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Quiral opinion

It consists of meetings to discuss with experts, representatives of media and institutions of socio world, the annual theme on which research report focuses Quiral.


Opinión Quiral núm. 42.2: La sexta ola: desde la epidemiología y desde las UCI
Some of the variants of SARS-CoV-2 – resulting from the mutation processes typical of a virus that has spread around the globe over a period of two years – have presented real challenges in managing the pandemic. The most recent example, the Omicron variant, caused a sixth wave with an unprecedented number of cases of Covid-19. The Quiral Opinion debate The sixth wave: from epidemiology and from the ICUs took place on 23rd March at Fundació Vila Casas, with the president, Antoni Vila Casas, and patron, Miquel Vilardell, welcoming the participants. The expert speakers from the field were Dr Magda Campins, Head of the Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Service and member of the Epidemiology and Public Health Research Group at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), and Dr Pere Domingo, Coordinator of Covid Hospitalization at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona. Dr Magda Campins explained that the sixth wave has had the highest number of cases, but not the highest rates of hospitalization nor mortality, and she highlighted the characteristics of the Omicron variant: higher rates of transmission and evasion of natural and vaccine related immunity as compared to previous variants, as well as a reduction in the effectiveness of antivirals, without an increase in the severity of the infection. She also outlined the most likely future scenario in which the illness will be light for most people, but with a strong impact on people who are vulnerable or unvaccinated. She pointed out the need to improve supervision systems, vaccination with booster doses and reinforce communication on the importance of wearing masks to protect the vulnerable population. Dr Pere Domingo spoke about the great milestone that has been reached with the development of the vaccines and that there are currently up to three antiviral drugs and monoclonal antibody treatments available for the most vulnerable patients. He finished by remarking on two important challenges: immunosuppressed patients and the child population, both with low immunity, as a breeding ground for new variants and strains that arise from animal reservoirs of the virus. Finally, they stressed the need to reinforce supervision systems, integrate information systems, promote vaccination, evaluate the need for a fourth dose against new variants and continue research into treatments. Descarregar

Opinión Quiral núm. 42.1: 600 días de pandemia
The Covid-19 pandemic has had serious consequences for public health, it has highlighted the lack of professionals and resources in the health service and had a major economic and social impact. But it has also served to show that investing in research can reap great rewards. After more than 600 days of the pandemic, we take stock of everything that has happened and reflect on possible future scenarios. The Opinión Quiral debate on Communication and Perception of Covid-19 took place on 24th November at Fundació Vila Casas, with an introduction by the president, Antoni Vila Casas, and a welcoming speech by the trustee, Miquel Vilardell. The event heard from experts in the field: Carmen Cabezas (Secretary of Public Health, in the Generalitat de Catalunya) and Antoni Trilla (Head of the Preventive and Epidemiological Medicine Service at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona). Carmen Cabezas pointed out that we should use the word syndemic to refer to what is happening, since the situation affects people unequally according to their socio-economic level and the social and health factors affecting their lives. Antoni Trilla highlighted the importance of vaccination and other prevention measures to try and reduce the risk of contagion (masks, ventilation and distance) and to avoid the return to harsh restrictions. In addition to both speakers, the debate included contributions from journalists specializing in medical communication, as well as other professionals from the field of medicine and the media. Descarregar

Opinión Quiral no. 43.1: Long Covid-19: a serious health issue
Long Covid-19 has become a serious health issue. It is estimated that one in eight patients who have had Covid still present symptoms after the acute phase of the illness is over. There are a wide range of symptoms and they vary from patient to patient, which presents a challenge for diagnosis and subsequent treatment, and there are many outstanding questions that still need to be resolved. The Opinión Quiral debate Long Covid-19: a serious health issue took place on 22nd March at Fundación Vila Casas, at which the foundation’s president, Antoni Vila Casas, and patron, Montserrat Viladomiu, gave the welcoming address. The speakers were Dr Lourdes Mateu (Head of Long Covid Unit, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol) and Antoni Calvo (director of Fundació Galatea). Dr Lourdes Mateu emphasized that it was not until October 2021 that the WHO defined what was then termed a post-covid condition, and confirmed that some patients experienced symptoms for a longer period than two months following an acute illness. This condition is observed in 10 to 15% of all infected patients, which can therefore include over sixty million people worldwide. There may be more than 200 symptoms, and these vary according to the physiopathology of each patient. The evolution of the illness is uncertain and only 7% of patients receiving treatment have been cured, while the rest have adapted to their symptoms. She also pointed out that Primary Health Care services should take responsibility for these patients, based on the application of standardized protocols. She highlighted the importance of each patient’s autonomy in keeping a diary of the symptoms and following advice on rehabilitation. Antoni Calvo pointed out that health sector workers have been one of the most affected groups during the pandemic and highlighted the need to understand that the body and mind are not separate. He insisted that long covid patients should be cared for by mental services and networks, but they find it difficult to access such support. He commented that this emphasizes the need to review the health service, and he highlighted the challenge of facing up to these changes in order to respond to the needs of citizens. The emotional impact of the pandemic was devastating for health sector workers and many of them still experience psychological effects, and it is clear that we cannot afford to have ill health professionals in the context of the current needs of the health service. ISSN [Internet]: 2013-4878 Descarregar

Opinión Quiral 41.1: El sueño saludable, un nuevo agente de salud
The scientific knowledge available today on "why we sleep" and "what happens if our sleep is not of good quality" is of vital importance. Until only a few decades ago it was not even suspected that human life expectancy was linked to our sleep patterns over the years, nor that cancer, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases may be closely related to how we sleep. We know the importance of sleeping well in order to maintain a good frame of mind and quality of life. Moreover, science recognises sleep as a primary determinant of health. However, only one third of the population believes they sleep well and do not suffer from tiredness during the day. Descarregar

Opinión Quiral 40.2: Mujeres y salud: diferencias y desigualdades
Women's life expectancy is greater than men's, but their health is worse, and they suffer more in the later years of their lives. Family and occupational roles play an important part in health, producing chronic disorders that continue throughout a lifetime. In addition, biological differences (genetic and physiological factors) between women and men also result in differences in the diseases they may contract, the severity of the diseases and their responses to them. Being a woman: a determinant of social inequalities in health? Cardiovascular disease in women: what we know and what remains to be done. Descarregar

Opinión Quiral 40.1: Cáncer de mama y salud reproductiva en la mujer
Breast cancer is the most common tumour in women. As they are getting pregnant later in life there are greater numbers of diagnoses of cancer in women who have never had a child. So how can we reconcile the treatment for cancer with the desire to have children? Recent advances are offering many solutions to this issue. The Opinió Quiral debate on Breast cancer and reproductive health in women took place last 22nd November with the participation of genetics and oncology experts such as Miquel Gil (Head of Medical Oncology support services and Manager of knowledge at the Functional Unit of Oncology Support at the Catalan Institute of Oncology) and Pedro N. Barri (Director of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health at Dexeus University Hospital). Miquel Gil focused on the advances that have been made in improving breast cancer survival rates, though in younger women one of the concerns should be to preserve fertility. It is very important for the oncology specialist to ascertain, prior to treatment commencing, whether women younger than forty years old wish to have children, or not, in the future. He also highlighted that becoming pregnant after having cancer does not increase the risk of relapse nor of damage occurring during the formation of the foetus. Pedro N. Barri, specialist in assisted reproduction and women’s health, agreed that the current tendency to have children later in life is related to an increased risk of gynaecological cancer, particularly breast cancer, because the woman does not get the benefit of the protection that comes with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. He commented that it is vital to explain to the patient that there are strategies to preserve fertility and improve the chances of having children in the future. Moreover, they have a beneficial effect on the way in which the woman deals with cancer as they reinforce the idea that she will survive the illness. As well as the two medical specialists, journalists in the field of medical communication and professionals in the fields of communication and medicine joined in the debate. It was highlighted that up to fifty percent of oncologists do not inform their younger patients of the possibilities of preserving their fertility, and therefore further research is required involving surveys of patients that are published and national statistics obtained, in addition to training on these issues for professionals in the field. Further issues that were raised were that the evidence suggests that the risk of relapse of cancer is the same in patients who become pregnant after completing the course of treatment as in those who do not have more children, and that undergoing fertility treatment does not increase the risk of gynaecological related tumours. A final recommendation was that the Catalan Health Service should seek to develop a transversal programme, with a network of interconnected specialist centres, with shared information and practice in order to ensure equal access for service users. Descarregar

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