Researchers involved in the PVD study undergo thorough training in epidemiology, medicine, medical ethics, and community-based participatory research (CBPR) from leaders in their fields in both Brazil and the United States.
All projects described were approved by human subjects boards from both the University of California, Berkeley, and the Universidade Federal Fluminense. The Family Health Program (PMF)of Niterói graciously approved the study's conduct and protocols in their health posts and regional polyclinic where the research is taking place.
The first phase of the project is still underway. This aspect of the project aims to contrast and compare the burden (amount) of diabetes and associated infections among the residents of Preventório, and elsewhere in the city of Niterói, so that researchers are able to identify whether or not there are different issues that aggravate disease state in these two populations. This will allow policy makers and health researchers to design targeted interventions that specifically address place-specific risk factors for the disease.
The second round of the project is still in the planning phases. We have increased the size of our in-country research team to include more microbiologists, oral health specialists, and health education psychologists so that we can focus on issues of importance to the community instead of researcher's a-priori impression of important health issues in the community of interest. This phase of research will focus on oral health, as the health post has recently received a dentist.