The BCRA has released into circulation the ARS2,000 banknote that will be gradually distributed through the network of bank branches across the country.
The obverse side of the banknote features the portraits of Cecilia Grierson, MD, and Ramón Carrillo, MD—pioneers in the development of medicine in Argentina. The reverse side of the banknote features the image of the Malbrán Institute.
The banknote was designed in collaboration with Argentina´s Mint.
The main colors of the new banknote—part of the current Peso Line—are dark gray and pink.
Taking into account the essential role played by health professionals during the pandemic that affected Argentina and the world, this banknote comes to pay tribute to the development of science, public health, and medicine in Argentina.
Cecilia Grierson was born in Buenos Aires on November 22, 1859, and passed away in the same city on April 10, 1934. She was the first woman to become a physician in Argentina upon graduating from the School of Medicine of Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1889. She was an obstetrician and kinesiologist. However, she was never allowed to perform a surgery for being a woman—in spite of being duly qualified. Besides, she dedicated herself to teaching from a young age and strove for women's rights.
She created the first nursing school in Latin America with a formal curriculum and was a founding member of the Argentine Medical Association. She also pioneered the opening of first aid centers in small towns, and played a key role during the cholera epidemic that spread across the city of Buenos Aires in 1886.
Ramón Carrillo was born in Santiago del Estero on March 7, 1906, and passed away in the city of Belém do Pará, Brazil, on December 20, 1956. He was a neurosurgeon, neurologist, sanitarian and the first Argentine minister of Health.
He graduated with honors from the School of Medicine of Universidad de Buenos Aires. He was also a full professor of Neurosurgery and changed his brilliant career as a neurologist to dedicate himself to the development of social medicine.
He made a profound transformation in public health in Argentina from a social perspective. During his eight-year tenure as minister of Public Health (1946-1954), a significant number of public hospitals were founded, massive vaccination campaigns were carried out, and the submission of vaccination certificates became mandatory for attending school. He eradicated endemic diseases, such as malaria—in two years— and put an end to epidemics, such as typhus and brucellosis. Moreover, he drastically reduced infant mortality rate. Finally, he incorporated a sanitary train to the health system that would travel across the country to do lab tests and X-rays, and provide medical and dental care four months a year.
The Malbrán Institute is currently part of the National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes Carlos Malbrán. The latter is a decentralized public body that is mainly concerned with scientific and technical policies related to public health. It was founded in 1893 with the aim of producing biological products to treat infectious and contagious diseases. The institution was named after the renowned physician in 1941.
Important scientists such as Nobel Prize winners Bernardo Houssay and César Milstein also worked there. The professionals who currently work in the institute were in charge of testing for coronavirus during the hardest times of the pandemic.