Brazil: Public Health GenomicsCastilla E.E.a, b · Luquetti D.V.a
aECLAMC: Latin-American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations, at FIOCRUZ: Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; bECLAMC at CEMIC: Centro de Educación Médica e Investigación Clínica, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Brazil represents half of South America and one third of Latin America, having more than 186 million inhabitants. After China and India it is the third largest developing country in the world. The wealth is unequally distributed among the states and among the people. Brazil has a large and complex health care system. A Universal Public Health System (SUS: Sistema SPACEnico de Saúde) covers the medical expenses for 80% of the population. The genetic structure of the population is very complex, including a large proportion of tri- hybrid persons, genetic isolates, and a panmictic large majority. Genetic services are offered at 64 genetic centers, half of them public and free. Nationwide networks are operating for inborn errors of metabolism, oncogenetics, and craniofacial anomalies. The Brazilian Society of Medical Genetics (SBGM) has granted 120 board certifications since 1986, and 7 recognized residences in medical genetics are operating in the country. Three main public health actions promoted by the federal government have been undertaken in the last decade, ultimately aimed at the prevention of birth defects. Since 1999, birth defects are reported for all 3 million annual live births, several vaccination strategies aim at the eradication of rubella, and wheat and maize flours are fortified with folic acid. Currently, the government distributes over 2 million US dollars to finance 14 research projects aimed at providing the basis for the adequate prevention and care of genetics disorders through the SUS. Continuity of this proactive attitude of the government in the area of genomics in public health is desired.
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