The expression of Collective Health from Midwestern institutions: multiple perspectives

Sandra Mara Campos Alves Maria Célia Delduque Veronica Ginani Maria Inez Montagner About the authors

Collective Health, as a scientific field of knowledge and practice, is structured around the concept of social determinants of the health-disease process. For this reason, it transcends the organizational issue of a public health system and advances the study of health from its social, cultural, and economic contexts (Loyola, 2012LOYOLA, M. A. O lugar das Ciências Sociais na Saúde Coletiva. Saúde e Sociedade, São Paulo, v. 21, n. 1, p. 9-14, 2012. DOI: 10.1590/S0104-12902012000100002

In this sense, Collective Health is an interdisciplinary field par excellence, which is related to the Social and Human Sciences, using its scientific and technical practices to understand social inequities and injustices, their determinants, and the solutions to overcome them.

The theoretical references of Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Economy, Law, Communication, Geography, among others, combined with Epidemiology, generated new ways and perspectives of understanding health, a fundamental human right, not only in its biophysical aspect, but considering that all action and research proposals must aim at the principle of integrality and equity.

In this process of development and consolidation of the field, we cannot disregard the spread, beyond undergraduate courses in Collective Health, of lato and stricto sensu postgraduate programs on the subject. Since the creation of the first course, in 1971, until 2020, Brazil already has a total of 94 programs in operation, of which 52 are academic and 42 are professional in nature, but there remains an asymmetry in terms of geographic distribution, with a particular deficit in the North and Midwest regions, both in number of course offerings and in program scores (Capes, 2020CAPES. Documento de área. Área 22: Saúde Coletiva. Brasília, DF, 2020. Disponível em: <Disponível em: >. Acesso em 18 maio 2023.

In this context, the Universidade de Brasília (UnB), for its stricto sensu Postgraduate Program in Collective Health (professional, academic master’s degree, and doctorate) and the Fundação Oswaldo Cruz unit located in Brasília, for its stricto sensu Postgraduate Program in Public Health Policies (professional master’s degree), joined together in an effort to try to overcome the regional disparity in terms of teaching, research, extension, but especially intellectual production in the field of Collective Health.

This arrangement was immensely facilitated by the physical proximity between the institutions, with the university, 10 years ago, generously providing land on its campus for the construction of the Fiocruz headquarters in Brasília, attracting the century-old institution to its side.

The experience of joint publication in such an important vehicle, such as the journal Saúde e Sociedade, brings the challenge of not only publicizing the work produced by teachers and students from both institutions, but also integrating the Collective Health team at the Faculdade de Ceilândia, of UnB, with the purpose of getting to know the work of teachers and students from the distant satellite city of Brasília, but also incorporating them into the research and scientific production of the main university campus, as well as Fiocruz.

Therefore, we recognize the great merit of the journal Saúde e Sociedade, its editorial board and publishers, not only for opening a space for the scientific dissemination of our group, but for understanding that this fact greatly helps to bring us closer to the standards of the Southeast and South regions in terms of scientific production. Therefore, in addition to thanking the reception, we recognize the essential political role of the journal Saúde e Sociedade in alleviating the historical inequalities between the regions of the country, in scientific and intellectual terms, as the reports of the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior repeatedly demonstrate (Capes).

This supplement, therefore, is an expression of the investigation of a myriad of themes that reflect the interface of Collective Health, Public Health Policies, and Social and Human Sciences, based on multiple perspectives, afforded by institutions in the arid Midwest region, and which sought to demonstrate that different interdisciplinary approaches are important tools to act positively in combating the determinants that generate health inequities.

The texts that make up this supplement cover topics such as: urban mobility, communication in health, vulnerable groups, poverty, housing, environment, planetary health, among many others. Therefore, it corroborates the need to think about integrated actions and policies, applying the concept of One Health, an interdisciplinary and multisectoral approach that provides greater cooperation and integration across different fields not only in identifying management challenges, but especially in health protection.

These articles reflect the importance of the Midwest region as a space for scientific discussions that transcend geographical restrictions. The research carried out here is at the center of discussions on transformation towards a superior Collective Health. This is how we want the readers of Saúde e Sociedade to enjoy the work we now publish, with great pride and satisfaction.


Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    18 Dec 2023
  • Date of issue


  • Received
    31 May 2023
  • Accepted
    14 June 2023
Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. SP - Brazil