Revista de Saúde Pública
versión impresa ISSN 0034-8910
GARNELO, Luiza; BRANDAO, Luiz Carlos y LEVINO, Antônio. Dimensions and potentialities of the geographic information system on indigenous health. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.4, pp. 634-640. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102005000400018.
OBJECTIVE: To discuss the potentials of the Geographic Information System in the analysis of the epidemiological and socio-demographic profiles of indigenous peoples and of the organization of health services directed towards their care. METHODS: Geoprocessing analysis of tuberculosis, malaria and mortality notification of 374,123 indigenous people distributed in 36 Distritos Sanitários Especiais Indígenas (Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts) in Brazil was conducted. A gradient of risk intensity for tuberculosis, malaria, and infant mortality among indigenous populations was defined for the years 2000 to 2002. These coefficients were then compared with those of non-indigenous populations, during the same period. RESULTS: The analysis showed that the previous available data are fragmentary and do not allow for a comprehensive assessment of life conditions and health situations of these ethnic groups. The construction of gradients of risk indicated incidence of tuberculosis coefficients among the indigenous population more than 1,000 times greater than those found among the general population in Brazil. The mean malaria API among the indigenous population was up to 10 times greater than the mean values found among the non-indigenous population and the coefficient of infant mortality among the indigenous population varied from 74.7/1,000 live births in 2000 to 56.5/1,000 live births in 2001, exceeding the national average (31.8/1,000) for the same period in more than 100%. CONCLUSIONS: The Geographic Information System is a useful administrative tool for assessing health conditions, evaluating population risks, constructing scenarios, and planning intervention strategies in several levels, shifting quickly and efficiently between macro- and micro-level realities.
Palabras llave : Indians, South American; Geographic information systems; Tuberculosis; Malaria; Infant mortality.