Traditional and integrative medical practices in public health services in the downtown-west region of the city of São Paulo, Brazil, and their relation to health promotion.

Abstract

Dear Editor: The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages the use of Traditional Medicine (TM)/Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in integration with modern Western medicine in the health services.1 The Ottawa Charter states that “Health Promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health.” The same charter highlights the creation of healthy public policies and the reinforcement of community actions.2 In this way, there is potential for a great integration between the professional interfaces of CAM and Health Promotion.3 In order to formulate a regulation for the proper use of TM/CAM, the Brazilian Ministry of Health approved the inclusion of a National Policy of Integrative and Complementary Practices (NPICP) in the Sistema U[A]nico de Saúde (Unified Health System, SUS).4 The Coordenadoria Regional de Saúde Centro-Oeste (Downtown West Regional Coordination of Health, CRSCO) is subordinated to the Municipal Secretariat of Health (MSH) of the City of São Paulo (part of the SUS). According to the Coordination of Epidemiology and Information (CEINFO)5 of the Municipal Secretariat of Health, it is responsible for the public outpatient care for a population of 1,231,249 (11.37% of the city population), 39.2% of which depend on the public health system. The elderly population in CRSCO ( 60 years old) has grown, having reached 16.4% in 2006.5 They use CAM to maintain health and treat health conditions,6 which points to the need for public policies aimed at this population. Therefore, the health services of CRSCO have been implementing those practices in the program called Traditional and Integrative Medical Practices in Health (TIMPIH). In this study we used the CRSCO databases from 2002 to 2007 and interviewed the health services managers. The Committee of Ethics of the Municipal Secretariat of Health of São Paulo approved the study protocol, number CAAE 0223/2006. In CRSCO, 82% of the health services carried out some kind of TIMPIH action, having been implementing those strategies and training professionals since 2002. Table 1 presents the walks of life of the professionals who participate in those trainings. There are several community health agents who belong to the community itself and play an important role by helping both the population regarding basic health issues, and the administrative professionals, usually involved in bureaucratic activities. We invited the volunteers who practice TIMPIH in the health services to be trained in the body and meditation practices, therefore increasing the offer of those practices in their region. Many modalities of body and meditation practices are offered, and the groups gather at the health services or a nearby venue (Table 2). The centers also offer groups for hiking, stretching, relaxation, and dance. The other modalities offered are Physical Activity for the Third Age, Self-Massage, Body Awareness, other Chinese body practices, and Yoga. Three services offer consultations with homeopathic doctors, and four services offer consultations with 11 acupuncture doctors. TABLE 1. DOWNTOWN WEST REGIONAL COORDINATION OF HEALTH (CRSCO) PROFESSIONALS TRAINED

DOI: 10.1089/acm.2008.0395

Cite this paper

@article{Busato2008TraditionalAI, title={Traditional and integrative medical practices in public health services in the downtown-west region of the city of S{\~a}o Paulo, Brazil, and their relation to health promotion.}, author={S. Busato and Em{\'i}lia C Mansoldo Tanaka and Alvaro da Silva Santos and Thais Eiko Higuchi and Jos{\'e} Roberto Rios Leite and Elisa H. Kozasa}, journal={Journal of alternative and complementary medicine}, year={2008}, volume={14 9}, pages={1071-2} }