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The cultural aspects of the Practice of Community Health agents in rural areas

Maristela Oliveira Lara Maria José Menezes Brito Lilian Cristina Rezende About the authors

The daily practice of Community Health Agents (CHAs) is permeated with educational interventions aimed at preventive care and health promotion. The sociocultural universe of these professionals can affect the dynamics of their practice within the community, particularly in rural areas, where there is evidence that the population expects to obtain information relative to their health and/or disease by means of cultural rites. Based on a case study, we sought to analyze the influence of the cultural practices of the agents working in a rural area in the interior of the state of Minas Gerais. The analysis revealed the presence of a strong connection between the culture and their activities. Religious beliefs and knowledge developed from the fusion of biomedical information and values based on family tradition regarding the health-disease process have a direct effect on their practices. It is emphasized that they have an important role as facilitators in the practice of health care, with a positive effect stemming from the similarity of their life experiences and inherited cultures with those of the clients, thus making it possible to develop effective interventions.

Community Health Aides; Health promotion; Culture; Health personnel; Family Health Program; Community health nursing


Universidade de São Paulo, Escola de Enfermagem Av. Dr. Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar, 419 , 05403-000 São Paulo - SP/ Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 11) 3061-7553, - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: reeusp@usp.br