Episode #2
Data and Health: lessons learned from the management of the COVID-19 crisis
Foto by @haloirwan on Unsplash
In 2020 and 2021, the world experienced the biggest Health crisis of the century. The ability of governments and health organizations to respond to this crisis was directly associated with the ability they had to collect data. Perhaps never before in human history have we gathered so much information about one disease in such a short time as we have with COVID-19.

We tracked the dissemination of the virus around the world, searched for community transmission, mapped the genome of the variants of the virus. We also developed, tested, and approved many vaccines worldwide and saw the short and medium-term effects in entire adult populations. All this in less than two years.

To make it possible, governments needed to adapt or even build information structures that allowed faster and smarter interventions. There was also the need to build structures for mass vaccination campaigns. Due to many factors, some governments were more successful than others in this task.

How are we managing health data? Are our health systems smarter? And how can we use data to prevent diseases and anticipate new crises?
Prof. Dr. Christovam Barcellos
Full Professor in Information and Communication in Health, at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (ICICT - Fiocruz)
Mr. Barcellos holds a degree in Geography from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and in Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He has a Master's degree in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the Fluminense Federal University. Mr. Barcellos was also secretary of health in the state governments of Rio de Janeiro, between 1986 and 1995, and Rio Grande do Sul, between 2001 and 2003.

Mr. Barcellos is currently a full professor of the postgraduate programs in Public Health, at the National School of Public Health, and in Information and Communication in Health, at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the most important institution of health science and technology in Latin America. He works with Health Geography, mainly health monitoring, socio-spatial inequalities, sanitation and health, and climate change.

Personal Website
M.Sc. Mara Mendes

Phd Candidate in Political Science on the field of big data in health, health sector efficiency and transparency

Mrs. Mendes holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences and Media Studies at the University of Siegen, a Master's Degree in Media, Communication, and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is now a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Münster, working on Open Data in the Health sector.

Mara has a background in working, campaigning, and researching transparency, open data, open government, and public procurement. She is an expert in assessing the presence and quality of public data in different areas of public administration, having participated in relevant studies on the subject. Organizations she has worked for include the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, Transparency International, and various universities.

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