Vizzotti inaugurated a level two biosafety laboratory at the National Institute of Epidemiology of Mar del Plata

The Minister of Health of the Nation, Carla Vizzettitoday inaugurated the biosafety level two laboratory (BSL2) in the National Institute of Epidemiology (INE) “Dr. Juan H. Jara” of Mar del Plata for the development of studies on tuberculosis and virology. The construction work required an investment of 72,726,180 pesos and an additional budget of 50,773,915 pesos was allocated for high-tech equipment.

“Despite the pandemic and during the pandemic, we are inaugurating a laboratory today and we have a plan to continue strengthening all the national institutes.”, assured the minister and valued that “in eight months the work could be done with the enormous effort of the entire INE team and the National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes (ANLIS) Malbrán”.

Due to its characteristics, the new laboratory allows working in biosafety conditions that guarantee the integrity of people, materials and the environment during the handling of pathogenic agents in specific procedures.

The new level biosafety laboratory.

“Prioritizing is investing, it is fulfilling that word, thinking strategically and managing that investment”, Vizzotti affirmed and recalled that during the pandemic the health system and laboratories were strengthened after a time of disinvestment.

The minister celebrated the presence of representatives of different actors at the inauguration such as universities, hospitals, provincial social works, PAMI, and unions. “This meeting with those who work every day to make the INE bigger, the ANLIS Malbrán, and to improve the health of Argentina, is very important,” she said.

Then Vizzotti remarked: “Health is one and when we work together we are better and more efficient” and added that “there is a political decision to prioritize health and we have to take advantage of it and defend it.”

At the inauguration, the minister was accompanied by the director of the INE, Irene Pagano, the National Director of Epidemiology, Analía Rearte, and the head of the ANLIS Malbrán, Pascual Fidelio. The latter indicated thatmore than 50 million pesos are allocated to the equipment of the new laboratory and we plan by 2025 more than 150 million more for the INE in works, equipment and spare parts”.

Fidelio stated that “it is time to think of a new, different, federal ANLIS Malbrán, close to the people and concerned about the future of health”. As reported, last year the National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes carried out “a tender of 311 million pesos to renew all obsolete equipment, that is historical, it had never been given. A works plan of more than 1,000 million pesos, an equipment plan of more than 800 million pesos. Having a horizon, that is also what management is about”.

At the National Institute of Epidemiology (INE) research is carried out in the field of chronic non-communicable diseases (cancer, diabetes mellitus, injuries due to external causes) from different theoretical-methodological perspectives, in coordination with other institutions and incorporation of the of genre.

On the other hand, it maintains the operation of the Population-Based Cancer Registry of the district of General Pueyrredón, which is a primary source of cancer incidence data of great value for understanding the behavior of the disease according to age, sex , location of the tumor and other variables of interest.

At the INE during the pandemic, since March 2020, more than 140,000 samples were processed for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR, coming from Sanitary Region VIII of the province of Buenos Aires. In addition, there is surveillance of the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in urban areas through viral monitoring of wastewater.

Subsequently, with the aim of following up on a strengthening policy that began with a previous visit in January, the minister went to the National Institute of Psychophysical Rehabilitation of the South (INAREPS) where she held a meeting with its director, Laura Valente , and with the assistant director of rehabilitation, Norberto Delfino.

The meeting, which was also attended by the architect Marisa Villar and the administrative director, Rodolfo Falcione, addressed the institution’s remodeling and expansion project, the start-up of the tender and administrative issues to start the work.

“We are working to strengthen INAREPS because it has a fundamental and historical role in the rehabilitation area and it is also very necessary in the pandemic.”, highlighted the minister and explained that this initiative takes place within the framework of a plan to strengthen all national institutes.

In this sense, Vizzotti remarked that “The view that the national institutes go out into the territory, weave networks with the provinces and become stronger as a national reference is very important, so we will continue the work and follow-up based on the different challenges that we are posing.”

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