Girls mocked at school in Brazil for having big boobs are to be offered breast reduction surgery for free.
Politicians in Mato Grosso do Sul State have set up a special fund to pay for the ops, which they hope will stop girls from dropping out of school because they are bullied.
The pioneering programme – report local media – will also be available to children with big ears, noses, and other abnormal physical features.
Initially, the programme will prioritise 142 bullying victims who filed reports with the Civil Police in the state last year.
Christine Maymone, the state’s Deputy Secretary of Health, told local media: “The Department of Education has identified some cases, and we know that physical appearance is not the only reason for bullying. There are other factors as well.
“The state’s intention is to promote inclusivity in all forms, including through these surgeries.”
In addition to boosting bullying victims’ self-esteem and self-confidence, the government hopes that the programme will prevent school dropouts.
Anne Karine of the Specialised Department for the Protection of Children and Adolescents told local media: “The majority of these cases occurred within the school environment.
“It is evident that this number could be even higher, as not all incidents are reported.”
According to Maymone, the first procedures are expected to be performed at hospitals by the end of June.
The operations are part of a broader set of BRL 45 million (GBP 7.3 million) healthcare plans.
An additional BRL 7.9 million (GBP 1.3 million) will be provided by the federal government.
The funding is expected to cover 15,000 elective surgeries in the fields of ophthalmology, otolaryngology, vascular surgery, general surgery, and orthopaedics.
Additionally, it will fund 42,500 diagnostic exams.
State Governor Eduardo Riedel said: “We have experienced a pandemic, and the waiting lists have grown again. Now, a programme like this is necessary.
“Our focus is on the people, and this programme provides solutions for these actions and aims to eliminate the waiting list by the end of the year.”
A statement – obtained by Newsflash – from the State Department of Health of the Government of Mato Grosso do Sul reads: “The major innovation of the ‘MS Health Programme’ will be preventive reparative surgeries for bullying, targeting pre-adolescents and school-aged youth.
“Incidents of humiliation and aggression among students are increasingly common and continue to challenge the organisation of schools, both public and private.
“In 2022 alone, Mato Grosso do Sul recorded 142 cases.”
It adds: “In order to reduce school dropout rates resulting from these situations, the State Government, through the partnership between the State Departments of Health and Education, will offer reparative plastic surgeries for breast and ear correction.
“Within the scope of preventive surgeries for bullying, 30 referrals for strabismus correction will also be included for patients on the ophthalmology waiting list.”