Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
COSTA, Samira Lima da and CARVALHO, Emílio Nolasco de. Community Health Workers: promoters of interaction between territories. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.11, pp.2931-2940. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012001100010.
This article presents reflections originating from a series of meetings with community health workers over a period of ten years. It identifies the consolidation of two existential territories, which are sometimes closer and at other times more distant from each other, namely the territory of technical knowledge about health and the territory of popular knowledge about health. Starting with the analysis of some quotes from health workers and reflections which tally with the theoretical reference in the area, this paper discusses some of the dilemmas and deadlocks of access and affiliation from the perspective of some of these health workers, as well as the strategies devised on a day-to-day basis from the crossovers that take place between these two territories. It identifies the function of community health workers as frontier agents, at times acting as inventors or motivators of contact zones between the territories, and at other times acting as a representative by one territory inside the other.
Keywords : Community-institution relations; Technical health staff; Community health workers; Access to health services.