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Health iniquities among individuals in Latin America

By Rosemeire Soares Talamone

According to Paulo Marchiori Buss, professor at "Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública" – "Fundação Oswaldo Cruz", the main problem of health in Latin America is the so-called iniquity, in other words, the systematic and relevant health disparities among groups and individuals. However, these disparities are avoidable, unfair and unnecessary. Dr. Buss also added that the government of each country and its civil society have to define public policies in order to promote equity. These policies must contemplate social determinants of health, in other words, they must involve political, economic, cultural, ethno-racial, psychological and behavioral social factors that influence the occurrence of problems related to health and its risk factors among the population. "Social, economic and equitable health public policies are fundamental. Iniquities influence health due to the scarcity of individual resources and absence of communital infrastructure. Why do poor people die earlier? Because they are more exposed to serious diseases, risk factors and suffer from a shortage of coverage and resistance and other factors", analysed Dr. Buss.

English version: Murilo Alves Zacareli

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