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Self-care in individuals who recycle garbage (recyclers) of Medellín, Colombia, 2005

Author(s): Jaiberth A. Cardona A | Elías D. Díaz A | Yolanda L. López A

Journal: Revista Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública
ISSN 0120-386X

Volume: 27;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 309;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: recyclers | autocare | prevention of the disease | recycle garbaje | Medellín

Objective: to understand the conceptions, attitudes and practices about self-care among informal recyclers in Medellín. Methodology: a qualitative study from the perspective of recyclers not belonging to any guild in Medellín in 2005 was developed. A total amount of 52 interviews with previous informed consent were applied, plus non-participant observation and field diary. Results: self-care is understood as the constant protection of the body in order to avoid the occurrence of diseases. It includes aspects of hygiene, diet, medical consultation, proper use of leisure time and utilization of instruments for personal protection, such as gloves, face masks, caps, and ear plugs among other devices. Discussion: disease prevention goes beyond biological aspects and becomes part of a social dimension for people in which the most important features are the consequences for themselves, their labor team and their families. Recyclers have knowledge on prevention and practices that promote health and well-being, but the latter are not applied because they diminish their job performance, or they do not consider them to be necessary, do not feel like executing them nor they lack the economic resources to assume them. Autocare practices of recyclers are mainly supported by the primacy of the team history than by the scientific knowledge concerning it.
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