Award, entitled Health Geography Award, is considered the Oscar of Geography in Health
Manaus (AM) – The Leônidas & Maria Deane Institute (ILMD/Fiocruz Amazônia) had work carried out by students of the Geoprocessing and Spatial Analysis in Health discipline of the Academic Master’s Degree of the Postgraduate Program in Living Conditions and Health Situations in the Amazon (PPGVIDA) , awarded as the best work presented at the XI National Symposium on Health Geography (Geosaúde), held in Manaus, between the 5th and 9th of November. The awarded students were Vitor Guilherme Lima de Souza, Samara Etelvina Rodrigues do Nascimento and Dandara Brandão Maria, guided by professors Fernanda Rodrigues Fonseca and Antonio Alcirley da Silva Balieiro, researchers at the Laboratory of Modeling in Statistics, Geoprocessing and Epidemiology (LEGEPI), at Fiocruz Amazônia.
The award, entitled Health Geography Award, is considered the Oscar of Geography in Health, established by the International Geographical Union Commission on Health and the Environment (IGU CHE). The award-winning work deals with the theme “Spatial-temporal analysis of self-inflicted injuries in adolescents in Amazonas, from 2017 to 2022” and is the result of the final evaluation work of the discipline Geoprocessing and Spatial Analysis in Health, taught by Fiocruz researcher, Fernanda Rodrigues Fonseca. With an unprecedented approach, the work focuses on the issue of self-inflicted violence related to self-inflicted injuries, which encompass self-harm behavior and suicidal behavior. The work was awarded a cash sum of 200 euros and the authors were invited to publish article in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Health Geography (HYGEA).
In Brazil, this problem constitutes an important public health problem. The research aimed to analyze the spatio-temporal distribution of self-inflicted injuries in the age group of 10 to 19 years.
“The students advanced in their studies after completing the course, further enriching the results obtained”,
noted Fernanda Fonseca, adding that Professor Antonio Balieiro helped with the statistical analysis of the data.
The research used secondary data on cases of self-inflicted injuries obtained from the Notifiable Diseases Information System of the Ministry of Health.
“In addition to the association between studied variables, to evaluate the evolution in time and space of self-harm rates and detection of spatial dependence of data between municipalities, spatial autocorrelation indices were used”,
summarizes the project.
The research collected 1,242 health notification records during the study period, with a predominance of female cases and mixed race/color and indigenous people. The study showed an increase in rates in the years 2019 and 2022, mainly in the Alto Solimões region, in Amazonas, on the Madeira and Juruá rivers, with emphasis on the municipality of Humaitá, in 2019. The work concluded that, just like suicide In conclusion, cases of self-inflicted injuries in adolescents represent a serious public health problem and spatio-temporal monitoring of the evolution of these cases can help in the implementation of more efficient public policies aimed at combating this problem.
For the students, the award ceremony has been a rewarding experience. In addition to interacting with foreign and Brazilian guests, XI Geosaúde gave them the opportunity to participate in mini-courses, round tables, work presentations, exhibitions, awards, field activities and book launches. Graduated in Dentistry, Vítor Guilherme Lima de Souza, says that the topic of work has always been on his radar.
“It was of interest to me to study self-inflicted injuries, a topic that I have always enjoyed studying. We observed that suicide was already well studied, but self-inflicted injuries were less so, especially in the North region. Hence the decision to opt for Amazonas as a geographical area to delve deeper into the topic”,
says Vítor, saying he was surprised and grateful for the award.
Biologist Dandara Brandão points out that the work will contribute to adding new approaches and giving visibility to the topic.
“We don’t have many studies on self-inflicted injuries and we can contribute new data, which is a source of great satisfaction for us and our institution. This is a delicate topic, even more so when related to teenagers”,
observes, remembering the importance of paying attention to the signs and possible reasons that lead young people to these actions.
For Dandara, winning the award was something unexpected, although he knew the importance of the theme he was working on.
For Samara Etelvina Rodrigues do Nascimento, who has a degree in Social Work, the experience of submitting her work to a scientific event was incredible and winning the award even more so.
“The work was the result of the Geoprocessing discipline taught by Professor Fernanda and consisted of choosing a health problem to work on with geoprocessing tools presented such as QGIS and Terra View, for example. In this sense, we chose Self-Inflicted Injuries in adolescents, focusing on the State of Amazonas, considering their complexity, as they represent a serious public health problem and research reveals this phenomenon, showing high rates mainly in the Alto Solimões health region”,
*With information from consultancy
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