Concepts of well-being are an absence of pain, suffering, disease and sometimes a divine blessing or fate. Brazilians seek medical care for illness rather than to prevent disease. When someone is sick, they are not expected to make decisions about their health issues; families manage these decisions. A mainstay of folk medicine is herbal and medicinal teas. Family members often share prescription drugs and self-medication with others, antibiotics are common. (University of Massachusettes Medical School, 2017).
Traditional Folk Medicine Practices: plants used to improve memory,
sexual and physical performance, or to preserve a healthy state are generically called tonics or fortiers. Several parts of those plants can be used, and sometimes the plant is used as food or drink, as in the case of buriti, cocoa, mate, and guarana. Antibacterial activity of both essential oil and purified active compound of clove basil, Brazilian folk medicine is used to treat different diseases; upper respiratory tract infections, diarrhea, skin diseases, pneumonia, and as a treatment for a cough, fever, and conjunctivitis. A foundation of Brazilian folk medicine is drinking herbal and medicinal teas, especially for gastric symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn, and diarrhea. Teas include lemongrass(cidreira) and orange rind (casca de laranja) for indigestion, guava flower (flor de goiaba) for diarrhea, and garlic (ajo) and ginger (gengibre) for colds. For suppression of strong negative emotions such as anger, envy, worry, sadness, or grief the use of folk syndromes is known as NERVOS, ATTAQUE DE NERVOS, and SUSTO The stigma attached to institutionalization for mental problems is a standard passive explanation is God’s will (University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2017).
Cultural Issues Related to Learning Styles: Being of better quality, middle-and upper-class families send their children to private primary and secondary school that prepares them to be admitted to the most prestigious, public (and free) higher education institutions. Students from more impoverished families can only enter the less prestigious courses in public universties, or go to private insititutions, where the classes are also of low prestige and quality, for which they must pay. Like so many traits of Brazilian life, education is attached to social class, race, and geography. A white person in the Southeast has an average of 6.6 years of schooling, whereas a person of color living in the Northeast has an average of just 3.5 years. (Machado, 2014)
Autonomy There has been a greater appeal among the lower and middle classes for a better lifestyle, and many recognize that it’s reliant on an increased level of education. From the year 2000 almost 85 percent of the job created in Brazil was meant for workers with at least a high school education, which was an increase from 1990 when such opportunities accounted for around percent. The importance of education has been so significant in Brazil that families are not only insisting more admission to the school for their children, but they are also expressively more concerned with the quality of education provided. Because of this revolution in education, younger generations are becoming better educated, aware of their rights, and equipped to embark upon the challenges of their community and country. (Machado, 2014)
Educational Preparation: The education system in Brazil is divided into five distinct levels or stages: pre-primary or preschool, primary, lower secondary, upper secondary, and higher education. Primary (ages 7-14) and lower secondary (ages 15-17) level is mandatory and free of cost at all public institutions including adult institutions, for those individuals who did not have access to school at the appropriate age, but roughly three-fifths of Brazilians have only four years of schooling or less In 2000 about 82 percent of Brazilians were literate. (Burns & Momsen, 2018)
Given the growing diversity of cultural health attributions, beliefs and practices, it is vital that the field of medicine gives precedence to such factors in healthcare and medical education. The following approaches contribute to successful and meaningful interactions with culturally different individuals and groups at both the patient/provider and the medical education levels: Culture is multi-faceted, complex and pervasive, encompasses more than nationality, race or ethnicity and is intimately related to beliefs and practices and impact health. These include health qualities, culture-specific health and healing methods, and access to culturally competent healthcare. Bi-lingual does not mean bi-cultural and multilingual does not mean multicultural. Be humble, humanistic and hopeful. When it comes to basic human needs and rights, we are more similar than we are different. Admit to what you do not know and be open to learning from those of different backgrounds than your own. Seek information to assist understanding of traditional health beliefs and practices including religious practices that impact health and well being. Building relationships based on mutual trust will enable cultural information sharing. If you have questions about someone’s cultural background and beliefs, ASK. Most people welcome the opportunity to talk about themselves and their background and appreciate your interest.