory of Virology at the Higher Institute of Higiene, now the National Institute of Health..

She was also the founder and director of the National Influenza Center, the National Registry of Congenital Anomalies, and the Epidemiological Surveillance Center for Infectious Diseases.

With the outbreak of the first cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the early eighties, Professor Laura Ayres quickly realized the importance of research in this disease, having worked since 1983 to establish a laboratory at INSA that would allow the discovery and confirmation of cases that occurred, which naturally led to The Working Group, and later, the AIDS Control Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Health.

Her entitlement, as a physician, researcher, and as a woman of public cause, makes Laura Ayres a figure of particular importance in our contemporary history. His dedication and work, both publicly and institutionally recognized, earned him an award, from the Portuguese state, of Officer and Senior Officer of the Santiago da Espada Military Order, in 1990 and 1992, respectively.