Popular and Scientific Knowledge About Health in a Territory of Vulnerability

Popular and Scientific Knowledge About Health in a Territory of Vulnerability: Interventive Possibilities to the Social Occupacional Therapy in the Mediation of Dialogues


Alagoas State University of Health Sciences1

Research Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacy-2d Code

This work is a result of a research carried out at the terreiro (meeting place of candomblé) Casa de Iemanjá IyáOgun-Té, nation Jejè/Nagô, and at the Unidade de Saúde da Família Osvaldo Brandão Vilela, both in a humble and hegemonically black neighborhood from the town of Maceió-AL. The goal was to get to know the existing communication between these two healthcare spaces in the territory and reflect upon the role of the occupational therapist in the mediation of the dialogue which is necessary to the implementation of the Política Nacional de Saúde Integral da População Negra (National Policy on the Integral Health of Black People). A qualitative study on an ethnomethodologic approach, in which the participating observation, the field journal and the interviews were used as sources of records and production of data. As a technique of data verification, an analysis of the content was applied, and with it two thematic categories were created: The relation between the supporters of candomblé and the questions and healthcare spaces and The perception of the health professionals about the users and the Política de Saúde Integral da População Negra, focusing on the people in the terreiro. The results showed in the supporters of candomblé a better ability to transit in the many healthcare spaces, electing the terreiro as a space of sheltering and resolutivity to the process of balance, in favor of health. On behalf of the health professionals, there was an unawareness of the sociocultural context of the users and the affirmative policies of SUS para Povos de Terreiro. There is some recognition of the importance to consider the cultural aspects on the treatment of people’s health, but there’s a general unawareness about the affirmative policies and a detachment from the space of terreiro. The traditional and scientific knowledge of these spaces have little communication, because even though some professionals show a more sensitive look upon the user’s cultural context, it isn’t yet possible to speak about dialogue between these different health practices. This reality opens up a space of action for the occupational therapist, a professional in conflicts and cultural negotiations, which are a fundamental principle of his role, the culture and the activity being creators of the possibility of interaction between these social groups.

Keywords: Health Policy; Cultural Diversity; Povo de Santo; Occupational Therapy

Free Full-text PDF


  1. Barros, D.D; Almeida, M.C.; Vecchia, T.C. Terapia Ocupacional social: diversidade, cultura e saber técnico. Rev. Ter. Ocupa. Univ. São Paulo, São Paulo, v. 18, n. 3, p. 128-134, set / dez. 2007.
  2. Motta, R. A cura no xangô de Pernambuco: o rito do amassi como terapia. In: PARRY, Scott (Org). Sistema de cura: as alternativas do povo. Recife: Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 1988.

3. Oliveira, F. Saúde da população negra. Brasília: Organização Pan-Americana da Saúde, 2003.