Pesticide poisoning, pain, and excessive exposure to the sun, which can cause skin cancer, are some of the health problems that affect rural workers in Brazil.
To guarantee their health, the Ministry of Agriculture formed a partnership with the National College of Sanitary Education and Communication and the Goodyear of Brazil company to launch the program, First-Class Farmer.
The purpose of the program is to make rural workers more aware of the importance of preventing the maladies that most beset members of their class.
“The program will increase their awareness of the importance of regular preventive examinations. These examinations will serve as a data bank on rural workers’ health,” explains the vice-president of the National College of Sanitary Education and Communication, José Carlos Bühler.
The creators of the program want to use the nationwide vaccination campaign against hoof and mouth disease to extend the benefits of the Top-Notch Farmer program to the rural population.
The program will be launched for all Latin America and the Caribbean at the Fifth International Sanitary Education and Social Communication Encounter, which will be held in Rio Grande do Sul from June 20 to 24.
According to Bühler, the program will have a stand with five divisions in which 14 health professionals will examine the farmers. “Each day 200 laboratory tests will be conducted, ranging from the individual’s blood type to the degree of poisoning he or she has suffered as a result of poisons and pesticides,” he informed.
Bühler said that the beneficiaries can also be examined by ophthalmologists, dermatologists, and physiotherapists.
“All the tests and examinations will be free of charge. The farmers who have more serious health problems will be sent for treatment in hospitals licensed by the Federal Health System,” he reveals.
During the four days of the International Sanitary Education and Social Communication Encounter, there will be an area for children to play.
“Teachers will be present to orient the children of rural workers on social and environmental education and citizenship. All the participants will also receive a health kit containing a T-shirt, cap, sunscreen, and children’s books,” Bühler informs.