Name of the activity: United by the Street
Country/NMO: BeMSA Belgium
Program: Health Systems
Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator
Type of the activity: Continuous Activity
Focus area: Primary healthcare from the perspective of the health system, Universal health coverage, Health systems as a whole
Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities)
The Homeless Population faces challenges such as hunger, thirst, violence, COVID-19 and the lack of affection, education and health without the necessary social concern. The Local Committee then decided to repeat the initiative that was so successful with the objective of promoting access to health information and guiding people living on the streets of Recife regarding issues relevant to the epidemiological context of Pernambuco.
According to the WHO, the concept of health characterizes a state of well-being in its entirety, that are physical, mental, spiritual and social health. Thus, the homeless population is in a state of greater vulnerability since it lacks access to minimally necessary goods for a dignified and healthy life condition. According to 2020 data released by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) there are about 200,000 homeless Brazilians, of which almost 2,000 are from the city of Recife
- Homeless people
- Medical students
- Homeless people
- To carry out guidance and awareness-raising work for 25 homeless population of the city of Recife on issues involving prevention and problems arising from diabetes, protection in garbage collection, in addition to awareness and perception of alcohol consumption and illicit drugs;
- To encourage, on the part of the local coordinators of IFMSA Brazil FPS and other members of the action, the in-depth research of preventive methods of the aforementioned conditions;
- To measure the target audience’s blood glucose using appropriate tools (glucometer);
- To guide through informative posters some safety measures, regarding the work done through garbage collection, pointing out its risks and accident prevention;
- To alert the target population about the excessive use of alcohol and illicit drugs, bringing alternatives to improve these life habits;
- To share questionnaires with the target audience in order to measure the impact of the intervention and verify its effectiveness.
- At least 70% of the homeless population of the city of Recife who were present at the project understand the importance of the issues involving prevention and problems arising from diabetes, protection in garbage collection, in addition to awareness and perception of alcohol consumption and illicit drugs;
- At least 70% of the academics present feel encouraged to do the in-depth research of preventive methods of the aforementioned conditions;
- At least 70% of the target population had the blood glucose measured using appropriate tools (glucometer);
- A least 70% of the target population feel guided through informative posters about safety measures, regarding the work done through garbage collection;
- A least 70%of the target population understand the importance of being alert about the excessive use of alcohol and illicit drugs;
- A least 70% of the target population answer questionnaires in order to measure the impact of the intervention and verify its effectiveness.
The project was attended by 12 coordinators, who were previously selected through the evaluation of motivational texts. Subsequently, on 05/05/2022, the training of the activity was carried out. In this way, the group was divided into 3 stations (garbage care, diabetes and drugs). On July 7, the action started at 7 am, with all participants welcoming homeless people and encouraging them to go to the stations. The diabetes station was responsible for presenting the main information about the disease, citing the warning signs, symptoms, consequences and forms of prevention. Glucose measurement was also performed, forwarding, when necessary, to the nearest basic health unit. At the garbage station, tips were provided for a more careful collection, explaining the symbols used and how to proceed in cases of accident with the material being handled. At the drug station, the repercussions of drug use were clarified, welcoming the user and referring them to support groups, if interested.
Plans for evaluation:
In order to assess the effectiveness and impact of the intervention, the participants applied questionnaires with questions such as “From 1-10, how much do you think this campaign helped you?”, “From 1-10, how important do you rate it? to activities like this?” and “From 1-10, how much has your knowledge been expanded in relation to the conditions addressed?”, which were made orally to homeless people. Finally, it should be noted that, as we still face health difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the intervention planning was articulated in order to expose as little as possible all those involved. Thus, the campaign coordination made sure that the registered coordinators properly took all doses of the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 and recommended the use of N95 masks or equivalent.
In order to ensure greater feasibility and visibility of the action, IFMSA Brazil FPS has entered into partnerships with three institutions: LAIN-UNICAP, Unificados Pop Rua and IFMSA Brazil Uninassau. As they have already developed numerous campaigns aimed at this group, the members of the aforementioned organizations have an adequate organizational structure and well-established audience capture strategies, which helped us with the methodological aspects.
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