Pedro Guimarães

Ashoka Fellow
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Fellow Since 2008


This profile was prepared when Pedro Guimarães was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Pedro created the Center of Services to Children with Cerebral Palsy (NACPC), which has become a center of excellence and reference in the integrated treatment of cerebral palsy in Brazil. It is the only center of its kind in the country that offers an interdisciplinary health and education program, with actions that cover all the necessary aspects to stimulate the potentialities and abilities of children with multiple disabilities, as well as their families. The center also monitors and supports the inclusion of children and adolescents with any disability in municipal public schools. This complete model of service is founded on the autonomy and integration of these children into society. Pedro identified that the incidence of cerebral palsy is higher in poor regions of Brazil. Since this discovery, he has proven that this increased incidence is intimately related to poverty, social vulnerability, and the basic conditions of collective health care such as rudimentary attention to health and sanitation. Pedro shifts the attention that hospitals and health care professionals give to clinical work towards the prevention of cerebral palsy. He also engages public authorities in the creation and reformulation of public health policies founded on this alternative approach. This puts less responsibility on the parents, reduces the social stigma attached to the disease, and positions it in a broader and more realistic socioeconomic context.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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