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What is the importance of Community Health Workers for socially vulnerable populations in a Covid-19 pandemic context?

Grant number: 21/08702-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Eliana Goldfarb Cyrino
Grantee:Marcelo Colombini Ranieri
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FMB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Brazil has one of the largest universal healthcare systems in the world, having its model anchored in a complex network of Primary Health Care (PHC). The Family Health Strategy (FHS) enabled a better confrontation of the Covid-19 pandemic due to its territorial responsibility and community orientation. In this model, Community Health Workers (CHW) are professionals responsible for mediating the contact between the population and the Public Health Units. Therefore, this study's main objective is to comprehend Botucatu's CHW perceptions on their action in the promotion of public healthcare politics to socially vulnerable populations in today's epidemiological crisis. This is an exploratory research with descriptive character, with qualitative approach, in which open interviews will be conducted with an intentional sample of CHW from the city of Botucatu. The data will be transcribed and interpreted based on content analysis. The text elements will be classified in a system of categories with thematic cores for later discussion of the results. As a result, the importance of the performance of CHWs during the Covid-19 pandemic and how their actions operated on the Social Determinants of Health of populations in social vulnerability are expected to be understood. This research should contribute to the construction of knowledge about the potentials and challenges of PHC in the management of the health crisis in question, focusing on the work of the CHW and its essentiality for the promotion of health politics that present cohesion with the social fabric, enabling the foundation of a more democratic, universal and equitable SUS (Brazil's Public Healthcare System). (AU)

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