“I never went to the gynecologist because in my city there are no doctors in this specialty.”
The municipality has the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) in Brazil, with approximately 55% of the population living on up to half the minimum wage, ie, just over R$500.00 per month, around R$16.00 per day.
This information appears in the last census carried out in the country, in 2010, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
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The inequalities that affect the inhabitants of the island of Marajó are aggravated by the challenges of infrastructure and logistics, in a scenario where people live in constant deprivation of rights.
To try to reduce part of the inequalities, a partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Council of Municipal Health Secretariats (COSEMS/PA) was articulated to offer telemedicine consultations to women in the region.
For me it was great. I still have a return with her, I felt very comfortable
Entitled “Saúde das Manas”, the project provides gynecology and obstetrics consultations. Like Edilene, health agent Regina Lúcia Brandão, 50, who lives in Afuá, a municipality also in the Marajó Archipelago, benefited from the program.
She suffers from myoma, a type of benign tumor that forms in the uterus. In Regina’s case, it caused, in addition to pain, bleeding. Before being seen by a specialist in the telemedicine consultation, she was diagnosed by a general practitioner.
“I had already gone to the doctor, he asked for some tests and gave me medicine. However, I continued to feel bad with discomfort and pain. I couldn’t even sleep because of worry and pain,” he recalls.
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With the pandemic, Regina’s case was aggravated by the even greater difficulty in accessing a doctor. That’s when she found out about the virtual service and made an appointment with a gynecologist.
“She gave me some tests and a medicine straight away. For me, it was great. I still have a return with her, I felt very comfortable”.
In telemedicine, a health professional accompanies the patient in the office and, through the internet, a doctor or doctor is able to assist patients from afar. In addition to the consultation, exams are offered. The prescriptions are even printed and delivered to the patient on time.
Now we will be able to make an early diagnosis
Preventing cervical cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute (Inca), the North region is the only region where uterine cancer is the most incident and is the biggest cause of death from cancer among women, even surpassing breast cancer, which is the largest in the parents.
In 2019, 657 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in Pará. In 2020, 201 cases of the disease were registered, an index that must be considered taking into account the underreporting caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
For Luciana Monteiro, one of the specialists who work on the project, although the initiative is still in its infancy, the fact of helping to diagnose cancer earlier is important to preserve lives.
“We will be able to make an early diagnosis, because, sometimes, the patient takes the preventive exam and does not have a result taken to a professional who has knowledge to provide guidance and adequate management of the case. So, we will be able to tell the main problem is not only the diagnosis, but the conduct and treatment”.
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The equipment (TVs, notebooks and accessories) were donated by the UN Population Fund. On the other hand, Cosems/PA hired two doctors and guaranteed broadband internet to carry out the teleconsultations.
The municipal government has the role of providing the structure of the telemedicine rooms, with a table, chairs and professionals to support the action.
In addition to gynecology and obstetrics, care is also offered in the specialties of cardiology, neuropediatrics, neurology, endocrinology, allergology, psychiatry, pediatrics, urology, pulmonology, gastroenterology and dermatology.
The project will provide telemedicine services to more than 80,000 women living in the municipalities of Santa Cruz do Arari, Afuá, Anajás, Bagre, Breves, Melgaço and Salvaterra.
Edition: Vinícius Segalla and Douglas Matos