Combating Malnutrition Among Pregnant Women, Mothers and Babies in the Rural Amazonian Forest: What can Telehealth Do?

Keywords: telemedicine, Health of Indigenous Peoples, Women's Health, Child Health, Food and Nutrition Security


Purpose: Malnutrition is a current public health problem and a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality among the indigenous population in the Amazon forest. This may be related to the nutritional transition observed among indigenous women in Brazil. This research aims to empower health professionals to promote food and nutritional education for mothers and babies living in the forest of the Brazilian state of Amazonas and its Colombian border. We describe our experience using telehealth to combat malnutrition among pregnant women, mothers and babies in the rural Amazonian forest. Methods: This is a qualitative study that included three interventions: field visits, a scoping review, and online meetings. Data collect from field visits and the scoping review were used to identify demands and incorporate themes discussed in the virtual meetings held at telehealth units. Sessions used the web conferencing platform of the state of Amazonas and were facilitated by Brazilian specialists. Locations were selected according to existence of telehealth site. Results and Conclusions: Seven telehealth sessions were held between April and December in 2018 and three in 2019, including 14 different locations equipped with telehealth points, and lasted 120 minutes each. The main findings were that telehealth services can be an instrument to establish a knowledge exchange between health professionals and indigenous people. The participation of indigenous people in social media could be an instrument to maintain their culture and to promote their healthcare, especially traditional and healthy dietary patterns.

Author Biographies

Rosa Liliana Macedo Ruiz, State Department of Health of Amazonas

Traditional Midwife and nurse, coordinator of Telehealth Unit of Tabatinga City, Amazonas, Brazil.

Angélica Baptista Silva, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Telehealth Laboratory IFF/FIOCRUZ

Ianê Germano de Andrade Filha, Human Rights, Health and Cultural Diversity Department of National School of Public Health Sergio Arouca – Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Collective Health specialist.

Martha Inês Camargo Garzon, Cundinamarca, Colombia

Nutricionista Dietista, con alta sensibilidad social, capacidad de liderazgo para formación de equipos de trabajo integrales y transectoriales; facilidad de expresión, integración y comunicación interpersonal, altamente propositiva; con habilidades gerenciales y administrativas para la gestión de recursos, programas, proyectos y convenios de cooperación internacional, nacional, horizontal y el diseño, ejecución, seguimiento y evaluación de planes, programas y proyectos sociales, campañas de promoción y movilización social de salud y nutrición, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional, Lactancia materna, Bancos de Leche Humana y Sistemas de Vigilancia Alimentaria y Nutricional.

Waldeyde Oderilda dos Santos Magalhães, State University of Amazonas – UEA

Graduation at medical dentistry from Universidade Federal do Amazonas (1988). Has experience in Collective Health, focusing on Public Health.

Jakeline dos Santos Carvalho, State University of Amazonas – UEA

Food Technology graduation (in progress)

Janayla Bruna de Almeida Oliveira, Health of Indigenous Department of Brazilian Ministry of Health

Nutritionist bachelor

Lucia Maria Costa Monteiro, National Institute of Children, Women and Adolescent Health Fernandes Figueira – Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Medical doctor graduated in 1980 at the School of Medicine (Universidade do o Rio de Janeiro - UNIRIO, 1980), Master in Surgery since 1991 (Universidade Estadual de Campinas and Ph.D. in Medicine (University of Glasgow, 1995). Develop clinical research at Instituto Fernandes Figueira, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz in Brazil, since1984 in the area of Child and Adolescent Health. 


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How to Cite
Ruiz, R. L., Silva, A., Filha, I., Garzon, M. I., Magalhães, W., Carvalho, J., Oliveira, J. B., & Monteiro, L. M. (2020). Combating Malnutrition Among Pregnant Women, Mothers and Babies in the Rural Amazonian Forest: What can Telehealth Do?. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 8, e23 (1-6).
Special Theme : Telehealth in Nursing