Information and news on Brazil

Chronic Violence in Rio's Favelas and the Apps Helping to Save LivesDespite the Brazilian government’s efforts to protect favela inhabitants from drug and gang-related violence, concerns over public safety and security in Rio de Janeiro are at an all-time high. The prevalence of gun violence amid the struggle to wrest control of favelas away from drug traffickers has resulted in a staggering number of bystanders to be hit, often fatally, by stray bullets in police shootouts. As the embattled Brazilian state struggles to find effective solutions, two humanitarian organizations have developed applications whose aim is to help keep citizens out of harm’s way.

Translated literally from Portuguese, “favela” means slum or shantytown, but the diverse nature of these urban communities often belies such narrow labels. Typically colorful and teeming with life, favelas are low-income, informal housing centers that have become ubiquitous in Brazil’s largest cities.

Brazil’s first favela, now called Providência, was built in the center of Rio de Janeiro in the late 19th century by soldiers who found themselves homeless following the civil conflict known as the Canudos War. Today, an estimated 1,000 favelas are home to about 1.5 million people in Rio, which means that about 24 percent of Rio’s population lives in these communities.

Though the term “favela” has a historically negative connotation, conditions in favelas vary widely today and have over the past decade. While some of these centers are typified by destitution and the lack of resources, not all favela inhabitants identify with the negative labels typically applied to their communities. In fact, a 2013 study found that 85 percent of favela residents like the place where they live, 80 percent are proud of where they live and 70 percent would continue to live in their communities even if their income doubled.

Since this study, however, Brazil has entered into its worst economic recession since the 1930s. In 2014, Brazil celebrated its removal from the U.N. Hunger Map and prosperity seemed to be on the horizon. Just three years later, however, 14 million people are currently unemployed, hunger is yet again a pressing issue, and the number of incidents of gun violence between the police and drug traffickers has significantly increased.

Urban violence related to drug trafficking, which was largely believed to be a problem of the past, has reemerged in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008, the state established 38 Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) across the city’s favelas in response the problem of drug and gang-related violence, which has historically been centered around favelas. This program, which represents the state’s largest public monetary investment in the favelas to date, is dedicated to protecting inhabitants from gang and drug-related violence in Rio and removing the physical manifestation of the drug trade.

Initially, studies demonstrated that the UPPs were affecting positive outcomes in the favela communities. Crime rates fell and the price of real estate was on the rise. In the last three years, however, Brazil’s economic crisis has caused an uptick in crime rates, and the UPPs are struggling to maintain control of favelas.

Public safety concerns and the perception that the UPPs are not up to the task at hand have been exacerbated by the recent rise in the number of killings by police officers. In Rio, 569 people died at the hands of on-duty officers from January to October 2015, which represents an increase of 18 percent over the same period in 2014.

Sadly, shootings and assaults have become routine in Rio. This year, at least 2,800 shootings have been recorded since January, which equates to an average of more than 15 per day.

Last month, the Brazilian Army was called in to dispel a shootout that had emerged between police and an armed drug gang in Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio. Just under 1,000 soldiers were dispatched to surround the favela and bring an end to the violence, which had forcibly closed schools, offices and other public buildings and added to the number of civilian fatalities.

Endeavoring to help protect citizens caught in the crossfire of the embattled police and military forces and drug gangs, two humanitarian organizations have developed applications that notify citizens of the location of gunfire in their locality. Amnesty International and a local researcher created “Fogo Cruzado,” or Cross Fire, and “Onde Tem Tiroteio” (Where Are the Firefights) was created by a volunteer group of Rio citizens. Operating in real time by collecting police and eyewitness reports, both applications are available for Android and iOS users.

As a home to millions, the reemergence of violence in Rio’s favelas despite past endeavors aimed at its eradication is extremely disheartening, and the resultant deaths have been mourned as tragedies. Though these applications are only temporary aids rather than the comprehensive solutions that the city desperately needs, they can help protect its residents and reduce the number of deaths caused by gun violence in Rio.

Savannah Bequeaith

Photo: Flickr

Deforestation and PovertyDeforestation and poverty have had a close relationship to one another for a very long time. Individuals around the world have used wood either as a fuel for fire, shelter or weapons for hundreds of thousands of years. Nowadays, communities around the world that are not prosperous enough to survive begin to rely on selling wood and clearing forests in order to survive.

Much of the deforestation today is illegal. However, there are still communities that continue to subsist on illegally-felled wood. In fact, a World Bank report estimated that “illegal loggers cut down an area of forest the size of a football field every two seconds.” This cannot continue. Forests are vital to sustaining the worldwide ecosystem.

Currently, the top three countries involved in deforestation are Russia (mostly in the east), Brazil and the United States of America, which still has plenty of woodland. The U.S. is prosperous enough that it can afford to put resources into sustainable practices, such as replanting trees and improving enforcement of the law.

However, most other countries cannot afford these things. Most of the illegal logging comes from Russia, Brazil and China, attributing to 16.9 percent, 16.0 percent and 12.3 percent of all illegal logging worldwide, respectively.

It is unknown, though, whether the communities which do the illegal felling are in fact severely poor. Because people who are committing this crime do not want to expose themselves, there are few to no statistics on the exact portion of deforestation that is due to poverty. All three countries have relatively low GDP per capita’s though (between $8,000-$9,000 U.S. Dollars) as well as high GINI indices of above 41, which suggest that many of the communities in those countries survive on deforestation, are very poor.

However, we must be careful to not generalize this for all illegal deforestation. In fact, according to Forests News, big corporations are responsible for fueling this industry, as they can gain profits from agricultural land. Putting pressure on these businesses, such as McDonalds or Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), will likely lessen the effect of deforestation. However, it won’t help the poor become more prosperous, and it will likely make them even poorer.

Thus, what can be done against deforestation and poverty and poverty diminished by deforestation, for the sake of the environment, for the sake of the lives at risk and environmentalism?

Deforestation is vital for farmers who want to expand their farms to create more food for the world’s hungry. Unfortunately, solutions to the problem require worldwide participation against unsustainable practices and, of course, general poverty.

Even if we as a humankind were, in theory, to halt deforestation completely, it would mean that millions of people would potentially go hungry and disrupt the world economy. Therefore, the solutions must be carefully implemented over time.

Brazil has a great record of reducing poverty in previous years, reducing poverty from 24.7 percent in 2001 to 7.4 percent in 2014, according to the World Bank. It has also decreased deforestation from 21,000 square kilometers annually to only 8,000 square kilometers. What has the country done to battle deforestation and poverty?

For deforestation, it has invested more money into protecting the forest: 10 percent of the Amazon is now a protected area. For poverty, it created a slew of social programs, such the updating infrastructure, paid school attendance across the country and, most importantly, created “first global center for poverty reduction” called “Mundo Sem Pobreza.” Together, the two programs have worked in tandem to make the country the next big leader in fighting poverty and deforestation.

If Russia and China can learn from Brazil and focus on these issues in their respective nations, humanity will make great strides in battling both world poverty and climate change.

Michal Burgunder

Photo: Flickr

Help People in BrazilThough Brazil boasts a strong economy, income disparity between the rich and poor is vast, and 3.7 percent of the total population lives in poverty. Much of the poverty in Brazil is concentrated in northern rural areas, where young people in particular feel the effects of poverty. In Northern Brazil, about 25 percent of all children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. This income disparity is partially due to unevenly distributed land, and high land prices make it difficult for small-scale farmers to compete in the market. In recent years, the government has undergone measures to correct this imbalance, including reducing taxation on farming, which has already begun to improve the welfare of rural poor.

Brazil has been very successful in alleviating much of its own poverty, in particular through a government program known as Bolsa Familia. Through Bolsa Familia, parents receive a monthly stipend in exchange for sending their children to school and to health checkups. Still, there is much to be done to ensure that the rural poor continue to thrive.

Here are just three ways to help people in Brazil:

  1. Sponsor a child. With young people in Brazil most harshly affected by income inequality, this may be one of the most effective ways to disrupt the cycle of poverty and help people in Brazil. For example, Child Fund International offers programs to sponsor individual children. This money goes toward supplying a child with food, clean water and education.
  2. Volunteer. There are many ways to volunteer time toward bettering conditions for people in Brazil. Project Favela, based out of Rio de Janeiro, is a volunteer-run organization which offers both schooling and after school care for poor children (and many adults as well) completely for free. Volunteers help teach English, science, math, reading, art, theatre and even coding.
  3. Encourage vocational training. CARE, a nonprofit organization based out of the UK, has had tremendous success addressing the structural causes of poverty in Brazil and encouraging rural schools to provide vocational training to its students. In addition, CARE has helped poor communities in Brazil develop sustainable business practices and has provided access to microfinance.

Though Brazil still struggles with inequality and poverty, it’s clear that, on its own, the country has made tremendous strides toward fixing its problems. With a bit of help, it can continue to bring down the poverty rate and build a better future for all its citizens.

Audrey Palzkill

Photo: Flickr

Violence in Latin America
Every year, the Citizen’s Council for Public Security in Mexico releases a ranking of the 50 most violent cities in the world. The list is based on homicides per urban residents and does not include conflict zones such as Mosul, Iraq. The recently released 2016 ranking demonstrates the range of violence in Latin America: of the top 50 cities, 42 are in Latin America.

The biggest Latin American country, Brazil, accounted for the highest number of cities on the list at a whopping 19. Mexico and Venezuela rounded out the top three, and the Venezuelan city of Caracas topped the list. It is also worth noting that a number of smaller Latin American countries, including Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia and Guatemala, all had cities on the list. The concentration of urban violence in these 43 Latin American cities is alarming.

The link between global poverty and violence emerges clearly from this ranking. Many of the causes of violence in Latin America can be directly linked to symptoms of poverty such as hunger, political instability and weak public institutions. Venezuela, the country with the chart-topping city of Caracas, demonstrates this connection clearly.

Caracas ranked as the most violent city in the world for the second year in a row. In addition, four of the top 10 most violent cities were Venezuelan. Venezuela currently finds itself in a crisis state from a mix of political instability, extreme hunger and economic desperation. Venezuela’s financial woes spring from the collapse of the oil industry, governmental corruption and economic mismanagement. The crisis has become so extreme that 75 percent of the population has lost an average of 19 pounds in five years. The desperation and frustration from this situation have inspired massive government protests, many of which have turned violent. This confluence of factors has contributed to Venezuela’s prominent position on the list of most violent cities.

Venezuela presents one of the most extreme examples of the connection between poverty and violence, but a number of other trends also characterize the Latin American cities that dominate the list. Drug trafficking throughout the region is a large contributor. Violence between rival cartels placed Acapulco, Mexico in the number two spot on the list.

Brazil, the country with the most cities on the list, faces many of the same challenges as Venezuela. Governmental corruption and poor public services have spurred massive demonstrations that have led to widespread violence.

A few small Central American countries also face their own unique challenges. Countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have a disproportionately high number of cities on the list given their tiny sizes. Drug trafficking and weak public institutions are important causes in these countries. But impunity and histories of civil war and divisive social issues also play into the high violence rates in these small countries.

The range of violence in Latin America is large, but there are various factors that can be generalized across the region. Foreign aid from countries like the United States can help alleviate some of the common causes of violence. For instance, Venezuela’s economy has reached its last $10 billion. Providing food and economic support to the Venezuelan people could help stabilize the country and lead to more democratic and peaceful state than the violence currently ravaging the country. More than anything, people in Venezuela and the region at large need money and resources to stem the tide of violence across Latin America.

Bret Anne Serbin

Photo: Flickr

Belo Monte Dam
This past April, a Brazilian federal court suspended construction of the Belo Monte Dam in the northern state of Pará. The suspension arose from concerns regarding the protection of the environment and the natural resources of the Amazon. Sanitation works in the city of Altamira must be completed before construction can resume.

Community and Forest Effects 

The dam, which was scheduled to be completed in 2019, would be one of the world’s largest hydropower plants. As of April 2017, 10 turbines are already running, with plans to build 24 in total. The budget for the entire project is 30 billion Reais, or $9.6 billion.

The construction of the Belo Monte dam is a complicated issue. Droughts in southern Brazil led to energy shortages, increasing pressure on the Brazilian government to push forward construction of the dam.

Additionally, the desire to reduce Carbon emissions is a top priority for Brazil. Yet the deforestation and destruction of local communities due to dam construction are also pressing concerns.

The Belo Monte dam complex partially blocks the Xingu River, one of the major Amazon tributaries. The blockage forced the construction of a new channel, which has inadvertently flooded thousands of acres of rain forest. It is reported that many low-lying islands have been submerged and deforestation is occurring as a result.

Hydroelectric Dam Disruption

The construction of the dam disrupted the natural flow of rivers through the rain forest. It also forced many of the local inhabitants, primarily river dwellers and fisherman, to abandon their current lifestyle and relocate to urban areas. The forced relocation and loss of current lifestyles and employments exacerbates the risk of falling into extreme poverty in an already poverty-stricken area.

There is a loss of water supply and fishing stocks in several regions of construction as well as the lack of social support and economic compensation provided for local communities, many of which have indigenous populations. This is a major catalyst for lawsuits filed by the national Indian protection agency (Funai) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Hydroelectric dams, while currently favored not only in Brazil but throughout South America, are just one of several solutions for cleaner energy. Energy options powered by the sun or wind are also potential choices that could provide clean energy and reduce carbon emissions without contributing to deforestation.

As plans for the Belo Monte dam are reworked to better address certain environmental concerns, alternative forms of energy should also be considered as a way to reduce damage caused by hydroelectric dams.

Nicole Toomey
Photo: Flickr

Human Rights in BrazilAs the most recent host of the summer Olympic Games, Brazil is strikingly diametric to the glamor and leisure of them. With a focus on human rights in Brazil, the country has many problems that it cannot hide despite hosting the Olympics.

A few notable human rights violations in Brazil in 2016 include police abuses and extrajudicial killings — notably more often in disenfranchised areas (favelas) and during peaceful protests — violent and overcrowded prisons and the targeting of human rights defenders.

During the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, many peaceful protests occurred across the country for education reform and against the presence of the Olympics. Police responses to protests of this sort were frequently violent and generally led to an excessive use of force. For example, to protest the current education reform, students across the country peacefully occupied more than 1,000 public schools. Police used excessive force to remove students from the schools, shooting stun grenades at students. One student lost sight in her left eye because of the grenade’s explosion.

Other police abuses come from both on and off-duty police officers. In 2015, police officers killed 3,345 people, leading to cyclical violence in crime-infested areas. This undermines public security and endangers the police officers as well. In 2015, 393 police officers perished in the backlash.

Of all the violations of human rights in Brazil, overcrowded prisons are the most significant. Between 2004 and 2014, the number of imprisoned adults increased an alarming 85 percent. About 622,000 people total are incarcerated in prisons designed to hold 67 percent less than that or a total of 205,000 people. The increase of inmates in Brazil is attributed to a 2006 drug law that allowed drug users to be charged as drug traffickers. Luckily, in 2014, judges began to see detainees promptly after their arrest (required by international law), and this mitigates the rate of inmates entering prison.

Speaking out against violations of human rights in Brazil is a dangerous but necessary duty. There was a general increase from 2015 to 2016 of attacks, threats and killings of human rights defenders. Ranging from lawyers to laborers, 47 human rights defenders of all sorts have been killed.

Human rights violations do not define Brazil as a nation; there are many human rights virtues. For example, the country passed a “Digital Bill of Rights” protecting privacy and free expression rights online. A co-led initiative in the United Nations to create a new U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy accompanied the bill. Keeping the last few years in mind, there is hope for the bettering of human rights in Brazil.

James Hardison

Photo: Flickr

ADRA Helps Brazil
In May 2017, a flood in northeastern Brazil left 35,000 residents homeless. As similar disasters have affected Brazilians before, the Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA) is a nonprofit organization working to alleviate what has been a crucially difficult past for the country. How the ADRA helps Brazil is not through focusing on the negative impacts but instead on how they can aid Brazilians in times of disaster.

In January 2011, some of the heaviest rains in history caused major flooding and landslides in Brazil’s three major cities and in 80 smaller communities as well. The ADRA provided 4,500 victims with bed materials and hygiene kits, inviting others to donate. More than 1,000 households received aid as a result. The ADRA also received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Embassy to support Brazilian families in urgent need.

In November 2015, a toxic mudslide containing arsenic, mercury and other poisons made Brazil’s water undrinkable for more than 250,000 residents. The ADRA distributed 53,000 gallons of water to 1,900 families in the city Governador Valadares, and 16,000 gallons of water were given to 570 families in the city Colatina. The ADRA also managed to help more than a quarter of a million people in Minas Gerais.

In March 2016, heavy rains flooded several Brazil cities. After the rains, the water was draining too slowly and increasing the risk of diseases. The ADRA distributed hygiene materials to counter risks of diseases. Disaster victims were also given food and material items and lived in school buildings after losing their homes.

The ADRA partners with other organizations to help Brazil’s street children and disadvantaged ethnic communities. In August 2016, the ADRA worked on a project with Stop Hunger Now to stimulate Brazil’s economy. The project involved sending 100,000 packaged meals to Rio de Janeiro.The ADRA also utilized some of the meals to support 5,000 students.

The ADRA helps Brazil in order to better the lives of the country’s people. By providing Brazil’s disaster victims with meals, hygiene kits and other resources, ADRA gives Brazilians the hope that they will never be alone in times of crisis. Through partnerships with other organizations, the ADRA may even receive further help in the future to alleviate Brazil’s problems.

Rhondjé Singh Tanwar

Photo: Flickr

Using Fish Skin to Heal Burn VictimsIn Brazil, there are only three skin banks to serve a population of 208 million people. The health care system is so strained that the collagen and tissue stored at these skin banks can only meet one percent of the demand of burn victims in Brazil. Due to the high cost of skin grafts, most burn cases instead receive a sulfadiazine burn cream containing silver to prevent infection. The treated area is wrapped in burn gauze with no healing or restorative property to the tissue. When researchers at José Frota wanted to address this issue, they had a novel idea: using fish skin to heal burn victims.

The researchers began experimenting with Tilapia, which is one of Brazil’s cheapest and most abundant species of fish. The results were shocking, not only did the treatment cost 75 percent less than the cream and gauze method, but it also resulted in far less pain for patients. Some patients even reported being able to stop taking pain medications due to the fish skin treatment. This is in part because the Tilapia skin is richer in types 1 & 3 collagen than human tissue; these collagens are critical to healing burns in damaged tissue.

The collagen in Tilapia skin also stays moist longer than burn creams, resulting in fewer applications than with gauze. This lowers pain when administering the bandage as well as decreases medical costs while healing the wound. On many second-degree burns, the fish skin can remain on the skin throughout the entire scarring process. In Brazil, Tilapia skin was previously considered garbage, but doctors’ ability to use fish skin to heal burn victims has changed those opinions.

One reason for such an incredible discovery is that Brazilian medical researchers face different problems than their American counterparts. This leads to innovative solutions to problems of cost and access to health care that uniquely faces their society. Consequently, their ingenuity results in developing solutions that benefit the global medical community. In the same manner that World War II produced the advancement and mass production of penicillin, the inequitable and resource deficient health care system in Brazil produced this innovative approach.

Although not directly involved with this project, USAID is incredibly important to creating relationships with researchers, physicians and universities that facilitate these discoveries. Doctors have shown promising results from their early experimentation, but they need a private company to begin producing and selling the fish skin to hospitals for it to gain momentum in the medical community. USAID could invest in the project to produce these skins that would reduce its health care expenditures across the globe. Using fish skin to heal burn victims is just the beginning of low-cost high tech solutions with incalculable benefits that our foreign assistance and investment can produce.

Jared Gilbert

Photo: Flickr

Brazil's Poverty Rate
In a mere decade, Brazil’s extreme poverty rate has dropped dramatically. In fact, among the BRIC nations, Brazil has the second lowest percentage of its population living under the poverty line. Former president Lula’s unprecedented Bolsa Família Program (BF) is modestly responsible for this success.  In 2003, Brazil’s poverty rate stood at 9.7 percent; in 2013, that percentage was down to 4.3.

The concept of the Bolsa Família program is straightforward and trusting. The BF gives low-income families small cash transfers and in return, the families attend preventative health care visits and keep their children in school.  Bolsa Família has both short and long term goals. In the short term, BF has exceeded expectations.

Not only has BF help halve the poverty rate, but it has also improved income equality by 15 percent. Historically, Brazil has struggled with social and economic equality. As recent as the 1980s and 1990s, the nation’s poorest 60 percent of the population had only four percent of the total wealth.

The BF’s long term goals are grounded in sustainability, for it provides a more promising future for the youth generation. Through education and health, the BF works to give children opportunities to prosper later in life.  This work breaks the cycle of poverty that many in Brazil face.

The likelihood of a 15-year-old girl being in school has already increased by 21 percent, and infant mortality rates have significantly dropped. Long term monitoring is required to see the actual long term benefits of the program, but thus far the evidence is encouraging.

Aside from the economic advantages of the program, Bolsa Família has also restored integrity and hope to Brazil’s poor. Most of the beneficiaries of BF are women, and the female empowerment leads to a more educated, efficient and modern society.

The first of its kind of such a large scale, BF is an example for the rest of the world. By 2013, 120 different delegations had visited Brazil to find out more about the program, and similar cash transfer programs have already popped up in 40 countries.

BF may be a simple concept, but its innovation and success are far reaching. By providing 50 million people, or ¼ of the population, with small, monthly cash transfers, Bolsa Família has slashed Brazil’s poverty rate and given poor children better futures.

However, Bolsa Familia is only one part of the government’s four-pronged solution for fighting poverty in Brazil. Other strategies include setting the minimum wage, providing support for rural families, and creating a more formalized employment system.

Catherine Fredette

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in Brazil
An epidemic of yellow fever has recently emerged in rural areas of Brazil, with over 3,192 suspected cases reported, 758 cases confirmed and 426 deaths from the disease. The fatality rate for confirmed cases has risen to 35 percent as of May 18. Although it is not normally among the common diseases in Brazil, yellow fever poses a growing threat to Brazilian public health.

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease that includes symptoms such as black vomit and bleeding from the naval cavities. The Aedes aegypti species of mosquito currently transmits the disease, mainly in rural areas of the country.

However, Brazil could face an even greater problem if the mosquito species that live in densely populated cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, contracts the disease and begins to spread it. Already Brazil has had to request 3.5 million doses of the yellow fever vaccine from the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision. Only six million doses currently exist in the emergency stockpile for the vaccine; for perspective, Rio de Janeiro had an estimated 12 million residents in and around the city in 2016.

While country officials deal with the yellow fever endemic, there are several other diseases which continue to affect its citizens, especially those living in poverty. Other common diseases in Brazil include:

Ischemic Heart Disease
Ischemic heart disease ranks the highest among common diseases in Brazil. In 2015, it was the leading cause of death in Brazil at 18.8 percent, and it has frequently been the leading cause of death globally. Ischemic heart disease is especially prevalent among low- and middle-income countries, as living in poverty often correlates with some of the most common behavioral risk factors. These factors include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol. Due to the success of Brazil’s universal public health system, however, the mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases decreased by 24 percent between 2000 and 2011.

Diabetes
Diabetes was the fifth leading cause of death in Brazil in 2015, which was a rise from its previous position at seventh in 2005. Approximately 12 million Brazilians suffered from diabetes in 2015. Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body struggles to produce or respond to the insulin hormone. One way that the Brazilian Ministry of Health attempts to combat the increasing prevalence of diabetes is by offering free drugs to all people with diabetes and related conditions. They also support education and awareness activities.

Diarrheal Disease
Diarrheal disease is both preventable and treatable, and yet globally it is the second leading cause of premature death in children under five. In Brazil, it was the seventh leading cause of death in 2013. The greatest risk factors for deaths related to diarrheal disease are child and maternal malnutrition. As malnutrition generally plagues impoverished populations the most, the poor in Brazil are the most likely to suffer from the diarrheal disease. Fortunately, a rotavirus vaccination for infants has resulted in a decline in under-five-year-old diarrhea-related mortality and a decrease in hospital admissions in Brazil after the vaccine’s introduction in 2006.

With the threat of yellow fever and the constant presence of other common diseases in Brazil, the Brazilian government faces a great deal of work to improve and ensure the health of its citizens, especially those living in high-risk areas due to poverty. For now, the universal public health system strives to make current advances in preventing these common diseases accessible to all people.

Lauren McBride

Photo: Pixabay