Habitation as a social determinant of health: perceptions and conditions of families registered under the "Bolsa Família" program

Kelly Alves Magalhães Rosângela Minardi Mitre Cotta Tatiana de Castro Pereira Martins Andréia Patrícia Gomes Rodrigo Siqueira-Batista About the authors

The objective of this study was to evaluate housing and sanitation conditions of families registered in the "Bolsa Família" Program (BFP), as well as to analyze the meaning of housing for the interviewees. It is a transversal study using a quali-quantitative approach undertook between August and September 2007 in the municipality of Paula Candido, Minas Gerais, Brazil. One hundred and sixteen individuals were randomly chosen from the BFP program (10%), and a semi-structured questionnaire was applied during an interview. Quantitative data were analyzed using the SPSS for Windows software and qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic analysis technique. It was verified that both beneficiary and non-beneficiary group face adverse conditions such as little schooling; informal and badly paid work; lack of water treatment and supply; insufficient sewerage and garbage collection, especially among rural area residents. Regarding the meaning the interviewees give to housing, they reported wishing for a house and/or for a better house, the acquisition of consumer goods and basic appliances. They also reported that the household is a place that goes beyond the physical and material dimension, it is a space of care, where social bonds and relations between family members are built and consolidated. In order to face the vulnerabilities to which poor populations are exposed, articulations between public policies and interventions in health, housing, environment and infrastructure are necessary, as well as programs to diminish poverty, such as the BFP.

Housing; Sanitation; Health Inequalities; Poverty


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