Community Health Workers: a perspective of the social capital

Cleberson Williams dos Santos Milton Cordeiro Farias FilhoAbout the authors

Abstract

This article reports on a survey of community health workers in Brazilian municipalities. The scope is to verify the influence of the network of social relations of agents in the daily work of the Family (FHS) teams. The theoretical base is addressing the social capital and the method is the analysis of social networks and their density measurements and EI-Index. In the data gathering, a questionnaire of the name generator type, with 266 agents in six municipalities in three different regions of Brazil (coded as Amazon 1 and 2, North Central 1 and 2, Central South 1 and 2) was used. Secondary data were also used. The results indicate that the profile of the community health agents is still a training limiter and they do not see themselves as a link between the community, the FHS teams and health facilities. The conclusion drawn is that the agents do not have the perception of their importance and that their internal networks have low density, with few external relations (other members of the FHS), which limits the expansion of social capital and hampers the dissemination of knowledge and experiences of actions of prevention.

Community health agents; Social capital; Social networks

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