Brazil to Enlist Doctors in Fight Against Child Abuse

In Brazil, approximately 81% of the childbeating cases that arrive in hospitals are caused by mothers, fathers, and stepfathers. Only 3.3% are caused by strangers.

These data, which are part of a study done by the Brazilian Society of Pediatric Orthopedics of Paraná, were presented yesterday, July 14, at the 18th International Congress on Advances in Orthopedics and Traumatology (18th Ortra), in Rio de Janeiro.


The study will be used for a campaign against maltreatment of children. According to the vice president of the Rio chapter of the Orthopedics Society, César Fontenelle, the campaign is part of an effort to make orthopedists more aware of the importance of reporting cases in which there are signs of maltreatment of children and adolescents.


According to Fontenelle, the number of cases of aggression continues to be highly underreported, due chiefly to doctors’ fears of retaliation by the aggressors. He remarked, however, that doctors have ways to avoid this problem.


“Doctors don’t have to get involved directly. The orientation is for them to report suspicious cases to hospital police officials, who will refer them to the tutelary council, or, in more serious cases, to order that the child be hospitalized, to remove it from the setting of aggression, among other reasons,” he explained.


According to the study, 38.5% of the cases involve children between the ages of 5 and 9, and 29.8%, children 4 years old or less.


Fontenelle said that the findings were presented to around two thousand people who are attending the congress, including heads of hospital services from various parts of the country, who should pass this information along to other professionals.


ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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