A Case Study in an Informal Community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The investigation took up the challenge of viewing an entire urban community as a ‘patient’ in need of diagnosis and treatment. Data collection included attention to human and street-level perspectives that could inform strategies to make the environment more health-supportive throughout the life course. A systematic spatial sample of 104 adults were asked to complete an interview, carry a GPS logger, and provide a saliva and household water samples to be tested for microbial presence and physical-chemical properties. Recommendations for actions to protect health from the bi-national team included the sanitation, transportation, commercial, medical care and housing sectors, and were prioritized based on strength of the evidence to support a substantial return on investment. Lessons on feasibility of adapting research methods from settings like New York City to informal communities will be shared.