In May, a Brazilian delegation from the Ministry of Health led by Deputy Minister Luis Odorico de Andrade was welcomed to the UK by the Department of Health. They took part in a four-day symposium, which was conceived, organized and chaired by Dr Matthew Harris, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Public Health. This was the second in a series of workshops to progress collaboration under a Brazil-UK MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). A range of topics of mutual interest were discussed over the four days with the focus being very much on reciprocity--discovering what the UK can learn from the Brazilian experience regarding best practice and vice versa, as well as sharing knowledge and experience between the two countries.
A key initiative of the collaboration is the Brazilian Community Health Worker project which is being led by Dr Matthew Harris. The Brazilian model uses lay Community Health Workers to pro-actively engage the population, promoting good health in the first instance and ensuring early intervention in cases of ill-health. It has proved to be a highly successful and cost-effective model, resulting in dramatic improvements to Brazilian health outcomes. Matthew leads a team from Bangor University and The Betsi Cadwaldr Health Board in Wales to implement a pilot project translating this Community Health Worker model to the UK context.