Gabriel Kawamura Pomerancblum
São Paulo – Refugees in São Paulo will get free medical care during event Manhã da Saúde (Healthcare Morning), Saturday, October 19, from 9am to 2pm at the City Council, courtesy of Grupo Mulheres do Brasil (the Women of Brazil Group), with backing from the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
Services will be focused on prevention, including anthropometry tests, blood sugar tests, pediatrics, speech therapy, HIV and syphilis tests, nutrition and health, dermatology and oral health, and breast and uterine cancer. There will also be a games and toy donation area for the kids, and everyone will get snacks.
One of the leaders of Women of Brazil’s Health Committee, Maria Cristina Rizkallah Alves, said patients will be given their medical records and get referred to Basic Healthcare Units (UBS) near their homes. Organizers are expecting 400 to 500 to be seen by doctors. There will be 70 Santa Casa medical students and physicians, plus 50 volunteers.
Maria Cristina said that over the last three years, over 5,000 refugees moved to São Paulo from places like Bolivia, Venezuela and Syria. The bulk of patients in last year’s Manhã da Saúde (pictured above) were Venezuelan, followed by Syrians, Brazilians, Angolans, and Nigerians.
People from Sierra Leone, Philippines, Sudan, Colombia, Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Yemen, South Africa, Argentina, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Palestine, Somalia and Togo were also cared for. Although the program is primarily for refugees, vulnerable local population is also allowed to join.
Manhã da Saúde is offered by the Women of Brazil Group in partnership with the Santa Casa de São Paulo Medical School’s Academic Center and the City Council. Besides the Arab Chamber, the project is also supported by organizations and corporate entities including Doutores da Alegria and Laboratório da Mulher Femme.
The event is held once a year by Women of Brazil, a group comprised of 30,000-plus women in Brazil and elsewhere who work to engage society in seeking improvements on a national level. Women of Brazil was established in 2013 by 40 women in various walks of life, led by businesswoman Luiza Helena Trajano.
Group members work in committees covering fields including public policies, healthcare, communication, legal, etc. “In a group like this one we can exercise our citizenship and give back a bit of what we get,” says Maria Cristina, who’s an economist by trade. She explains that her ancestors were immigrants who were in the same situation as these refugees when they arrived in Brazil.
Manhã da Saúde
Saturday, Oct 19, 9am-2pm
São Paulo City Council
Freitas Nobre Auditorium – ground floor
Viaduto Jacareí, 100 – Bela Vista – São Paulo – SP
Free of charge
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum