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Orlando Parahym

Date Born:

Doctor, university professor and politician


Orlando Parahym

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 14/11/2016

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Doctor, professor and politician, Orlando de Souza Parahym was born on 23 November 1911, at 21 Riachuelo St in Recife, the only son of Manuel and Maria da Encarnação Parahym.

He was a student at the Gymnasium Pernambucano and graduated in 1935 from the Recife Faculty of Medicine, the current Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University of Pernambuco-UFPE.

Newly graduated, he moved to Salgueiro in the interior of Pernambuco, where in addition to practicing in the health area, he worked as a teacher in the town’s main schools.

In December 1937, he married Odete Soares, a young woman from one of the most traditional rural families, with whom he had five sons: Paulo Orlando, Maria de Fátima, Maria Luiza, who died in her first year, Maria da Encarnação and Carmem Sílvia.

He was appointed health technician for the State Civil Service in April 1937, in Salgueiro, where he also headed the Hygiene Agency and was a Sanitation Inspector.

In addition to being a doctor, teacher and public health agent, he was a great supporter of Salgueiro’s cultural and folkloric manifestations.

In 1951, at the invitation of the then-governor of Pernambuco Agamenon Magalhães, he moved with his family to Recife, where he assumed the position of State Secretary of Health, exercising it until 1952.

With the unexpected death of the governor, Orlando Parahym left the Secretary and started holding the presidency of IPSEP – the Pernambuco State Employees Security Institute (1953/1954).

He was director of several state public agencies, State Representative for two consecutive terms (1955-1962) and Chair Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of UFPE and at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Pernambuco – UPE.

He contributed articles on a regular basis to the newspapers Correio da Manhã and Diario de Pernambuco.

He participated in several medical, literary and historical institutions. On 21 January 1967, he joined the Pernambuco Academy of Letters, occupying Chair 14 in place of academic João Vasconcelos.

He dedicated himself for over twenty years to studying and researching the nutrition of the people from the Semi-arid region, publishing about twenty-five to thirty papers in journals and books on the subject, including O problema alimentar do sertão (The Nutrition Problem on the Semi-arid Region) (1940), A vitamina C e a alimentação sertaneja (Vitamin C and Semi-arid Region Nutrition) (1942), Adaptação visual entre os sertanejos nordestinos (Visual Adaptation among North-easterners of the Semi-arid Region) (1944), ABC da alimentação (ABC of Nutrition) (1945), A alimentação do operário sertanejo durante a seca (The Nutrition of North-eastern Workers During Drought) (1945), Aspectos clínicos da avitaminose no sertão pernambucano (Clinical Aspects of Avitaminosis in the Pernambuco Semi-arid Region) (1952 ), Escola, alimentação e saúde (School, Food and Health) (1969), Antropologia e alimentação (Anthropology and Nutrition) (1970), Vitamina A: vitamina da vista (Vitamin A: the sight vitamin) (1986).

He is also the author of several publications in other areas like preventive and social medicine (Estudo demográfico sanitário da criança na cidade de Salgueiro – Demographic Study of Child Health in the Town of Salgueiro, 1943; Endemias brasileiras – Endemic Brazilian Diseases, 1961; Iniciação à medicina preventiva – Introduction to Preventive Medicine, 1972); education (Universidade e valorização regional – University and Regional Appreciation, 1962; Homens e livros – Men and Books, 1967); history and biography (História do abastecimento d’água do Recife –The History of Recife’s Water Supply, 1953; Figuras e fatos da Independência – Figures and Facts of Independence, 1972; Caxias patrono do Exército – Caxias Patron of the Army and Santos Dumont, 1973; José Mariano, 1976, Traços do Recife: ontem e hoje – Traces of Recife: yesterday and today, 1978).

Orlando Parahym died in Recife, on 17 June 1999.

Recife, 11 July 2003.
(Updated on 31 August 2009).
(Updated on 14 november 2016)

Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.

sources consulted

CARRERO, Raimundo. Orlando parahym: o arco e o escudo. Recife: Assembléia Legislativa do Estado de Pernambuco, 2001. 182p. (Perfil parlamentar século XX, v.16).

ORLANDO Parahym [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 14 nov. 2016.

PAIVA, Rivaldo. O mestre orlando Parahym. Suplemento Cultural D.O. PE,Recife, ano 15, p.12, set. 2001.

TÁVORA, José Geraldo. Presença médica na Academia Pernambucana de Letras. Recife: UFPE. Ed. Universitária, 1996. p.291-329.


how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Orlando Parahym. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009