The COVID pandemics is still the main public health challenge the world is facing. Hospitals, healthcare systems and professionals are overwhelmed. Patients in intensive units and deaths are still very high. But the SARS COV2 infection medium- and long-term consequences are not yet totally perceived. The impact on physical and mental health, the decrease in economic performance, unemployment, demographic changes, impact on youth education, familial dynamics, healthcare and social organizations will endure for several years.
In this issue of the Portuguese Journal of Public Health, we are publishing five relevant papers. Food insecurity and nutritional aspects are debated in two papers, one is about a scale adaptation (Passos et al.) and another paper evaluates the impact of the pandemic health crisis in Latin America on food security (Giordani et al.). COVID-19 infection is discussed in another paper. Sá et al. focused their study on one of the first communities that had experienced a lockdown in the first phase of the pandemics in Portugal. However, in the context of public health, other infections are also very relevant. Tuberculosis was for many years an important disease in Portugal and the tuberculin skin test (TST) was regularly used to screen latent and active tuberculosis. Afonso et al. compare the TST and IGRA in public health center users. Healthcare and social systems’ structure and organization were and are key to respond to the population needs. Pinto dos Santos et al. evaluate access and value measures in healthcare system.
All manuscripts bring new knowledge and new answers to public health challenges. Accurate and proper science communication and dissemination are fundamental to provide the scientific community but also other stakeholders with robust and truthful results that, in the end, raise knowledge and lead to fair and adequate health policies.
In these challenging times, where information and news can be delivered in any way by multiple channels, some of them with no screening nor authenticity, the role of peer-reviewed journals like the Portuguese Journal of Public Health that publish important issues related to public health are even more relevant than before.
All and each of us look forward to the decreasing of infected people, the real-world effectiveness and safety of the vaccines, and the emerging of efficacious SARS COV2 treatments. Meanwhile, we will continue to give our contribution by reviewing and publishing papers that can add knowledge and advance science in this primordial health area.