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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


CARNEIRO, Fernando Ferreira et al. Health of families from the Landless Workers' Movement and temporary rural workers, Brazil, 2005. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.4, pp.757-763.  Epub July 03, 2008. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the health conditions of families from the Landless Rural Workers' Movement and temporary rural workers. METHODS: The research involved a comparative study of three populations: a settlement and a camp linked to the Rural Workers' Movement, and the families of temporary rural workers in a city of Southeast Brazil, in 2005. Information relating to sociodemographic characteristics and families were collected by means of questionnaires that were put to 202 families. In addition, structured observation and group discussions were used. A discriminative factor analysis was carried out to confirm differences between the communities. RESULTS: The three communities scored an average of 89%, which implies that they are distinct groups and supports the hypothesis that there are real differences between them when it come to health and lifestyle conditions. There was a high rate of food insecurity (39.5%) among temporary rural workers, almost double that of families who were camping and four times greater than those living on settlements. Temporary rural workers' salaries were low and fluctuate, meaning that they were more exposed to pesticides than the families living on settlements or in camps. A striking characteristic of families living on the settlement was that they all practiced animal rearing, unlike the families of temporary rural workers, practically none of whom were able to do so in the city. The perceptions of most families who were living on settlements or in camps were that the Brazilian Health System had not been meeting their health needs, mainly due to access difficulties. For this group, their needs are met only after making complaints to and putting pressure on governors. CONCLUSIONS: The view held by families from the Landless Rural Workers' Movement was that the fact that they belonged to the Movement and were better organized meant their health was better than that of temporary rural workers. The conservative modernization of rural Brazil has led to worse conditions for temporary rural workers, while Agrarian Reform has allowed for a better quality of life and improved health conditions among families, when compared in the areas under study.

Keywords : Rural Workers; Rural Settlements; Social Conditions; Family Health; Rural Health; Food Security; Rural Population Health; Landless Worker Movment.

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