5 Ways to get involved in Rio's health issues
Rio de Janeiro has been the focus of media in recent days, not only due to the Olympic Games, but also to the fear that some athletes are contracting Zika virus and other Aedes aegypti-related illnesses during their stay in the city.
But with the involvement of the population, it is much easier to help to avoid the spread of diseases not only in Rio de Janeiro, but also in cities throughout the country!
To this end, the concept of participatory surveillance is very important. "In this type of participation, the citizen reports to the government a series of signs or symptoms that he considers to have - in this case, we are focusing on signs such as fever and red spots on the skin, classic symptoms of Zika virus," says epidemiologist Eduardo Hage , director of the Department of Surveillance of Communicable Diseases (DEVIT) of the Ministry of Health.
Man carrying a garbage bag to put in a bin - "Photo: Getty Images"
In the case of a city that will receive so many people like Rio de Janeiro, this kind of collaboration is fundamental. "As there will be a large number of individuals in the same place for the same time, the possibility of occurrence and rapid spread of a disease is high, which may even lead to an overload of public service," Hage says. in addition to participatory surveillance, we talked to experts and gathered a number of ways to help you, whether in Rio de Janeiro or in any other city, to prevent the spread of disease and help public health. Check out:
Warn authorities if they experience different symptoms
As we have already explained, the focal point of collaborative surveillance is in reporting different symptoms in a region. "This helps to verify if there is a cluster with the same signs and symptoms in a region, which helps the government to collect samples or check with the health units of the region if there is a diagnosis of compatible diseases in the region, detecting outbreaks in a more fast, "explains Eduardo Hage.
The next step is to take actions that help reduce this disease. For each frame there is a specific protocol to be taken. "Health managers can take urgent control measures according to the epidemiological clinical picture. For example, they may be related to contaminated water / food (type A hepatitis, typhoid fever), insects (arboviruses, malaria), (cough, sneezing) or animals (rabies, leishmaniasis) ", enumerates the infectologist Helena Brígido, a member of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI).
These notifications can be made at the Health Units themselves in your region or through applications. "An application used in 2014, during the World Cup, and developed by the Ministry of Health, has now been perfected for the Olympic and Paralympic Games under the name of Guardians of Health. person, informs if they are feeling well or if they have a problem, "Hage explains.
Report outbreaks of diseases
Diseases caused by vectors, such as those transmitted by insects, also deserve a special kind of attention to outbreaks of this type of animal. A great example is the monitoring by stopped water points, ideal place for the Aedes aegypti to lay their eggs. Reducing mosquito breeding points makes a big difference in the number of mosquito-related diseases.
"The mosquito has a limited range of range from where it is born. Agnol Modesto, preceptor of the Family and Community Medicine Residency of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and member of the Brazilian Society of Family Medicine and Community (SBMFC).
In addition, knowing that a region is the focus of a type of disease helps to contain the picture in that location. "If there is an outbreak of chicken pox or meningitis in a school, there are vaccination and isolation measures that limit the outbreak and make it difficult to spread to other schools or neighborhoods."
Warn about absence of garbage collection
Another way to avoid vectors of disease in a region is through adequate basic sanitation. So if your region does not have this type of service, notifying the authorities and calling for reform is critical. This type of public measure can prevent verminoses, viral diarrhea, cholera, salmonella and even leptospirosis.
However, citizens also play an important role when it comes to not aggravating existing problems. "Avoiding littering in streams and keeping exposed litter helps to prevent clogging of small streams and still prevents the emergence of rodents and insects in the region, which are often vectors of disease," says infectious disease specialist Jean Gorinchteyn of the Hospitals Network
Reporting health posts that are not working
Reporting the non-functioning of health posts is also important for the government to take action and to have a rapid response to diseases in a region. This helps not only minimize the patient's symptoms, but also reduces the chance that he will infect other people. "For example, a person with diarrhea that does not get better needs to investigate the causes as it may contaminate feces with their feces contaminated, depends on the type of disease that is causing the symptom, "says Gorinchteyn.
In addition, the measure also guides public agencies on how to prevent the contamination of others with a particular disease. "Depending on the disease, it is advisable that the population of the region use masks, strengthen hygiene, take care of the elimination of breeding grounds, check cases in the family and / or close friends, among other measures," says Helena Brígido. Avoid spreading "health rumors"
Health rumors happen all the time. An example is the microcephaly-related stories at the outset of the outbreak here in Brazil: several people began to share that the picture was not a result of the Zika virus but rather the result of vaccination against rubella or the vermicide used to contain Aedes' larvae "In this type of scenario there is a disservice, since people can stop taking a vaccine or medicine that would bring a benefit and even increase the incidence of other diseases, such as rubella in the case," explains Eduardo Hage.
In addition, Hage points out that this type of rumor can increase the demands of clinics and even deplete medicines when people leave a vaccination, for example.
The ideal is always to rely on information with scientific evidence, such as those provided by official bodies (such as the Ministry of Health), medical societies and also trusted health sites, which use medical such as My Life.
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Family members and patients who are in treatment for mental illnesses like depression, panic syndrome and bipolar disorder are not always aware of information that could improve their health. One of them is the recommendation that patients who are taking drugs of the class of psychotropic drugs, that is, psychiatric medications should not interrupt treatment without medical guidance.