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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Cad. Saúde Pública vol.2 n.2 Rio de Janeiro Apr./Jun. 1986

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1986000200017 

REGISTRO

 

Saúde e doença

 

 

Frederico Simões Barbosa

 

 

A Fundação W. K. Kellogg reuniu nos dias 7 a 9 de maio de 1986, em Battle Creek, Michigan, sede daquela entidade, um comitê Ad-Hoc composto de oito especialistas da América Latina, além de assessores e técnicos da própria fundação.

O objetivo da citada reunião foi o de discutir os programas que vêm sendo desenvolvidos pela Fundação na América Latina relacionados com a melhoria da qualidade de vida de seu povo através da introdução de tecnologias renovadoras nos campos da agricultura, da saúde e da educação.

Durante a reunião, o Prof. Frederico Simões Barbosa apresentou o tema "Health and Disease" cujo resumo é abaixo transcrito:

"Social and economic transformation that have occurred in the world since the advent of industrial era, have focused the relationships between health and disease on a different angle.

The emergence of a new era — the post-industrial era — have solely magnified the problems that I will try to comment as an inhabitant of the southern hemisphere.

As a consequence of the above, the gap between developed and developing countries is becoming each time greater.

Worse than that is the fact that the developing countries are creating two opposite realities inside their own territories: few live in an affluent society, while millions are submitted to the most primitive type of life.

I do not believe that developing countries will attain highly developed stages using the same model that the actual northern societies have followed. There are no possible comparisions between such distant historical moments.

In most Latin American countries, we are living a democratic transition phase, full of hope and contradictions.

In Brazil we are facing a strong popular movement towards the dignification of human life. Instead of being the 8th economy in the world or the 4th producers of weapons, Brazilian people would rather have decent houses, adequate nutrition, proper health services and educational opportunities.

Health is an unseparable component of the social tissue of the political structure of a country and should be looked upon as a citizen's right under the responsibility of the State.

Health is no longer merely absence of disease. The definition of health given by the World Health Organization is vague and superficial.

The concept of health is usually presented as the result of well-oriented preventive or curative medical interventions. In other instances health is admitted to be exclusively a matter of the health sector and, consequently, the result of an adequate organization of the medical services. The integration of health measures is commonly admitted as of fundamental importance in solving the health problems.

Although the above points are important and even necessary, we need to extend our views to a more complex definition of health policies as part of the specific political process each developing country is undergoing.

The process of democratization which some Latin American countries are going through, should review the wrong, old historical concept that distinguishes the "social sector" from the "health sector". The World Health Organization has, in many instances, expressed its views on the need of a harmonic social and economic development.

The comprehension of health implies in considering the political aspect of the problem. Health is the global expression of the real living conditions of a population in a determined place and a historical time. In other words, health is the result of a fair social patterns of life.

In order to overcome the problems, new social and economic structures and processes are needed".