2019 - 2020YEARBOOK

FIDEC in Southern Florida (United States)

 Training for Pharmacy Students at Nova South Eastern University. They were informed about vaccines for adolescents and adults (September 26 and December 5, 2019).

 Update on Vaccines. Seminar for Miami-Dade College Nursing students (September 30, 2019).

 Study Knowledge and Acceptance of the Influenza Vaccine within the Hispanic Community. FIDEC and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine presented the results at ID Week in Washington. For this research, 1,000 surveys were conducted in the waiting rooms of Latin American consulates in South Florida, with the objective of outlining the general knowledge of the community on vaccines, and their perception and acceptance of the influenza vaccine. In addition, researchers tried to identify barriers that may exist around vaccination to improve educational strategies and access to vaccination (October 2-6, 2019).

 Health Fair Colombia Servicios de Salud. FIDEC participated by providing information on influenza vaccine (October 6, 2019).

 Adherence to the Binational Health Week (Semana Binacional de Salud, SBS), extended to the whole month. For the fourth year in a row, FIDEC, Walgreens pharmacy store chain and Latin American consulates in Miami launched the flu (influenza) vaccination campaign in the consulates of Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. Lectures were given in the waiting rooms on the importance of vaccination and current vaccine recommendations. Educational material was distributed (October 2019).

 Training for Florida International University Pharmacy Students who participated in the Little Havana Fair. Trained students, in turn, carried out educational activities during the event to increase public awareness of the importance of vaccination (October 26, 2019).

 Walk of Light Walkaround in Key Biscayne. FIDEC trained high school students to promote vaccinations and survey the community on the importance of vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases. Participants received towels that promote vaccines as an essential tool against infections (November 24, 2019).

 Healthy Habits Stations at the Argentinian-Style Barbecue Championship in Doral Central Park. For the second year in a row, FIDEC carried out this activity for children to promote healthy habits that prevent infectious diseases, such as washing your hands, brushing your teeth, making smart food choices, and exercising. Healthcare professionals supervised each healthy station, where kids played games and participated in learning activities with the children’s books in Spanish Manos limpias (Clean Hands), Hacete amigo de las vacunas (Become Friends of Vaccines) and Superdientes (Superteeth). FIU students collaborated to promote vaccination (December 7, 2019).

 Miami-Dade County Vaccine Coalition. FIDEC, the Department of Infectious Diseases at University of Miami, and representatives from government and private organizations keep participating actively in the three working groups: Communications, Education, and Vaccine Advocacy; Immunization Practices and Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreak; Vaccine Records. In support of public health, the goal of the Coalition is to increase vaccination rates through educational activities for healthcare professionals and the community, identify barriers, remove obstacles, and exchange experiences among members (since 2019).

 Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Awareness Campaign. FIDEC shared educational material on social media to raise awareness of the importance of vaccinating preadolescents and adolescents against this virus, whose infection can lead to different types of cancer (January 25-31, 2020).

 Radio broadcasting to promote vaccination. FIDEC, through the radio station Actualidad 1040AM, raised awareness of the importance of vaccination, especially against the flu (influenza), emphasizing that is never too late to get vaccinated (January 26 and February 2, 2020).

 Traveler Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic. FIDEC was at the service of the Argentinian and Colombian consulates to help stranded travelers in Miami who needed prescription medications to continue their treatments until they could return to their countries of origin. Moreover, FIDEC participated in the coordination of their return journeys, giving priority to high-risk travelers who had preexisting conditions (from March to June, 2020).

 Information Campaigns during the COVID-19 Pandemic. FIDEC shares educational material through social networks, and Luján Soler, Physician and  Vaccination Program Director, participated on a podcast hosted by Florencia Rizzo to report on measures to prevent infection by the new coronavirus and the importance of using the existing vaccines against other infections, which can be as serious as COVID-19, or even worse. In August, during the month of vaccination, FIDEC intensified its campaign to help increase the vaccination rates, which had drastically dropped during the pandemic (since March 2020; see “The Value of Preventing All Diseases, not Just COVID-19”).

 Campaign to Promote Vaccination Before School Resumes. As part of the previously mentioned campaign and to avoid the reemergence of vaccine-preventable diseases, FIDEC also created and shared through social networks educational materials to increase awareness on the need for children and teenagers to vaccinate before school resumes (July-August, 2020).

FIDEC and FUNCEI in Latin America

 Research on Polio Vaccines. At the World Health Assembly 2012, 194 member States declared that eradicating polio was a programmatic emergency for global public health. Since that year, FIDEC has conducted clinical studies in Latin America and Europe, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop safer and more effective vaccines.

 Cancer Research. In Argentina, FIDEC sponsors two scientific studies led by Doctor Daniel Stamboulian. The first study is called Molecular Studies on Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia to Improve Patient Diagnostic, Prognosis, and Treatment. With the scientific coordination of Doctor Hebe Vázquez, Infectious Disease Specialist at FIDEC and FUNCEI, participating centers are Hospital de Clínicas de Buenos Aires (Doctors Francisca Rojas and Mariela Gómez, and the Hematology Service team), Hospital Ramos Mejía (Doctor Irene Rey and the Hematology Service team), and Stamboulian Laboratorio (Doctors Marina Gutiérrez and Sonia Castillo, and the Genomic Unit team). The second study is Head and Neck Cancers, and Other HPV-Related Cancers of the Upper Respiratory Tract. Prevalence Among a Population Sample of Argentina. Doctor Vázquez is the lead investigator and Doctors Lorenzo and Santiago Parreño act as subinvestigators. Participating centers are Stamboulian Servicios de Salud, Atención Otorrinolaringológica (Atención OLR), and Hospital de Clínicas (since June 2019; see “HPV: Local Knowledge toward Prevention of Head and Neck Cancer”).

 Hand-Washing Workshop for Children and Teenagers. The Education Department of FIDEC and FUNCEI, together with Ronald McDonald House Charities, delivered two workshops to promote hand-washing habits since the early childhood at Centro Educativo Comunitario “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” in San Jorge Neighborhood, Don Torcuato (District of Tigre, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina). Participants got the book Manos limpias (Clean Hands), published by FUNCEI, and personal hygiene supplies (October 2019).

 Free Seminar on HIV/AIDS for Healthcare Professionals. Fundación Helios and FUNCEI organized the free seminar “Zero AIDS: the End of the Epidemic as a Reachable Goal” at Centro Cultural Coreano, in Buenos Aires. With the coordination of Doctors Daniel Stamboulian and Isabel Cassetti, the following topics were discussed at a round table: HIV in newborns and teenagers: 20-year follow-up; meaning of undetectable viral load; HIV-related diseases (heart, neurocognitive, bone, kidney, and psychiatric conditions); the role of pharmacies in treatment and adherence; vaccines for people who live with HIV; HIV communications; the voice of the community; hepatitis C and HIV, numbers and treatment; HIV, where we are at and where we are heading to (December 3, 2019).

 Healthy Living at School Program. FUNCEI has been collaborating with Instituto Don Orione of Claypole (Argentina) for the past 15 years to promote habits that improve physical and emotional health since childhood. The teaching team works with different educational materials published by FUNCEI. With a holistic approach, they launched the Healthy Living at School Program for 3rd and 4th graders. It deals with healthy food choices, hydration, physical training, and outdoor activities. Children learn and do activities with a book written by FUNCEI and nutritionists from ILSI Argentina.

School Work by Instituto Don Orione Students from 2019.

During school year 2020, this program was broadened under the name Healthy Living, Food, and Nutrition During a Pandemic, aimed at all education levels (kindergarten, elementary school, middle, and high school). All activities had to be adapted to be held online, due to the preventive social isolation measures declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students learned about taking care of their own body, preventing foodborne illnesses, and the importance of doctor visits. Content also reached their families and the whole education community. Stress was placed on improving habits: wake-up time, bedtime, amount of hours of sleep, diet, hygiene, physical activity, and, especially, emotional health, a pillar of efficient learning and very much affected by lifestyle changes.

Teachers prepared several complementary educational activities for children, in collaboration with their families. They worked on all curricular and extracurricular topics. They articulated and even developed this topic for the regional forum. On early September, the teaching personnel and Mónica Molinari, Institutional Director, made the virtual presentation of the project at the Education Conference in the District of Almirante Brown. Cristina Stamboulian and Cintya Elmassian, from the Education Department of FUNCEI, also joined this presentation.

Student and Activity Book.

 #FunceiResponde. With this hashtag, aimed at healthcare professionals and the community, FUNCEI specialists answer, in audiovisual format, the most frequently asked questions about the new coronavirus and COVID-19 (since March 2020, see  “The Best Information on COVID-19, One Click Away”.

 Stamboulian Talks. Third consecutive year of the free interactive conferences that contribute to the continuous training of physicians, pharmacists, biochemists, and nurses from Latin America. Specialists communicate interesting, valuable and updated information from different specialties with clear, concise, and attractive presentations, followed by a question and answer session with the audience. After each talk, the videos are published in the Multimedia section of FUNCEI’s website, on its YouTube channel, and on social networks (since April 2020; see Third Series of Talks for Healthcare Professionals”).

 Expert Advice for Institutions on COVID-19. FUNCEI professionals collaborated with Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros (CAEM) and Federación Empresaria Hotelera Gastronómica de la República Argentina (FEHGRA), among other organizations, to review or create COVID-19 transmission prevention protocols for work environments and to act promptly when a suspected case is detected. Moreover, FUNCEI provides a permanent service to answer questions about the new work environment amid the pandemic and helps to solve operating issues (since April 2020).

First Training Session on Biosecurity Protocols for the Mining Sector (July 17, 2020).
FUNCEI FEHGRA Training (August 19, 2020).

 Chaco Existe (Chaco Exists) Program. FIDEC and YEAH! Fundación Espiga collaborate to bring a paradigm shift in education, healthcare, diet, and employment in the communities of The Impenetrable region in Chaco, Argentina. Healthcare professionals from FIDEC provide Hospital Rural Dr. Arturo Illia, in the town of El Sauzalito, with expert advice about control and prevention of diseases, such as dengue and COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, they also contribute to the training of workers on personal protective equipment and procedures, and act as intermediaries with local authorities, among other activities. Moreover, FIDEC, together with YEAH! and Fundación Manos del Sur, provide financial support and the necessary supplies.

 Professional Update and Community Outreach Activities on COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, constant efforts have been made to spread trustworthy and updated information through different media:

  • Talks, interviews, and op-eds for print media.
  • Newsletter creation for Farmacity pharmacy store chain, in Argentina.
  • Participation by Daniel Stamboulian in the webinar “El infectólogo frente a las pandemias” (Infectious Disease Specialists and Pandemics), organized by Sociedad Argentina de Infectología in honor of Infectious Disease Specialist Day (May 16, 2020).

 Guidelines for Handling Patients with Maculopathy Under Injection Treatment. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, FUNCEI professionals and Ophthalmology specialists created this essential publication to guide the professional practice while taking care of the patient and the physician (May 22, 2020; see “The Best Information on COVID-19, One Click Away”.

 Funcei Informs on Coronavirus Collaboration Network. Its purpose is to gather all reliable information on COVID-19 in one site, to increase the reach that each institution can have by itself, and to facilitate access to documents and updates for healthcare professionals and the community (see “The Best Information on COVID-19, One Click Away”).

 FIDEC and FUNCEI Epidemiology Newsletter. Close to 5,000 subscribers in Latin America get, via e-mail, this free monthly digital newsletter in Spanish, which has already reached 100 issues (August 2020). It can also be downloaded from FIDEC website.

 Participation in the 2nd Argentinian Forum and the 4th Latin American Forum on Responsible Communication about Science and Health. For the second year in a row, science and communication professionals —among them, 
members of FUNCEI— shared their knowledge and expertise, this time, on the COVID-19 infodemics case study (August 28, 2020).

  Dengue Control and Prevention Campaign. FUNCEI, with support from Rotary, launched in Jujuy (Argentina) a new edition of this campaign, a continuation of the one launched in 2019. It is being implemented in the towns of Libertador General San Martín and San Pedro, and is based on three pillars. The first one is education for healthcare professionals and the community, with activities aimed at physicians, primary healthcare agents, other healthcare workers, teachers, school administrators and supervisors, children from the 4th and 5th grades, and their families. It is expected that 1,900 students from both towns will participate. The second is a focus on the environment, to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds and thus reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the disease vector. The third pillar is sustainability, to achieve continuous prevention and self-care practices. Before the launch, all actions and methods were restructured to enable the implementation of the campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic, with classes suspended and following preventive social isolation measures. All educational resources were developed by FUNCEI professionals (since September 2020; see New Dengue Prevention Campaign).

In-Person Activities during the 2019 Dengue Prevention Campaign in Jujuy.

FIDEC in Armenia

 Healthcare Program for Workers at Tierras de Armenia (TDA). In this wine producing company, located in the province of Armavir, FIDEC Armenia is implementing a healthcare program that provides full and free medical coverage for field workers. It includes preoccupational checkups, treatment of acute and chronic health conditions, and education to promote healthy habits. With this purpose, a nurse works permanently at the company, and a physician coordinates the program, with a network of outpatient and higher complexity medical centers 
where employees are referred to and treated according to their needs (since 2008).

 HPV Program. In 2018, the National Immunization Program (NIP) of Armenia introduced the HPV vaccine, which is available free of charge for all 13-year-old teenage girls. However, the unexpected presence of antivaccine groups managed to misinform healthcare professionals and the community via social networks and created unfounded fears and doubts. Armenia then became the country with the lowest vaccination rates. FIDEC Armenia is working to revert this alarming situation through a collaboration agreement signed with the Ministry of Health of Armenia and NIP. They lead and fund educational activities aimed at healthcare professionals and the community. Moreover, in 2019, they launched the first epidemiological study in Armenian women to determine the prevalence of HPV infections (since 2019; see “Communicating Trust, Key in the Fight Against HPV”).

 Training on HPV Infections and Vaccine. A working group made up of eight specialists from the fields of Gynecology, Pediatrics, Immunology, Epidemiology, and Virology has delivered 34 educational sessions for the medical staff at healthcare centers in Erevan (since August, 2019).

Training on HPV Infections in Erevan.

 Medical Second Opinion Program. FIDEC Armenia launched and coordinates this initiative, which established a cooperation agreement between Hospital de Pediatría “Prof. Dr. Juan P. Garrahan” in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and the largest pediatric hospitals in Armenia. The first hospitals to cooperate were Arabkir Medical Center and Sourb Astvatsamayr Medical Center. Later, Austrian Child and Mother Hospital in Gyumri, capital city of the province of Shirak, also joined the cooperation agreement. Argentinian specialists provide assistance with different consultations, with the possibility of using live videos to evaluate patients. Training sessions, some with international certifications, will also be provided for Armenian doctors. This program was launched with the financial support of Converse Bank and the holding lead by Eduardo Eurnekian (since November, 2019).

Signing of the Cooperation Agreement between Hospital de Pediatría “Prof. Dr. Juan P. Garrahan” in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and the Largest Pediatric Hospitals in Armenia.

Joining of Austrian Child and Mother Hospital in Gyumri, Capital City of the Province of Shirak, to the Cooperation Agreement.

 Expert Advice on COVID-19. FIDEC Armenia collaborates with Converse Bank to implement evidence-based epidemiological measures to prevent the spread of this disease (since 2020).