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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


GUIMARAES, Maria Beatriz Lisboa et al. The impasses of unconditional poverty: the experience of Collective Ombudsman in the Leopoldina region, Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brazil). Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.1, pp.291-300. ISSN 1678-4561.

The experience of Collective Ombudsman developed in the Leopoldina region, city of Rio de Janeiro, enlarges the traditional vision of health vigilance and consists in organizing a system of qualitative evaluation of the sanitary vigilance able to identify the health problems of the population and the methods utilized in the attempt to overcome these problems. Health professionals, religious and community leaders congregated in monthly forums to present and discuss living conditions perceived in the communities in which they carry on their activities. From the point of view of the social dimensions involved in the health-illness processes, this work aims to discuss the way that poverty compromises the popular classes' health, especially for the mental health and the "diffuse suffering". The methodology allowed us to organize, in a systematic way, the listening and favored the recognition of local knowledge, constructed from the life experiences of the people who deal with the suffering, the illness and their determinants on the life conditions of the poor population. The precarious living conditions for a significant part of the population were perceived as generating impasses in the resolution of their health problems. The results point towards the importance of understanding the health problems of the population, the resources utilized to face them and proposals for possible solutions in the field of health

Keywords : Collective Ombudsman; Health vigilance; Popular classes; Diffuse suffering.

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