Sanitary surveillance on Facebook: strong and weak points of sanitary surveillance communication in the internet

Fernanda Louise Voos Maria Cristina da Costa Marques About the authors


This article presents the results of a master´s program study on sanitary surveillance communication through Facebook, the most popular social platform in Brazil that offers a new communication configuration for health promotion. It verifies the strong and weak points of digital communication processes that evoke sanitary risk mediatization in order to evaluate whether such strategies can be considered tools for social protection and the consolidation of the right to health. Firstly, public organizations in Brazil identified as Sanitary Surveillance Services (SSS) that hold a fanpage on Facebook are listed. We then describe what is being communicated and how. The application software Netvizz was used for data mining. Social Network Analysis and Content Analysis were used as guides to construct an analytical model. Both the Anvisa Oficial and Vigilância Sanitária Rio fanpages were selected to content analysis of their 30 most engaged posts, published in 2017 between June 1st and December 1st. Those fanpages represent the Federal Brazilian SSS (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária) and the Rio de Janeiro municipality´s SSS, respectively. The topics related to the highest engagement (highest sum of reactions, comments and shares) were: medicine from Anvisa Oficial posts and zoonosis control from Vigilância Sanitária Rio posts. Each topic can be associated to many sanitary risks and reveal various tensions and conflicts between interconnected society and public health services. We believe in digital communication as a contemporary alternative to increment social protection, reinforce the right to information and, consequently, consolidate the right to health.

Risk Communication; Sanitary Surveillance; Health Risk; Social Media; Right to Health

Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil