[Analysis of medicinal plant and herbal medicine programs in the Unified Health System (SUS) from the territorial perspective].

Author

Luis Henrique Leandro Ribeiro

Affiliation

Faculdade de Formação de Professores, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. R. Francisco Portela 1470, Patronato. 24435-005 São Gonçalo RJ [Email]

Abstract

There has been significant growth in the number of municipal phytotherapy programs in the Unified Health System since the launch of the National Policy of Medicinal Plants in 2006. The aim of the research was to analyze how these programs are distributed throughout Brazil, how they express regional diversity and how land use can influence these programs and promote broad technical synergy (local knowledge and universal knowledge) and policy (strategy and actors) in the production, circulation, distribution and dispe sation of medicinal plants in the public health system. The analysis involved a theoretical framework of critical geography and public health, conceptual and thematic literature review, document analysis, survey of primary and secondary data along with extensive fieldwork. The results show that the growth of programs was accompanied by the choice of industrialized herbal medicines, spatially concentrated in the South and Southeast. Two phases were identified in this process: 1980-2008 characterized by horizontal actions linked to regional diversities; 2008 to the present characterized by verticalized actions on a national scale. The National Policy made it possible to increase the number of programs but did little to promote greater regional diversity.

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