Brazil, a country of 186 million inhabitants, is characterized by large disparities in health and well-being between rich and poor. At issue is not just the delivery of health care services to under-served areas of Brazil. The development of health promotion strategies and sustainable development actions that address the conditions of poverty and determinants of health are essential mechanisms. The country requires practical tools for health promotion education, planning and evaluation such as the Circle of Health.
The Intersectoral Action for Health project (AIPS being its Brazilian acronym) was designed to improve the health of Brazilians in 6 communities using an intersectoral health promotion strategy to create sustainable local development, promote greater social equity and alleviate poverty. It ran for 4 years (2006-2010) in partnership with the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian International Development Agency. Canadians were invited to share their expertise and learn from Brazilian partners. In 2008, Patsy and a Canadian colleague introduced the Circle of Health. Translated into Portuguese it was quickly embraced as useful in the Brazilian context.