Community Health

Health, happiness of the body. Happiness, health of the soul. The concept symbolizes a broad understanding of health, linked to not only physical, but also social, emotional and environmental well-being. PSA aims to join forces with public policies to guarantee the right to health and increase inclusion of Amazonian communities, making assistance and basic rural services more accessible, with an emphasis on prevention and education, and also using art and recreation to promote “saúde & alegria” (health & happiness) as methods of action.

When PSA first began its activities in Western Pará in the mid-1980s, it was faced with a troubling situation: high maternal and child mortality rates, children dying from diarrhea for drinking untreated water straight from the rivers, and the absence of minimal conditions of sanitation.

Due to their geographic isolation, residents seeking healthcare were forced to travel to the nearest cities, only to face long lines, insufficient services and unaffordable accommodations. With this lack of basic and preventive actions in the communities, primary and simple diseases worsened and led to an emergency health situation in the region.

Thus, in 1987 PSA began offering assistance and education to fight and prevent primary diseases. In this first phase, the right to health was the focus, with the training of replicating agents and midwives; the implementation of basic sanitation technologies; the expansion of vaccinations; campaigns and task forces; and recreational-educational activities through the Mocorongo Circus. Additionally, Local Commissions of Integrated Health (CLIS) were created to enable the communities to participate in the management of the activities.

Even with substantial measures in prevention, education and basic sanitation, which in particular improves child mortality indicators, there remained the challenge of finding an inclusive health care model for these rural populations that are so isolated from urban centers. That is when PSA started work in 2006 on implementation of the hospital-boat model for regular assistance to the riverside populations, taking the Family Health Program of the Unified Health System (SUS) to the communities.

Currently, PSA guides its operation on two fronts: primary health care and basic sanitation, both involving education and prevention.

The Abaré Model

Development of a primary assistance standard adapted to the Amazonian reality, with two hospital-boats (Abaré and Abaré II) which made the Riverside Family Health Program a reality within the scope of the Unified Health System (SUS). The new public health model is being replicated with PSA’s technical support to other cities in the North and Mid-West regions of the country, where 64 boats have already started to operate.

Water and Sanitation

Access to drinking water has been a major focus of PSA’s work, as it is directly related to health conditions and quality of life of the population. The program implements independent water treatment and supply systems, built and managed by the communities themselves. Currently, hybrid technology generates savings and reduces environmental impact thanks to the use of solar energy.
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“CEAPS” – The Center for Advanced Studies on Social and Environmental Promotion, a non-profit civil institution founded in 1985, legally represents PSA.
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Projeto Saúde & Alegria © 2020

Agência Fervo

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