8 Issues Regarding Public Health in Brazil Essay

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Developing Country and Health: Enhancing Public Health in Brazil

In Brazil, public health issues are similar to those in other developing and developed countries. For instance, just as obesity and diabetes is a problem of epidemic proportions in the U.S., so too is it in Brazil. Brazil's health care structure, however, is significantly different, with free health care for all citizens being available (the finer details of this policy are not as alluring as they may seem on the surface, as long wait times for health care can often be the result) (Fleury, 2011). Nonetheless, this paper will highlight eight significant categories in order of importance and discuss why these particular variables should be focused on in Brazil.

Top Eight Categories

Health care reform. In Brazil, free health care is on the surface a good thing -- but the way in which health care is provided and funded is not as efficient as it could be. For instance, the Family Health Program in the country coordinates how funds are divided among parts of the country. In certain poorer regions of Brazil, funds are not available and citizens in those regions do not receive the same proportionate amount of care that more developed or prosperous regions do (Atun et al., 2015).

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Ensuring that adequate care is available for all persons in the country is the top-most priority for Brazil to address.

2. Obesity. Obesity is a growing problem in Brazil. It is increasing at a rapid rate and coincides with the introduction of fast food chains and Western-style "fast" diets into the country (Niehues et al., 2014). ABESO, the country's health department agency, recommends that Brazilians exercise more -- particularly by biking to work -- but as Cunningham-Myrie et al. (2015) show, exercise is just one part of combating obesity: diet is another. Brazil must address this issue of getting back to a healthy diet to combat the spread of obesity.

3. Infectious diseases. As the World Health Organization notes, travelers to Brazil should be away of infectious diseases. Riding Brazil of these diseases is already underway and should continue so that travelers and tourists can come to Brazil without fear of being infected by a local disease.

4. Zika. Zika is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes that swept up through South and Central America in recent years. It is a very serious virus especially for pregnant mothers. Developing a vaccination for this virus should….....

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Atun, R. et al. (2015). Health-system reform and universal health coverage in Latin

America. Lancet, 385(9974): 1230-1247. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61646-9

Cunningham-Myrie, C., Theall, K., Yonger, N., et al. (2015). Associations between neighborhood effects and physical activity, obesity, and diabetes: The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey, 2008. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(9): 970-978. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.08.004.

Fleury, S. (2011). Brazil's health-care system reform: social movements and civil society. Lancet, 377(9779): 1724-1725. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-


Niehues, J. et al. (2014). Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents from the age range of 2 to 19 years old in Brazil. International Journal of Pediatrics, 583207: 1-7. DOI: 10.1155/2014/583207

Paim, J., et al. (2011). The Brazilian health system: history, advances, and challenges.

Lancet, 377(9779): 1778-1797. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60054-8

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