Banknote in Honor of Science and Medicine in Argentina


The Board of the BCRA has approved the issuance of a new ARS2,000 banknote as part of the current Peso Line. The new banknote, designed in collaboration with Argentina´s Mint, pays tribute to the development of science and medicine in Argentina. An image of Dr. Cecilia Grierson and Dr. Ramón Carrillo—pioneers in the development of medicine in Argentina—will be featured on the obverse, and a design of the building of the Malbrán Institute on the reverse.

This is in line with the BCRA's efforts to boost the use of electronic means of payment with innovative measures through the 3.0 Transfers program.

In December 2022, instant transfers grew 98.8% in volume and 18.7% in value on a year-on-year basis. Besides, payments by transfer with interoperable QR codes grew by 41.4% during the same period.

ECHEQs (electronic checks) also posted an increase, with a share of 33.1% in terms of volume and 57.9% in terms of value in total cleared checks.

As the payment digitalization process moves forward, the highest denomination banknote will streamline both the operation of ATMs and the distribution of cash.

About the Malbrán Institute and the Physicians Honored in the New Banknote

The history of the Institute goes back to 1893, when the first Health Bureau was founded with the aim of producing biological products to treat infectious and contagious diseases. Later in 1941, it changed its name to Malbrán Institute in honor to the renowned physician. Currently, the Malbrán Institute is part of the National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes Dr. Carlos Malbrán. The latter is a decentralized public body that is mainly concerned with scientific and technical policies related to public health.

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.

Dr. 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 1886.

She was an obstetrician and kinesiologist. However, she was never allowed to perform 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.

Dr. Ramón Carrillo was born in Santiago del Estero on March 7, 1906. He was a neurosurgeon, neurobiologist, sanitarian, and the first Argentine minister of Health. He graduated with honors from the School of Medicine of Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1929. He was also a full professor of Neurosurgery at the School of Medicine and changed his brilliant career as a neurologist to dedicate himself to the development of social medicine (sanitation).

He made a profound transformation in public health in Argentina from a social perspective. He is recognized for his ideas and principles like "Everybody has equal rights to life and health.”

During his eight-year tenure as minister of Public Health—which began in 1946—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 epidemic diseases like typhus and brucellosis. He founded a significant number of public hospitals, and drastically reduced the child 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.

Dr. Ramón Carrillo passed away in the city of Belém do Pará, Brazil on December 20, 1956.

February 2, 2023

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