Érica Simão, a young Mozambican medical doctor, graduated in General Medicine from the Catholic University of Mozambique, is a student of the «Masters in Public Health and Development» at IHMT. For her MSc Thesis, she proposed to develop a project extremely relevant for her home country, at Maputo’s Military Hospital.
The research conducted under GHTM’s Prof. Ana Abecasis, famous for her groundbreaking investigation on the HIV pandemic beginnings, was about pharmacological treatment for HIV:
«The efficacy of using Tenofovir + Lamivudine + Dolutegravir in the viral suppression of patients on ART [Anti -Retroviral-Therapy] for 12 months».
The purpose of ART is to:
• Reduce the plasma HIV RNA level to undetectable – i.e., < 20 to 50 copies/mL;
• Restore the CD4 white blood cells’ count to a normal level – immune restoration or reconstitution;
as long as patients take their drugs > 95% of the time.
Considering that Mozambique, is the Portuguese speaking country with the biggest population infected with HIV – 2,100,000 people, according to the UNAIDS – in fact, it is one of the world’s largest, unfortunately, it has the absolute necessity of accurate HIV related scientific data, sourced locally, capable of informing decision-making, from a medical point of view, about that therapeutic approach.
Dr. Érica Simão’s extremely useful research was submitted to the «António Coutinho Science Awards», a strategic program for the democratisation of science, promoted by the «Collaborative Centre of the Gulbenkian Science Institute», made possible by a partnership between the Merck Family Foundation and the Oeiras’ Municipality.
Awarded for the first time in 2019, the «António Coutinho Science Awards» have a focus on cooperation, training and the development of scientific research, aiming to drive the participants to pursue a scientific career, encouraging them to find new solutions to glocal problems, fostering science in their native countries. It also intends to be a decisive contribution to the reinforcement of diversity in the scientific community.
The program’s third edition had a huge diversity of candidates and project themes, having received applications from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Portugal. All applications were analysed by a jury composed of scientists, from various scientific areas and with experience in the selection and monitoring of students.
There were three winners and GHTM’s Dr. Érica was one of them!
Congratulations for the award!
The 4th Edition will be launched during the first quarter of 2022.
Hopefully, there will be more participants from GHTM.
Go and win it!