From the monitoring of syphilis in Salvador to the offer of workshops for quilombola communities in Ilha de Maré. The first half of 2019 was marked by important practices for the training of students of the Undergraduate Course in Public Health of the ISC / UFBA. The activities were presented by the students themselves during the Interdisciplinary Meeting “Integrated Practices in Health: Recruiting knowledge and producing knowledge”, held last Thursday (4), in the auditorium of the Institute.
Declared a serious public health problem by the World Health Organization (WHO), syphilis guided part of the work done by the students. According to the Secretariat of Health of the State of Bahia (Sesab), in 10 years (2007 to 2017), the detection rate in pregnant women increased 959.6% throughout Bahia. Syphilis infection of the mother can lead to fetal and neonatal deaths, and increase the risk of premature death in children. Just to get an idea of the seriousness of the problem, from January 2007 to September 2018, Bahia recorded 97 deaths from congenital syphilis in children under 1 year of age.
The data are important so that the organs of health can elaborate policies of prevention and treatment. But to what extent are the units prepared to work the various information about the patients who arrive every day in search of care? One of the classes of the Graduation in Collective Health chose the district of Subúrbio Ferroviário, one of the five with more cases of syphilis in Salvador, to look for answers to this question.
“We thought of an interview model to apply in the district and find out what were the difficulties, the demands and how the actions were developed in each unit,” explains student Lívia Muniz, who participated in the study. In total, 10 units of the Rail Suburb participated in the questionnaire.
Based on the responses, the students identified an absence of organized information and, from then on, developed an online form template to provide managers. Even a document explaining the step-by-step how data access works was built and delivered to the health district, which can now rely on the tool to assist in actions. “They needed an instrument to understand their limitations, their advantages, what they have to offer the population and, from that, they can transform into assertive actions,” said student Cláudio Paim, who also participated in the activity.
The Stigmata of Syphilis
Another study, prepared by first semester students, analyzed the situation of syphilis in the health district of Brotas. The idea was to outline the profile of infected people and to verify, based on data collected from the notification forms, the actions taken to diagnose and treat the disease.
The survey revealed that most pregnant women only discovered syphilis infection in the third trimester of pregnancy, increasing risks for the baby and the woman. Also noteworthy is the lack of treatment for partners. Half were not treated for syphilis, that is, they are compromising their own health and exposing the woman to the risk of a new infection. “Machismo prevails so much that it makes men abdicate their health security and, even more so, their mate,” observes student Helen Ferreira, who participated in the work.
The study also indicates a higher percentage of infection for syphilis acquired among men. They represent 62% of notifications, with a higher incidence among individuals over 45 years. “Either these cases were late notifications or, in fact, there is a very pertinent and not very common manifestation in this district,” analyzes student Jackson Pereira. It also highlights the sexual behavior of infected women. Contrary to the idea of syphilis as a “gay disease”, 92.3% of them declared themselves to be heterosexual.
Despite being supported in graphics, the study intends to go further. “The numbers represent lives, communities and health situations that need to be humanely verified from the sanitarista’s sensibility,” says Jackson. The research also aims to bring a new awareness to the professionals involved. “Why do these diseases affect both black people, brown people, women, gays, lesbians and people on the periphery? Is it just the lack of condom use or are there other issues that permeate it? I ask that we, as sanitarians, be able to promote health with more democracy. “Says Helen.
Every May 1st, when World Labor Day is celebrated, Catholics are celebrating St. Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of workers. In Ilha de Maré, in the Bay of All Saints, it would be no different. But the celebration of this year would have another meaning for students of the Graduation in Collective Health of ISC / UFBA.
They were there to participate in a practical activity with the goal of promoting health together with the quilombolas communities of Martelo and Porto dos Cavalos. The first contact already revealed much of what was to come. “Despite being a Catholic festival, they talked about work, sharing inheritances and social goods. They spoke of sovereignty and brotherhood, in a way I have never seen before in my life. “Says enthusiastically the student Rachel Moura, who participated in the work in the localities.
In the midst of all natural beauty, several problems threaten the health of the residents of Ilha de Maré, like the pollution caused by chemical industries installed in that region. The work of community health agents has also been compromised amid the difficulty of access and distance between communities. And that is where the autonomy of the residents comes in. For them, health is also promoted through mourners, healers and midwives. Knowledge that goes from generation to generation.
“We sought to know the potentialities from the vision of the community itself and discover their expectations,” explains student Danilo Negreiros. In the wish list, elaborated by the residents themselves, was the offer of vocational courses. A challenge accepted by the students, who held workshops on music, photography, crafts, makeup and turban with the support of artists, colleagues and teachers. Result you check in the following photo gallery.
The singer and composer from Bahia, Durval Caldas, who was in charge of the music workshop for the children, also participated in the meeting with the students. He presented an unpublished song that translates into verses the experience with the quilombola community in Ilha de Maré.
For the coordinator of the Graduate Course in Public Health, Liliana Santos, the interdisciplinary meeting has been consolidated as an important space for the exchange of knowledge and other reflections to students and teachers. “In the midst of so many challenges, we see hope, joy, commitment, the ability to produce beauty and reflect that this is also a production of health and social commitment.”