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Critical notes for the development of Health Civil Surveillance


The idea and the grounds for health civil surveillance are presented here in a critical essay. This is a proposal developed by Victor Valla in the 1990s, which incorporates the participation of the population into health surveillance through Paulo Freire's popular education. With the resources input from both interpretative anthropology and the new history, a counterpoint is made between the traditional health surveillance, modelled by the epidemiological surveillance, and the health civil surveillance. Remarkable cultural permanencies in the health surveillance practice hegemonically developed in Brazil are then made clear. The prerogative of scientificity, which brings about the subordination to the biomedical clinical model, the political entailment to the idea of social security and the imperative criterion of urgency, characteristics of the traditional health surveillance, block off or raise difficulties to the popular participation. At the end, the health civil surveillance joins the Southern Epistemology by Boaventura de Sousa Santos. The development of health civil surveillance, which incorporates popular participation into health surveillance, meets the proposals historically inscribed in the collective health and conception and evolution of the SUS.

Key words:
health surveillance; health civil surveillance; popular education and health

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