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Hydro and UFPA join to innovate in fight against Covid-19

The agreement involves an investment of over BRL 880,000 in scientific research projects in Brazil aimed at Covid-19.

Covid research in Brazil

Hydro and UFPA have signed another partnership to foster science in developing innovative solutions to fight Covid-19. The initiative is part of Hydro's collaborative action in helping the State of Pará to combat the pandemic.

“Care is one of Hydro's values. As good neighbors, we are dedicated to collaborating with the communities surrounding our operations and with the State of Pará. The partnership with UFPA gives us the opportunity to contribute in the areas of research, education and science development, which are fundamental for improve the quality of life of our population,” says Erik Araújo, Hydro's senior research and development manager in the Bauxite & Alumina business.

The projects support three lines of research: studies of the psychological effects of social isolation to create programs that help promote people's well-being during and after the pandemic; use of data science for the elaboration of epidemiological models adhering to the reality of the municipalities of Barcarena and Paragominas, in Pará; and the development of low-cost respirators as emergency auxiliary equipment in intensive care centers. All projects can be adapted to other cities in the North of Brazil and other regions of the country.

“This partnership between Hydro and UFPA is very opportune to develop research related to Covid-19. Only by means of excellent and innovative scientific approaches can society have access to reliable information, at such a difficult time for the Brazilian population,” says Professor Iracilda Sampaio, Pro-Rector of Research and Graduate Studies at UFPA.

Get to know each research project of the partnership

The scientific data management project to help plan initiatives to combat the pandemic in Barcarena and Paragominas will last for one year. Statistical methods will be applied to the results obtained from the tested population and from the socio-economic-epidemiological survey of Paragominas and Barcarena.

The project will take place in four stages: critical analysis of the socioeconomic and epidemiological profile of the population with Covid-19; identification of the main factors that can hinder the fight against the disease; elaboration of epidemiological models adherent to the local reality and identification of the main social, economic and environmental consequences of the pandemic.

After these steps, Covid-19 control and mitigation actions will be proposed and a personalized epidemiological model will be presented. The results can also support local authorities in diagnosing the disease and creating public policies to tackle the pandemic.

It is coordinated by professor Dr. Marcelino Silva da Silva, from the Institute of Technology, who also works in the Graduate Program in Electrical Engineering, in the area of Applied Computing, at the Faculty of Computer and Telecommunications Engineering and in the Graduate Program in Electrical engineering.

The second project, which will last two years, will analyze the emotional reactions to social isolation in the Covid-19 pandemic situation through observational, descriptive and exploratory research. The goal is to promote people's well-being during and after the pandemic.

To this end, alternatives will be developed such as a predictive psychological model, psychoeducation programs to promote quality of life and to help people overcome domestic violence and an application to identify unhealthy eating behavior caused by pandemic stress.

The study is coordinated by Professor Dr. Janari da Silva Pedroso, from the Graduate Program in Psychology and the Graduate Program in Theory and Research on Behavior.

Also lasting two years, the third project of the partnership is the development of low-cost respirators that can be used by patients of intermediate severity, releasing mechanical ventilators for high-severity patients.

Preliminary tests are already underway after the completion of the conceptual project and the assembly of the prototype. The next steps involve the adaptation of electronic accessories, the final design and calibration, last tests and the launch of the optimized equipment.

The development is of an automatic Ambú trigger as an emergency auxiliary equipment for mechanical respirators used in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), with the coordination by Professor Marcelo de Oliveira e Silva, from the Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering, of the Course of Mechanical Engineering and the Biomedical Engineering Course.

Support during the pandemic

In support of efforts to prevent and combat Covid-19, Hydro made two donations, to Pará, in the total amount of BRL 20 million for the construction and maintenance of state campaign hospitals, totaling 960 beds for treating the disease.

For the municipalities where Hydro is present - Paragominas, Ipixuna do Pará, Tomé-Açu, Moju, Acará, Abaetetuba and Barcarena - the company donated 36 thousand basic baskets and hygiene items, purchased from local suppliers to help the economy, in addition to 5,000 kits for tests to detect the new coronavirus.

The company also delivered equipment and materials for health care in the municipalities of Barcarena and Paragominas, where its largest operations in Brazil are located. These donations went to municipal hospitals, health units and field hospitals in both cities, totaling more than 100,000 items, such as hospital beds, pulse oximeters, infrared digital thermometers, gloves, masks, disposable caps, goggles , aprons, lab coats and overalls for biological protection.

For Barcarena City Hall, Albras, a company that belongs to Hydro and NAAC, Nippon Amazon Aluminum Co., also donated the building where one of the old employees' quarters functioned, with 36 apartments with individual bathrooms, as well as a laundry and cafeteria, where a field hospital was installed.

In addition, Hydro is committed to providing mineral water to the shelter created by the Government of Pará, at the Mangueirão Stadium, aimed at people in social vulnerability. And in 30 communities in Barcarena, since April 1st, Hydro's Community Environmental Emergency Brigade has been doing an important job of orienting actions to prevent and combat Covid-19. The disclosure of the information is made in sound vehicles of the Brigade.

Hydro also made donations to the cities of Itu and Utinga, in São Paulo, and Tubarão, in Santa Catarina, where the Extruded Products Solutions operations are located, responsible for the manufacture of aluminum products for use in civil construction and in the sectors automotive and industrial. More than 500 basic food baskets, 4,600 hygiene kits and medical equipment were donated.

Contact

Elena Brito Pantoja

Elena Brito Pantoja

Communication and Public Affairs

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