Imagem: Salazar Notable


Multispecies health Young Agents.

This project works with the promotion of multispecies health, emphasising the participation of adolescents from two favelas of the city of São Paulo: Jardim São Remo in the West Zone and Serra Pelada in the North Zone. Similar to community health agents and environmental protection agents, adolescents act as community agents. Their perspectives and community involvement are differentiated by their conditions as adolescents, residents and participants in local socio-cultural institutions. They are currently involved in: (1) context diagnosis through participatory mapping methods, (2) discussion circles, (3) organisation and implementation of multispecies promotion workshops, (4) revitalisation of public spaces, and (5) implementation of a pilot phase of a monitoring system of health indicators.


Talking map produced by the young agents.

Friendship Garden revitalisation.

Territorial bonds based on multispecies care are inseparable from multispecies health promotion. During the Covid-19 pandemics, the Friendship Garden in the São Remo favela was dramatically damaged, despite its historical and symbolic value. As Eraldo said, “there was a massacre of trees, they destroyed the home of many birds, the bees are suffering”. The role of Eraldo da Silva and Camila Santos, two residents of the community, has been crucial in revitalising the garden. In this context, the MUHE Network, called upon to help in the process, has articulated community efforts, peripheral pedagogies and academic knowledge.

Translucid OHP.

A wonderful meeting organised with our friends Dumangue and Ericsson Magnavita, and those of the Juegos Translúcidos (Translucid Games) collective. Games, transparency, colours, music, and improvisation in a MUHE magic experience.

Evaluation of handwashing by children and adolescents from the São Remo favela (São Paulo, Brazil) using the theory of planned behaviour.

Handwashing helps to prevent zoonoses and other infections. However, handwashing must follow a specific procedure to maximise preventive effectiveness, and research shows that even health professionals find it difficult to follow this procedure. Little is known about preventive behaviours in urban peripheries, and handwashing is not an exception. Thus, this study evaluated handwashing among children and adolescents of the Circo Escola no Jardim São Remo, a public facility with an invaluable social function. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city prefecture abandoned the facility. To date, it continues accumulating damages to its infrastructure and generating anxiety in the community, which is nevertheless organised to save it. The present study used the Theory of Planned Behaviour to investigate how attitudes, social norms, and perceived control influence handwashing. The results point to limitations and opportunities for promoting handwashing among children in urban peripheries. The study was developed by students and professors from the MUHE Network.

Desenho: Sabestián Mora

Participatory documentation of the COVID-19 pandemic experience in Jardim São Remo, São Paulo, SP.

The prioritisation of populations at greater risk of health problems is one of the foundations of modern epidemiology, along with the rigour of quantitative methods and the quality of data. The neglect of peripheries is not reflected in the exposure but in the imposition of risk factors, making them priorities from an epidemiological point of view. Neglect also leads to a lack of information and therefore to a compromise of one of the bases mentioned. The essence of epidemiological models is the simplification of reality, and given the difficulties caused by the marginalisation of  peripheries, a convenient simplification to be able to apply these models is to assume that peripheries do not exist. However, the epidemiological models are one thing and the epidemiological reality is another. Peripheries, inequalities, injustices, political decisions and corporate interests can be ignored in models, but they do not disappear from reality. By reiterating the priority that should be given to the peripheries, this ethnographic study addresses a fundamental and, at the same time, largely ignored point in the epidemiology of Covid-19: What was the experience of the pandemic according to the inhabitants of the peripheries? The answers reveal serious difficulties for any attempt limited to the use of masks, alcohol and a physical distance of 2 metres. When it comes to peripheral multispecies collectives, the study reinforces something that has been forgotten, if not completely ignored: Covid-19, like other pandemics, originated in marginalised multispecies collectives and affects multiple species in different peripheries. The research is funded by the Tide Setubal Foundation and carried out by the Research Group on Peripheries of the Institute of Advanced Studies (nPeriferias-IEA-USP) by Oswaldo Santos Baquero, Júlia Amorim, Sara da Silva (Faculty of Medicine – FM-USP), Dora Barrientos (School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities – EACH-USP, nPeriferias-IEA-USP), Ana Claudia Germani (Faculty of Medicine – FM-USP, nPeriferias-IEA-USP) and Gislene Santos (EACH-USP, nPeriferias-IEA-USP).

Informal settlement in Jardim São Remo. Its building started amidst the pandemic due to unaffordable household rents.
Multiespecies familiy in Jardim São Remo. Find the dog in the picture!

Dimensions of violence against companion animals perpetrated and witnessed by children and adolescents.

Why do some children witness and perpetrate animal cruelty more than others? To help answer this question, this study integrates psychological theories, psychometric validation of questionnaires and statistical modelling. The research is being developed by Juliana Tozzi de Almeida and Oswaldo Santos Baquero.

Drawing: Sebastián Mora

Surveillance of neglected diseases in silent (without reports) areas.

Some diseases are relatively restricted to peripheries, affecting billions of marginalised people and animals. Despite the scale of the problem, the pharmaceutical industry invests little in these victims because they are economically poor and do not meet profit expectations. Although international organisations talk about neglected diseases, there is a more fundamental problem of multispecies collectives subject to different forms of neglect. In any case, diseases are neglected and under-reported, which raises the question: are there no cases in silent (unreported) areas of a city, or are there cases but they have not been identified? In this research, spatial statistical models are used to predict the number of cases of feline sporotrichosis in the silent areas of the city of Guarulhos, based on the epidemiological situation of the neighbouring areas and the social vulnerability of the silent areas and their neighbours. The team consists of Lígia Neves Scuarcialupi, Fernando Cortéz Pereira (Guarulhos Zoonoses Control Centre) and Oswaldo Santos Baquero.

Excess risk (ER) of feline sporotrichosis in the census tracts of Guarulhos, between 2011 and 2019. This excess risk represents the probability that the density of cases in the sectors is greater than the density of cases in the city. Here we assumed that there was no cases on the silent sectors, a usual practice.
Excess risk (ER) of feline sporotrichosis in the census tracts of Guarulhos, between 2011 and 2019. This excess risk represents the probability that the density of cases in the sectors is greater than the density of cases in the city. Here we assumed that there was no information on the silent sectors and predicted the number of cases.

Companion animal welfare.

A census we carried out and are currently working on to publish the results showed that in Jardim São Remo there are more companion animals than children. Many people consider these animals to be part of the family. Therefore, caring for companion animals is not only necessary for their intrinsic value, but also for the well-being of the family. Animal welfare science helps to legitimise the exploitation of animals in agribusiness. However, it does make important contributions, such as the conceptualisation of the five freedoms that animals should have:

  • freedom from hunger, thirst, and malnutrition;
  • freedom from discomfort;
  • freedom from pain, injury, and disease;
  • freedom from fear and stress and;
  • freedom to express the normal behaviors of the species. 

In a series of meetings with children and teenagers from the Circo Escola (NGO), these freedoms were the object of games, conversations, and other activities. Data from a questionnaire on the subject are being analysed to identify some of the ways in which children and adolescents understand manifestations and practices related to the five freedoms.

Playful activity at Circo Escola, Jardim São Remo.
Dog and cat welfare as understood by children from Circo Escola (NGO), Jardim São Remo. Each network point is a response option, and the colors distinguish three response profiles. We will present more details in a scientific publication.

Dog bite prevention.

Small spaces and sedentary lifestyles, as well as a lack of some stimuli and an excess of others, lead to dysfunctional family relationships. In addition, a lack of knowledge of animal behaviour leads to communication failures and, in the case of dogs, fatal bites. On most occasions, dogs display alert behaviour that could prevent physical aggression. However, if ignored, they can lead to attacks with multiple consequences: physical injuries; psychological trauma; high costs of surgical, pharmacological and psychological treatment; mistreatment, abandonment and even death of aggressive dogs and, sadly, death of human victims. Accidents involving children are more likely to be serious. Therefore, prevention strategies must invest in identifying and creating spaces that are conducive to safe interactions between children and dogs, while teaching vigilant behaviour to avoid accidents. Although accidents with cats are generally less serious, they can also be serious and can be prevented by the same reasoning. For this reason, healthy interactions and the prevention of bites were an axis worked on in meetings with children and adolescents from the Circo Escola (NGO) in Jardim São Remo. In this project, we had the collaboration of Rosangela Ribeiro Gebara from Ampara Animal.

A series of illustrations (including the above) and videos supported discussions about bite risk situations with children from the Circo Escola in Jardim São Remo.

Environmental education.

When working on environmental education, we have to keep in mind that there is no single approach, no standardised debate, and no ready-made solutions. Every community, every public and every environment has its own characteristics. For example, the children and young people of Circo Escola helped us to understand some of the challenges facing São Remo. With them, we established dialogues and reflections to promote collective attitudes and to think of practical solutions to everyday problems that, when they affect the environment, also affect the beings that live in it and make it up. We also mapped the most problematic areas and developed awareness raising activities with the company in charge of collecting household waste (Loga). We also visited the sanitary landfill managed by the company.

Buracanã, Jardim São Remo.
The accumulation of rubble is a recurring problem in Jardim São Remo.
Chickens are used to control scorpions that proliferate in the rubble. Find the chicken in the backyard of this house in Jardim São Remo.
Riacho Doce, Jardim São Remo.
Playful activity at Circo Escola, Jardim São Remo.

Prevention of zoonoses and food-born diseases.

Approximately 75% of emerging human infectious diseases are of animal origin and 60% of existing human infectious diseases are zoonotic. In addition, food of animal origin or contaminated with zoonotic agents increases the burden of disease. Individual prevention measures are well known, but many lose their relevance in peripheral contexts. How do people understand the advice to keep the saucers of potted plants dry to prevent arboviruses when houses are built on open streams into which sewage is dumped and the household structure does not protect against flooding from polluted water? Or the recommendation to keep companion animals indoors to avoid multiple zoonoses and other health problems when houses are extremely small and their physical structure does not allow it? When the usual recommendations lose their meaning, it is necessary to think differently, something we have learnt with the children of Circo Escola during meetings to discuss and build preventive strategies against zoonoses and food-borne diseases.

Houses in Riacho Doce, Jardim São Remo.
Children from Riacho Doce, Jardim São Remo. Picture by Naima Manfre'.
UV lamp to see how seemingly clean hands look after an incorrect hand washing. Crico School, Jardim São Remo.