To promote health and social development, to forge and disseminate scientific and technological knowledge, to be an agent of citizenship. These are the concepts that have guided Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, known as Fiocruz), attached to the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the most prominent science and technology health institution in Latin America. Inaugurated on May 25, 1900 under the name of Federal Serotherapy Institute, Fiocruz was given the mission of fighting the great problems of public health in Brazil. Therefore, Fiocruz became a think tank concerned with the Brazilian reality and experimental medicine.
Today the institution is responsible for a range of activities which include research development; highly-regarded hospital and ambulatory care services; production of vaccines, drugs, reagents, and diagnostic kits; education and training of human resources; information and communication in the area of health, science and technology; quality control of products and services, and the implementation of social programs. It has over 11,000 employees and health professionals with different levels of involvement, a workforce proud of being at the service of life.
Democracy and diversity
Fiocruz is based at a 800,000-square meter campus in Manguinhos, a neighborhood in the northern of Rio de Janeiro city. Around the three historical buildings of the old Federal Serotherapy Institute – the Moorish Pavilion, the Clock Pavilion and the Mews -, are located ten of Fiocruz’s sixteen technical-scientific units and all the technical and administrative support units. The other ones are located in five brazilian capitals (Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife, Manaus, and Curitiba), and in Maputo, Mozambiques’s capital.
Apart from these fixed units, Fiocruz is present in the whole country through its proposals on public health policy-making, by supporting Sistema Único de Saúde (Unified Health System, the Brazilian public health system), research activities, scientific expeditions and the reach of its health services and products. The Internal Congress, with about 300 leaders and representatives elected by the units, is the highest authority in Fiocruz. Under the leadership of the institution’s president, the Congress takes decisions related to strategic matters, such as institutional projects and any change in the Statutes or the Bylaws.
Fiocruz Pernambuco was founded in 1950 in the capital Recife, being a technical-scientific unit of the Foundation since 1970. Due its strategic role in the interface of systems science and technology in healthcare has the mission of dealing with social-sanitary problems in the Brazilian Northeast, acting as a significant support to the Unified Health System (SUS). The Research Center Aggeu Magalhães (CPqAM) became a national reference control of vector mosquitoes (mosquitoes that transmit diseases), filariasis and plague for the Ministry of Health. The obtained experience in the areas of Chagas’ disease, leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis caused the institution to become a regional reference to the Ministry of Health for the three diseases.
- Reference laboratories for the Ministry of Health at the national level in the control of vector mosquitoes and plague; reference laboratories for the Northeast in the area of schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis and Chagas’ disease, a collaborating center for environmental health for the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Service of filariasis, a reference to the Ministry of Health at the national level, with outpatient clinics for medical care, urology, laboratory and ultrasound of patients with international title granted accreditation by Joint Commission International and the Brazilian Consortium for Accreditation.
- Graduation in public health, with regular courses of doctorate, academic master and professional master degree, in addition to multi- professional residence in collective health, specialization courses and non-regular updating and guidance of undergraduate students through scholarship program for undergraduate research.
- Technical cooperation with the Health Secretary of Pernambuco and the municipal Health secretaries of the Northeast, federal and state universities of North, Northeast and other health care institutions, such as Brazilian Company of blood derivatives and Biotechnology (Hemobrás) and Professor Fernando Figueira Institute of Integral Medicine (Imip)