Community Project

IAPO coordinated a service initiative to the community which involved a group of ENT specialists in a joint effort to attend 2,000 less economically favored children in Sobral, located in the state of Ceara hinterland in northeastern Brazil. Physicians went there at their own cost expenses to examine and begin treatment of the diseases identified at that time. An audiometer and a tympanometer were donated and used by speech therapists on spot, which were able to assess the children´s hearing.

Sobral Community Project – CE

Sobral, in the state of Ceara hinterland was involved in a unique project including research and health assistance care. This was “HEALTH, EDUCATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE STUDY OF CHILDREN AGED BETWEEN 5 AND 9 YEARS IN THE URBAN ZONE OF SOBRAL, IN THE STATE OF CEARA, BRAZIL”.

This multidisciplinary study was developed by Health and Social Work Secretary Luiz Odorico Monteiro de Andrade, MD under the scientific coordination of the pediatrician Ana Cecilia Sucupira from the Institute of Children, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo (FMUSP). Sanitarians, general practitioners, pediatricians, dentists, cardiologists, ENT specialists, eye specialists, orthopedic specialists, gynecologists, speech therapists and nurses also participated. Sobral Education Secretary was also involved and was responsible for assessing the schooling achievement of these children.

The project was a single cross-sectional epidemiological study with a sample of 4,000 children and included home interviews, clinical and laboratory work The home interview aimed to assess the schooling level of each family, social condition (family income and economic status), housing conditions (including basic sanitation such as the availability of water supply and sewage system), child labor, use of health services, nutritional status, availability and food consumption.

A computer analysis of the data allowed the researchers to cross check medical findings, such as allergic rhinitis or chronic otitis media, with information about housing, social and economic status, family education and nutritional status. Twelve ENT specialists from different regions in Brazil took part in the study, under the coordination of Tania Sih, IAPO president professor at FMUSP, Moacyr Saffer (RS), Walter Bassanezi Filho (SC), Lauro Lobo Alcantara (PR), Edigar Rezende de Almeida, (SP), Jair de Castro (RJ), Patricia Lopes Neto and Marcia Helena Oliveira (MG), Silvio Caldas (PE), Joaquina Fernandes Vieira (RN), Silvana Pimentel and Paulo Fernando V. Carvalho (CE).

Experts traveled at their own expenses leaving behind their practices during 3 days to examine 2,000 children performing medical examinations and audiometric studies. This was a unique experience in Brazil that provided benefits to children that never had such health services before. ENT conditions detected were solved, either clinically or surgically, (for instance tonsillectomies or adenoidectomies). Children with non-surgical conditions were referred for appropriate treatment.

We wish to highlight the support given by Sobral city authorities to the project in order to provide support on the diagnosis and treatment of children in various specialties.
An interesting aspect of this study was that local health professionals – physicians, nurses, nursing assistants and health agents – from the Family Health Program were also involved, tirelessly participating in all stages of the project. We also wish to highlight the work of local health agents that, knowing each family, visited each one to bring the children that were included in the study.

The experience demonstrates that research is not limited to academic institutions but can be done in partnership with healthcare services involving every local health professional. A further fundamental aspect is that studies such as this can bring both updated academic knowledge and previously non-available diagnosis and treatment to a specific population.

 

Testimonial
Márcia Helena de Oliveira, MD
ENT from Belo Horizonte, MG

I had the opportunity to take part in the project: “HEALTH, EDUCATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE STUDY OF CHILDREN AGED BETWEEN 5 AND 9 YEARS IN THE URBAN ZONE OF SOBRAL, CEARA STATE, BRAZIL”, together with ENT specialists from various parts of Brazil, coordinated by Tania Sih, MD. We left our day-to-day activities and, at our own cost, went to live an interesting experience. It was an extremely gratifying work; we were able not only to assess ears, noses and throats of about 2,000 children but also to experience the importance of the community work developed by City Health Secretary, headed by Luiz Odorico Monteiro de Andrade, MD. Worthy mentioning is the bond between the population and the local health agents; they know names, addresses and even the ailments of patients, in a relationship of real trust.

 

New Projects

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