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Itaú Unibanco announces the donation of 1 billion BRL to COVID-19 efforts

A team of health experts will be responsible for the application of the bank resources

In an on-line statement to the press on April 13, Itaú Unibanco announced the donation of 1 billion BRL and the creation of the “Todos pela Saúde” (“All for Health”) front to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on Brazilian society. “No institution can be better than the country where it is located. We are assuming our role as a corporate citizen,” said Candido Bracher, president of Itaú Unibanco.

The fund will be managed by a team of seven health experts who will define the actions to be sponsored, according to technical and scientific premises. Among the activities of the initiative are the purchase of hospital equipment, and the manufacturing of medicines and protective masks.

Led by doctor Paulo Chapchap, general director-general of Hospital Sirio-Libanes, the “Todos pela Saúde” committee is made up of doctor Drauzio Varella; surgeon Sidney Klajner, president of Sociedade Beneficente Israelita Brasileira Albert Einstein; public health physician Pedro Barbosa, CEO of IBMP – Institute of Molecular Biology of Parana, linked to Fiocruz; public health consultant Gonzalo Vecina Neto; doctor Mauricio Ceschin, former president of the National Health Agency (ANS); and healthcare planning expert Eugenio Vilaça Mendes, consultant to the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass).

During the on-line meeting, Aberje’s CEO and professor at ECA-USP, Paulo Nassar, asked if the bank is in contact with other sectors of the national business community to participate in this project. The experts highlighted that the entire population is an agent for the solution of the pandemic, whether staying at home so that the coronavirus does not spread, or working in a coordinated manner with public health authorities, through initiatives such as Itaú.

According to Chapchap, the committee will act through four axes:

(1) Informing: the campaign will encourage the use of masks by the population, educate on hand hygiene and cough etiquette, as well as value civil society solidarity initiatives;

(2) Protecting: it will provide individual protection and testing equipment to healthcare professionals, in addition to population testing to guide public health actions;

(3) Caring: it will support state and large municipal public managers in structuring crisis offices, as well as training health professionals in best practices, protocols, and therapies; the use of telemedicine to monitor cases; the expansion of capacity and efficiency in referenced hospital structures and the purchase and distribution of strategic inputs;

(4) Resuming: it will help in the development of strategies, aiming at a safer return to social activities, and in programs to monitor the population at high risk.