Voices From the Field: What We Learned in Our Brazil FETP-Frontline Training

Débora Greff Dutra and Ridielc Rezende de Queiroz are both nurses and graduates of Brazil FETP-Frontline (EpiSUS-Fundamental).

The challenge began when we faced [the Brazilian state of] Pará’s winter, going from Novo Progresso to Santarém, where the Brazilian FETP Frontline training (known as EpiSUS-Fundamental) would be held. It took 12 hours by car to cover the 700 kilometers between the two cities, as the road was not in good condition and it rained a lot. During the training, we shared, with professionals from other cities, difficulties, achievements, and suggestions for making our health system more active and functional. We used our day-to-day activities to put theory into practice. We learned to identify health issues by describing them through the categories of person, time, and place.

One important learning point was to act fast when an outbreak occurs, as happened in December 2019, when indigenous Kayapó children were admitted to the Novo Progresso Municipal Hospital with diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration evolving to respiratory failure and death. From December 2019 to January 2020, there was a high number of hospitalizations, including four deaths in children under two years old. We reported these to the State Health Secretariat and requested the support of an FETP-Advanced (EpiSUS-Avançado) Team. The investigation team went to Novo Progresso to visit the children admitted to the hospital. They collected information from their medical records, analyzed their vaccination history, collected samples to investigate possible rotavirus outbreaks, and visited the villages with the highest prevalence of cases to know the location, habits, and possible cause of hospitalizations.

Overall, the EpiSUS-Fundamental training taught us to identify and take action, train the primary care teams, and together, promote preventive actions.