The Human Show: Innovation through Social Science

EN Henrique Parra & Ricardo Teixeira, some perspectives on how Brazil is facing the pandemic: From the health care system to smart technology

Episode Summary

In times of so many uncertainties, we talked to a doctor and a sociologist to help us with having a bit more clarity over the moment we are living. On one side, we brought the sanitary doctor Ricardo Teixeira, who is specialized in collective health. This episode is in Portugese.

Episode Notes

[Notice: This episode is in Portuguese. As a way of letting the interviewees express themselves fully and also to amplify the access to Brazilians, this session was recorded in the interviewee’s native language. Thus, Andrea Rozenbaum, a Brazilian anthropologist, is also joining us in this episode as a co-host. A transcript of the episode in English can be found in the podcast’s website]

In times of so many uncertainties, we talked to a doctor and a sociologist to help us with having a bit more clarity over the moment we are living. On one side, we brought the sanitary doctor Ricardo Teixeira, who is specialized in collective health. With more than 35 years of professional experience, he is a professor at São Paulo University (USP) in the preventive medicine department. He focuses his investigations on health care communication. On the other side, we invited the sociologist Henrique Z.M. Parra, a social sciences professor at Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). There, he coordinates the Laboratory of Technology, Politics and Knowledge (aka Pimentalab). His research focus is on social studies of science and technology, and technopolitics.

We started talking about how different countries are responding to deal with the dissemination of COVID-19. Focusing on Brazil, apart from an overview of the health care system’s reality, in which there are insufficient tests, we also discussed the difficulty for many Brazilians to follow the social isolation measurements.

Although the short-term perspectives are not that optimistic, Henrique proposed an interesting view on alternative uses of technology smartly. Instead of focusing on approaches that reinforce individual responsibility, he suggests an amplification to look at uses of technology that promotes the collective engagement if face of the pandemic.

We discussed the State’s role and performance in the Brazilian context. They both shared their views on the significance of civil initiatives that have been emerging as responses to circumvent the State’s absence in specific moments. They also pointed out how the public health system (SUS) has been gaining relevance. For instance, they mentioned SUS’ strategic strengths and the front lines workers’ recognition by society. All of this, considering that the system is under-financed by the State, which becomes more evident.

We also talked about cultural and structural issues. From the disobedience at various levels to the way the tax system contributes to deepening social inequalities, even when it comes to the health system.

This is just the first part of our conversation, which continues into the next episode.

For the transcript of this episode, please visit: https://worldpodcasts.com/the-human-show/