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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

versão impressa ISSN 0102-311X


FRIAS, Paulo Germano de; SZWARCWALD, Célia Landmann  e  LIRA, Pedro Israel Cabral de. Evaluation of information systems on live births and mortality in Brazil in the 2000s. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.10, pp.2068-2280. ISSN 0102-311X.


In Northeast Brazil, death from burns is a widespread, pervasive threat to poor women. This anthropological study describes the experience of personal suffering among female burn patients. In 2009, six “information-rich” cases were investigated at the Burn Center in Fortaleza, Ceará State, Brazil. Open ethnographic interviews with key informants, narratives of lived experiences, and participant observation at the clinic and patients’ home were conducted. The methods included content analysis, systems of signs, meanings, and actions, and contextualized semantic interpretation. The emerging metaphors are embued with the cultural meaning of “monstrosity” and gender violence by fire – inscribed mercilessly in the woman’s body. “Accidents” caused by flammable liquids (alcohol) hide the cruel reality of “raw and charred flesh”. The scars can disfigure the victims as “non-persons”, destroying their moral reputation and leading to social rejection. In the Brazilian Northeast, the social vulnerability caused by sequelae from burns demands a policy for humanized care.

Palavras-chave : Burns; Social Stigma; Social Vulnerability; Anthropology.

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