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/ / Brasil, Microcefalia, Notícias, Realidade


The cause for children with microcephaly in the Northeast of Brazil began with the work of the physician and researcher, Adriana Mello – PhD in Women’s Health and a specialist in Fetal Health. She has been performing ultrasonography on pregnant women for 20 years and has been doing research since 2005. In October 2015, while performing ultrasound to evaluate the fifth month of pregnancy of a patient in private practice, she observed unusual changes in the brain of the fetus. She knew it was something new but didn’t know what it was. She started searching for answers until she identified the zika virus in the amniotic fluid that bathed the baby girl, Catarina Maria.


Adriana Mello reports that “several other pregnant women were arriving, stressed, with their fetuses affected by an unknown disease. And what to tell those mothers who were looking for answers? We had nothing to say, we knew nothing about the disease. As a doctor it was up to me to make the diagnosis, as a researcher it was up to me to help understand the disease, but as a human being it was up to me to embrace these mothers, to tell them that they would not be alone.”


The search for answers intensified and, while observing the children’s development, Adriana Mello found that some children were evolving better than others. Catarina Maria not only sat down at the right time but is already starting to stand up and interacts normally with her parents. What is Catarina Maria’s differential? Her mother is a physical therapist. Catarina Maria has daily physiotherapy.


“Now we are racing against time. We found out that these children have a potential for recovery, but forty minutes of physical therapy twice a week is not enough,” concludes the doctor and researcher. Today, the Professor Joaquim Amorim Neto Research Institute of Paraiba (IPESQ), founded by Adriana Mello along with a group of doctors from Campina Grande and Recife, serves 86 children with microcephaly, daughters of poor families. The FWB embraces the cause, which already has the affection and careful dedication of Adriana Mello, sharing the desire to guarantee to these 86 children with microcephaly the treatment that will make all the difference in their quality of life.