Urban Slum Health & Brazil


In collaboration with Brazilian Ministry of Health and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) Yale researchers are actively engaged with community leaders and residents to implement field research and identify effective public health interventions for urban slum settlements. 

Children in the favela research site

Together, we have established a research and training program that addresses emerging infectious diseases in urban slums. A multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, clinicians, microbiologists and researchers to investigate various aspects of infectious disease, funded by a Fogarty International Center Global Infectious Disease Research Training grant. 450 Brazilians and 120 Americans have completed the training program.

In addition, we have established work-study and scholarship programs in order to develop a cadre of favela residents who perform research on the health problems in their community and work with the government to improve conditions in Salvador.

Fiocruz, meanwhile, maintains ongoing, population based surveillance for leptospirosis, bacterial meningitis and other tropical diseases. A diagnostic laboratory is now the national reference center for leptospirosis surveillance; it includes a molecular strain typing center and field sites to perform community-based longitudinal studies that are designed to identify determinants of transmission for leptospirosis and the etiologic pathogens of bacterial meningitis.

Current Projects

  • Disease Determinants of Urban Leptospirosis
  • Emerging Infectious Disease and Urbanization
  • Rapid Test for Leptospirosis
  • Natural History of Urban Leptospirosis
  • Disease Determinants of Urban Leptospirosis
Pau da Lima Salvador, Brasil 2010

Pau da Lima Salvador, Brasil 2010

Urban health in the Pau da Lima section of Salvador, Brasil. Features Albert Ko and efforts to improve sanitary conditions in order to prevent disease.

06 outlook for urban health

The Outlook for Urban Health

As human population increases and cities grow, urban health becomes increasingly challenging. Article starts on page 10 of the Spring 2014 edition of Yale Public Health magazine.
07 Brazil

Easing Brazil's Burden

A research with deep ties to Brazil works to stem an infectious disease that afflicts the urban poor.  Article starts on page 16 of the Spring 2014 edition of Yale Public Health magazine.
urban unease

Urban Unease

In the megacities of Brazil and in many of the rapidly urbanizing parts of the developing world, a deadly bacterium threatens millions. Article appearing on pages 22-23 of the spring 2011 edition of Yale Public Health magazine.