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Saúde e Sociedade

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TOLEDO, Renata Ferraz de; GIATTI, Leandro Luiz  and  PELICIONI, Maria Cecília Focesi. Social mobilization in health and sanitation in an action research process in an indigenous community in northwestern amazon. Saude soc. [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.1, pp.206-218. ISSN 0104-1290.

The living conditions of the inhabitants of Iauaretê, an indigenous area in the municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, State of Amazonas (Northern Brazil), have been negatively affected by population density, poor sanitation and maintenance of sanitation practices that are incompatible with that reality. To improve the population's quality of life, sanitation systems that are adequate to the local socio-cultural characteristics should be implemented, as well as educational processes with emphasis on social mobilization and community empowerment. The aim of this paper is to report and discuss a training course on health and sanitation using action research, directed to the mobilization of the Iauaretê indigenous people, with the objective of assisting other studies of this nature. In the meetings, issues related to environmental health were discussed, a Community Newspaper was constructed, the course participants made interviews and drew up claims documents. This experience has enhanced the participants' understanding of local problems and of the importance of social mobilization for the dialogue with governmental institutions that are responsible for providing sanitation services and for seeking better living conditions. The researchers and teachers of the training course benefitted from the construction of collective knowledge resulting from interaction with subjects of the investigated situation and from the recognition and redefinition of their representations, fulfilling the fundamental premise of action research.

Keywords : Social Mobilization; Popular Participation; Action Research; Sanitation; Indigenous community.

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