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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123On-line version ISSN 1678-4561


KROPF, Simone Petraglia. Rural endemic diseases, health and development: Emmanuel Dias and the construction of a network of allies against Chagas disease. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2016, vol.21, n.11, pp.3621-3629. ISSN 1413-8123.

The scope of this article is to analyze the trajectory of Emmanuel Dias (1908-1962), a researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (OCI) and director of the Center for Studies and Prophylaxis of Chagas Disease (OCI outpost established in 1943 in the city of Bambuí, Minas Gerais), as a key actor in the acknowledgement of Chagas disease as a public health problem in Brazil and the Americas. It seeks to show that the conquest of this acknowledgement, the cornerstone of which was the staging of the first campaign to combat the disease in Brazil in 1950, was made possible by the intense political mobilization of Dias together with the various social groups, such as physicians, politicians and residents of rural areas, public health officials, governments and international organizations. This mobilization occurred during the 1940s and 1950s in a historical context marked by intense debate about the relationship between health and development and helped to construct a network of alliances that was critical for the recognition of Chagas disease as a chronic cardiopathy, which threatened the productivity of rural workers and represented a medical and social problem that merited public health actions and programs geared to get it under control.

Keywords : Emmanuel Dias; Endemic rural diseases; History of health; Development; Chagas disease.

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