In the southern city of Porto Alegre, health numbers reflect racial inequality; While 8.2% of white children under the age of five die from HIV, the rate for black children jumps to 54%

Marco Quintana

black Brazilian women
Elaine Soares presented HIV stats data at a seminar in July in the city of Porto Alegre

In Porto Alegre, located in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, between 2001 and 2008, there was a decrease in mortality rate among white women of childbearing age (13 to 49 years), 38.6 to 36 for each ten thousand cases. Among black women, the increase went from 57.4 to 74.7. Alarming figures like these were released In July by the sector Health of the Black Population of city hall, during the seminar Reflections on International Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Day, celebrated on July 25. The seminar discussed the participation of women in the struggle for racial equality.

Coordinator of the group and nurse of the Municipal Secretariat of Health (Secretaria Municipal de Saúde – SMS) of the Capital, Elaine Oliveira Soares presented the results of research and field service. For her, the data show, increasingly, that black women still live in social vulnerability, suffer from various forms of racism, and they don’t see opportunities in the labor market. “Black girls have as models black mothers who did not attend college”, says the nurse, contextualizing that in 2011, the number of pregnant black teenagers were nearly twice that registered among the white teenagers.

Other alarming information of SMS is that while 8.2% of white children under the age of five die from the HIV virus, the number jumps to 54% among Black children under five. One of the justifications is social vulnerability.

Health of the Black Population

Elaine is also battling for simple attitudes that can produce significant changes in behavior. She gives the example: in meetings for breastfeeding offered to the community, there were only white dolls. The coordinator requested and is now awaiting the arrival of black dolls, “which leads to higher self-esteem among the participants,” she claims.

In order for these studies to be more accurate, the citizen who is registering to use the SUS card*, for example, will have to fill in their race/color. “All this demonstrates, once again, the urgency of policies for blacks with fairness according to race/color”, says Elaine.

SUS Card

As a means of stimulating the implementation of the National Policy of Comprehensive Health of the Black Population and combating racism, the SMS created the award Promoção da Equidade em Saúde  – Saúde da População Negra (Promotion of Health Equity – Health of the Black Population). A trip to Mozambique is what the authors of the project will win the project with ongoing inclination to the interaction between server and user.

* – According to the Brazilian government website, the SUS card is a document designed to facilitate access to the service network of the Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS or Single Health System) and contains information on when and where the patient was seen, what services were provided by which professional and what procedures were performed.

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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