Algarve Biomedical Center and Nuno Marques – those who make the difference

The ABC was led by Dr. Nuno Marques, an absolutely inspired and effective president

Three years ago, at this time, the news coming out of China about a virus was not reassuring. Today, in a way, we feel some uneasiness again with the news that reaches us from there. During this journey of almost three years, there is a path trodden between us, which allows us, now, to observe what has been done.

At the time, comparing the characteristics of this pandemic with previous ones, in an article published here on Sul Informação, we signaled the emergence of something very positive in the Algarve, in this fight against a SARS-CoV-2 pandemic about which nothing was known. For the first time, the news about the Algarve was not about cases that had not gone well, the chronic lack of professionals or other issues.

On the contrary, he had opened a Covid-19 testing center at Estádio do Algarve, which was quickly replicated throughout the country. And one name, that of ABC – Algarve Biomedical Centre, began to become known for multiple actions that were quickly reproduced in other places.

We said then, in that writing, that the crisis we are experiencing had some positive consequences: it made the existence of the Algarve Biomedical Center evident to everyone and we ended the article with this positive note of the evidence that everyone highlighted and which should be a source of pride for the Algarve .

In those days, actions were needed to contain a pandemic when nothing was known about the pathology itself. Days that were compared to a situation where it was necessary to fly a plane that was being built at the same time as it was being flown. The knowledge that medicine was acquiring was meager, in times when boldness, imagination and the intelligent use of available resources were required. And that's what ABC showed.

Since the mobilization of students from the Algarve Medicine Course, giving critical mass to the SNS-24 line, as well as the multiple actions that followed, many of which were later reproduced throughout the country, and which contributed to a large extent to actions on the ground that were extended to the Alentejo, when nothing existed, we were confronted with a series of good practices and initiatives that made a difference.

As an example of the spirit that prevailed, reference should be made to the title of the article published at the time: “Line SNS 24 – the apprentices who accepted the call of an oath that they had not yet fulfilled”.

Under the baton of ABC, a series of actions were triggered, listed in the table below. These initiatives showed that, in the Algarve, there was something that was previously not so expressive: leadership, foresight and well-structured actions with information and offering tools to fight the pandemic and demystify fear.

Simultaneously with the acquisition of equipment abroad, we were, in the Algarve, well prepared to face the pandemic, without the chronic lack of resources of other times.

And regarding the acquisition of these elements abroad, let us remember that there were times when there were reports of planes loaded with material to combat the pandemic that, in mid-flight, changed route. Times where the law of who paid the most prevailed. But ABC was also absolutely essential there, ensuring that we did not lack these means.

In this dynamic created, the ABC was led by Dr. Nuno Marques, an absolutely inspired and effective president. I know what I'm talking about, because, in those days, I belonged to the Executive Council of ABC, where we always felt like a leader surrounded by a team that he made a point of listening to, sharing strategies and strengthening the initiatives that were put into practice.

At no time did I feel anything other than the pursuit of the general good, of those whom Health cannot fail, in what is our mission in a broad view of clinicians.

We saw this understood with the attribution of the first national prize aimed at actions on the ground and whose press then headlined: ABC wins the Manuel António da Mota award and makes CHUA «proud».

About these more recent days, where we are once again registering concerns coming from the news from China, I wonder if the country, and the Algarve in particular, can afford to ignore what I remember here?


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