Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
PIGNATTI, Marta Gislene and CASTRO, Sueli Pereira. The fragility/strength of human life in rural communities of the Pantanal wetlands, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, n.1, pp. 83-94. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232008000100013.
From an ambiguous/complex standpoint, the fragility/strength of human life suggests an approach based on observations of the life-style dynamics of specific population groups. Conducted between 2003 and 2005, this study of a community living alongside the Pantanal Wetlands Private Natural Heritage Reserve established by the Social Enterprise Support Centre (RPPN/ SESC) in the Joselândia Rural District, Barão de Melgaço Municipality, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, explores its life-style, linking explanations of the health/disease process to historical, economic and social aspects of this community and the singularity of local healing practices, using historical documentary records, statements from local residents, a population poll, interviews and observations. Changes were noted in the links of solidarity among community members at work and for growing food. Healing practices based on folk-medicine are alternatives used to relieve symptoms and diseases. The fragility/strength of this specific community is established through strength based on solidarity and family ties, while its fragility is due to difficulties in accessing work, healthcare services and public facilities.
Keywords : Group health; Rural environment; Life-style.