Health needs of the rural population: how can health professionals contribute?

Ângela Roberta Alves Lima Nathalia da Silva Dias Luani Burkert Lopes Rita Maria Heck About the authors


The urgency to broaden the knowledge about the health conditions, life, and desires of rural families, as well as the actions that health professionals are taking to contemplate disease prevention and health promotion underpinned this research. It sought to understand what is needed to have health from the perspective of the rural population, and how professionals can contribute to this process. Qualitative research conducted with 57 farmers, who lived in 25 municipalities of the extreme south of Rio Grande do Sul. It used as data collection techniques systematic observation, photographic record, collection of medicinal plants and semi-structured interview. The data revealed that the expectations of rural families regarding the actions of health professionals are configured as establishing health needs in these territories, to obtain a closer relationship with the services, that their lived experiences are shared, recognized, and valued. The needs are concatenated with the construction of spaces of relationship and encounter, in which they have opportunities to share experiences, serving as support to overcome the individual difficulties faced.

Rural health; Public health; Community participation; Plants medicinal; Agrochemicals

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