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História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos

Print version ISSN 0104-5970On-line version ISSN 1678-4758


HOCHMAN, Gilberto. Just down there, at the end of the avenue: Os sertões redefined by the sanitation movement during the First Republic. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos [online]. 1998, vol.5, suppl., pp.217-235. ISSN 0104-5970.

Between 1910 and 1920, the Brazilian sanitation movement endeavored to redefine the boundaries between backlands and coast, interior and cities, rural Brazil and urban Brazil, in accordance with what sanitarians then deemed the nation’s key problem: public health. The movement relentlessly defended an essentially medical-political definition of these borders: in the eyes of sanitarian physicians, the backlands were characterized by the absence of government and the omnipresence of endemic diseases. Through an intensive public opinion campaign, doctors and sanitarians convinced the political elites that the backlands were closer than they thought. This rural sanitation drive had political consequences: it laid the foundations for the first public health initiatives of national scope during the 1920s.

Keywords : public health policy; sanitarianism; Old Republic; sertão; backlands.

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