This month is believed to be a tribute to the goddess of earth and flowers in Roman mythology, Maia, who is primarily responsible for the growth of new plants in spring.
May is, par excellence, the month of the heart, and there have been several initiatives to promote a healthy lifestyle, thus, a strong heart. After the FMUL Active Breaks which got us moving for 15 minutes, the 5th Anniversary of CRECUL, the webinar Cardiovascular Diseases and COVID-19, the Online Conversations cycle and the Inauguration Ceremony of the Accreditation Plaque and the Manual Presenting the CVR Centre of the CHULN/FMUL/CRECUL, do you still think that the heart doesn't feel when the eyes don't see?
As usual, we highlighted the days when we remember lesser-known diseases, other more prevalent ones, or even people who fight battles - patients and health professionals.
In addition to being known as Labour Day, 1 May is also World Ankylosing Spondylitis Day, “a painful condition from a nonspecific cause, known as common low back pain”, as Professor João Eurico da Fonseca explained. This was followed by World Asthma Day on 4 May, a date celebrated annually on the 1st Tuesday of May, as stated by Paediatrician and Professor Teresa Bandeira. She describes asthma as one of the most common chronic diseases, with great impact on the consumption of health resources, and which has a higher prevalence and morbidity in children and adolescents.
The European Heart Failure Day could not be forgotten, a disease that affects about 400 thousand people in Portugal and with a tendency to increase. On 8 May, World Ovarian Cancer Day, we were offered a reflection by Professor Carlos Calhaz Jorge, in which he states that despite the low frequency, it has an unfortunately high mortality rate, due to late diagnosis as a result of nonspecific symptoms.
Lupus it is a disease with a strange name. It was first identified in the 12th century by the physician Rogerius, the first to describe facial lesions that resembled the bite of a wolf. A disease distinguished on 10 May, in an article historically contextualized by Professor João Eurico da Fonseca.
On 12 May, we welcomed all nurses worldwide, health professionals who in recent times have been fighting a pandemic on the front line.
It was also on 12 May that fibromyalgia gained expression, again by the hand of Professor João Eurico da Fonseca. The suffering caused by this disease is revealed in the self-portrait of Mexican painter Frida Khalo.
World Hypertension Day (17 May) was marked by Professor Daniel Caldeira through an article, which alerted us to the need to look at this date in the future as the day of celebration of the diagnosis and control of hypertension.
It was also during the month of May that we disclosed the team that fights Idiopathic Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, as part of the World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day. The best known are Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, both with no cure, but controllable. We also wrote about Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS), more common in young adults.
We witnessed the achievement of innovative results by physician and researcher Elsa Sousa with regard to Psoriatic Arthritis. Professors Luís Graça and Miguel Prudêncio answered the question: “Are infected people the most resistant to new COVID-19 variants?” And since we return to the pandemic topic, Professor Válter Fonseca, Coordinator of the Technical Committee of the DGS, makes a positive assessment of the Vaccination Plan and advances the possibility of the effectiveness of a mixed vaccine plan for COVID-19.
Luís Costa, professor and oncologist warns about the increase in the number of serious cancers in the future.
May, the month of flowering, of the end and beginning of new cycles, was also marked by the achievements of our students. We had the White Coat ceremony – in which year 4 IMDM students begin their clinical life, and the Badge Award Ceremony – which honours year 6 finalists, a goal that is achieved, outlining new points of departure.
FMUL students are to be congratulated, as thanks to their effort and dedication they achieved the feat of placing the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon at the top of the ranking in terms of the average grade in the NAE.
Continuing the multidisciplinary academic growth, it was also in May that our medical school signed a collaboration protocol with the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP) with a view to establishing scientific, technical, pedagogical and cultural cooperation.
Little by little, life gets back to some normality that allow us to see again and honour our people. At the Barahona Fernandes Auditorium, we had the opportunity to pay tribute to a master among masters, Retired Professor António Barbosa, who once again inspired us with his wise words. Aula Magna once again opened its doors to grant two students the Professor Francisco Pulido Valente 2020 and 2021 Education Award. Our women of science continue to be talked about and we thank them for their services and achievements.
It was with a full heart that we shared the joy of seeing the country’s largest ICU inaugurated at Santa Maria Hospital.