Daniel StamboulianYEARBOOK

Dear friends,

In August 2020, FIDEC turned 19 years old. We started this foundation with the clear mission of extending to emerging countries the experience in prevention and treatment of infectious diseases we had gathered with FUNCEI in Argentina. Today we face, as many other organizations in the world, our biggest challenge: a pandemic. We had to adapt to an unexpected situation in no time. Therefore, on this atypical anniversary, we developed an online platform to continue sharing with you, as always, a summary of our programs and activities during the past 12 months.

Educating healthcare professionals and the community is one of the pillars of our mission, and it has been one of the most demanding tasks since the pandemic broke out. COVID-19 has heightened doubt and uncertainty. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals must be permanently reading and studying, as researchers keep advancing to learn more about the new coronavirus and its effects on us. We have been able to answer many questions, but others continue to arise. Moreover, it is hard to determine which sources of information are reliable among so many others that viralize myths, fake news and even health recommendations with absolutely no scientific basis, which can put us at serious risk.

Thus, we created, #FunceiResponde, a hashtag used by our specialists to answer the most frequently asked questions and publish useful resources for each audience. In 2020, we also carried out the third edition of Stamboulian Talks, a series of free interactive conferences that contribute toward the continuous training of doctors, pharmacists, biochemists, and nurses from Latin America.

One of the most worrying consequences of the pandemic is that it drastically reduced vaccination against infectious diseases that can carry complications and be even more severe than COVID-19. We have launched a campaign in Miami to encourage the community not only to strengthen and maintain preventive measures that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, but also to keep up-to-date with the vaccinations that protect children, teenagers, and adults.

As the dengue fever season approaches in Argentina, alongside the Rotary Club, we have already started a new prevention campaign in Jujuy, one of the most affected provinces. It is aimed at healthcare professionals, elementary school students (4th and 5th graders), their families, and the rest of the school community.

In Armenia, we continue to work tirelessly to communicate solid scientific information about human papilloma virus (HPV) infections and to build up trust in the HPV vaccine among healthcare professionals and the community. Regretfully, the groups that reject vaccination have had a great impact in this country, so teenage girls, who can vaccinate for free, are falling prey to unfounded fears and not being able to exercise their right to vaccinate as expected. We also started an epidemiological study to better understand these infections in Armenia and to inform future public health decisions.

In addition, in Argentina we carry out research to gain knowledge about different diseases. This is another contribution we are making toward comprehensive healthcare in our countries.

These activities are made possible thanks to our donors and the contributions made by local and international companies and NGOs. We thank them and yourself for your support. 

I hope to see you next year!

Daniel Stamboulian