17 septiembre, 2021

Ciencias Sociales: ¿qué aportan en tiempos de pandemia?

El manejo efectivo de la COVID-19 requiere también de esa parte del conocimiento que, por lo general, se produce fuera de laboratorios.

Entre 2014 y 2016, durante el brote del Ébola en África Occidental ocurrió un hecho que ayudó a cambiar el curso de la epidemia.

Al inicio, el personal de la salud intentó controlar los contagios, pero el número de casos continuaba en ascenso.Y es que, cuando un enfermo fallecía, muchas personas ayudaban a preparar el cuerpo para enterrarlo y entonces, quedaban expuestas al virus. Las costumbres funerarias tenían mayor influencia que las medidas de control indicadas por autoridades sanitarias.

Funerales comunitarios en África Occidental eran fuente de nuevos contagios de ébola. Foto: Tomada de Inten

Ante este panorama, la decisión fue convocar a un equipo de antropólogos. Esos especialistas analizan las características físicas y culturales de los seres humanos. Pero, ¿por qué frente a un problema de salud colectivo involucrar a expertos de una rama de las Ciencias Sociales?

Porque solucionar el tema de los contagios requería del conocimiento de la cultura de los habitantes de África Occidental. Entonces, a partir de investigaciones y de un intercambio con líderes comunitarios, los antropólogos ayudaron a organizar los funerales para hacerlos compatibles con las medidas sanitarias. Así, disminuyó la cantidad de nuevos infectados.

Este ejemplo deja clara una idea: el manejo efectivo de emergencias sanitarias como una pandemia, requiere también de esa parte del conocimiento que, por lo general, se produce fuera de laboratorios: las Ciencias Sociales y Humanísticas.

¿Escasa aplicación práctica?

Ante la exposición al coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 algunas personas enferman y otras no. Sin embargo, todos estamos expuestos a los efectos sociales de la COVID-19.

A nivel mundial, el impacto de la pandemia en áreas como empleo, sistema productivo, estructuras familiares y educación demuestra que la crisis sanitaria trasciende el ámbito clínico o epidemiológico.

Entonces, debemos atender también a los resultados de los estudios en el campo de las Ciencias Sociales y Humanísticas. Pero frente a esas investigaciones existen a veces, algunos prejuicios. Por ejemplo, una idea extendida es que no producen resultados tangibles y por tanto, parecería que se trata de un conocimiento con escasa trascendencia práctica.

Sin embargo, el Dr. C. Jorge Núñez Jover, Presidente de la Cátedra Ciencia, Tecnología y Sociedad de la Universidad de La Habana propone un enfoque más abarcador:

«Las tecnologías no son sólo los artefactos, equipos -léase vacunas, equipos, computadoras, una bioeléctrica u otra cosa cualquiera como se suele pensar. La tecnología incluye, por ejemplo, los conocimientos, las capacidades y los valores de las personas que los utilizan, incluyen los aspectos organizativos, sin los cuales el empleo de esos artefactos no sería de ningún modo efectivo».

El Dr. Núñez Jover, Presidente de la Cátedra CTS+I de la Universidad de La Habana, ofrece un enfoque más abarcador del concepto de tecnología. Foto: Observatorio Científico

«Tan importante como disponer de tecnologías es saber estimar cuidadosamente los impactos positivos y negativos que para la sociedad las tecnologías pueden traer. No olvidemos que las políticas públicas, por ejemplo, no son otra cosa que tecnologías sociales.Toda intervención tecnológica ocurre en un contexto social y conocer ese contexto es vital para asegurar la efectividad del avance tecnológico», afirma Núñez Jover.

COVID-19 desde la perspectiva geográfica

Entre las Ciencias Sociales con aportes muy útiles en el actual contexto epidemiológico en Cuba, destaca la Geografía. Por ejemplo, en recientes investigaciones, los especialistas analizan la localización de casos de COVID-19 en asentamientos humanos y cómo se relaciona con las vías de contagio, sobre todo en niños y adolescentes.

Hasta el momento, los resultados indican que los menores tienen como principal fuente de infección a familiares convivientes, sobre todo a los padres, y también a aquellos no convivientes, como primos o tíos. En zonas de edificios se reiteran los procesos de transmisión a partir de personas allegadas o de visita. Mientras, en algunos poblados se detectaron casos positivos en adolescentes que realizaron actividades de estudio o recreación.

Uno de los mapas del estudio sobre impacto de la COVID-19, liderado por la Dra. C. Luisa Íñiguez, de FLACSO en La Habana.

«La pregunta recurrente es por qué la transmisión resulta elevada en algunos asentamientos y barrios y en otros es baja o no ha habido transmisión. Del dónde ocurren los contagios se avanza entonces al cómo ocurren, teniendo en cuenta la conectividad entre asentamientos, las dinámicas socio-económicas y la intensidad de contactos sociales. Este análisis permite formular hipótesis que ayudan a comprender la propagación de la epidemia, y por tanto, contribuir a su manejo», explica la Dra. C. Luisa Íñiguez, Profesora de la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) en La Habana.

A esta perspectiva, el Dr. Ñúñez Jover añade que «es muy conveniente el estudio de los aspectos socio-demográficos que caracterizan a las poblaciones a las cuales se dirigen las acciones que realiza el sistema de salud. Ello permite disponer estrategias diferentes, para diferentes grupos poblacionales, con diferentes niveles de riesgo y vulnerabilidad».

«Esto tiene consecuencias efectivamente en el plano de la salud: se atiende mejor a la población, se obtienen mejores resultados; pero también en el campo de la economía, donde se pueden emplear mejor muchísimos recursos. Es decir, el abordaje integral -incluido lo social- del tema de salud es básico frente a la pandemia», destaca el experto.

Una alerta desde las Ciencias Jurídicas

Otra ciencia que da respuestas a problemáticas ocasionadas por la COVID-19 en diversos campos es el Derecho.

Algunas de los aportes más conocidos son la regulación de los vínculos laborales durante la experiencia de teletrabajo, así como las sanciones penales y las contravenciones administrativas ante el delito de propagación de epidemias. Pero el alcance de las ciencias jurídicas es mucho mayor.

«Hay una alerta roja con la COVID y los temas familiares que es el incremento de los conflictos familiares en los cuales el Derecho tiene que buscar una solución, dígase por ejemplo, la violencia intrafamiliar, violencia sobre la mujer, violencia sobre los niños, niñas y adolescentes, multiplicada por el estrés, multiplicada por el confinamiento, multiplicada por los reveses que implica la pandemia en el proyecto de vida de las personas», explica el Dr. C. Leonardo Pérez Gallardo, Profesor Titular de Derecho Civil de la Universidad de La Habana.

«Hoy las normas jurídico familiares tienen que reinterpretarse», afirma el Dr. C. Leonardo Pérez Gallardo, Profesor Titular del Derecho Civil de la Universidad de La Habana. Foto: Madelín Ramírez/ Observatorio Científico.

En este contexto también se incrementa el índice de separación en parejas con hijos. Por eso, los juristas incorporan alternativas para establecer vías de comunicación entre los menores y sus padres.

«Si no pueden verse físicamente, verse los padres con los hijos,está la alternativa de la comunicación electrónica como una vía a través de la cual ese niño no vivencie una carencia afectiva como resultado del confinamiento llevado por la pandemia. Por eso es que hoy las normas jurídico familiares tienen que reinterpretarse, no es que se reforme el Derecho de familia en los tiempos de la pandemia, sino la manera en que se reinterpreta por quienes aplican el Derecho, los abogados y también la solución extrajudicial».

Ciencias Sociales y Humanísticas para la toma de decisiones

Especialistas de diversas Ciencias Sociales en Cuba desarrollan en estos momentos, investigaciones para comprender -en profundidad- los impactos de la COVID-19 y sugerir nuevas maneras de abordar este fenómeno.

«No se trata solo de controlar, paliar consecuencias, sino -y eso es lo más importante- de anticipar, prever, estudiar tendencias, identificar escenarios posibles y a partir de todo eso, las Ciencias Sociales y las Humanidades, junto con las restantes ciencias pueden sugerir medidas, decisiones, políticas públicas, que permitan, en los límites de lo posible, encontrar los mejores caminos para el desarrollo de la sociedad», explica el Dr.C.  Núñez Jover.

Así, el actual escenario epidemiológico a nivel mundial y también en Cuba, nos convoca a estrechar los vínculos entre el conocimiento que se produce desde las Ciencias Sociales y la toma de decisiones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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