The favelas are served by teams of community workers, who are the doctors' eyes and ears.
From epic goals to Luis Suarez's infamous bite and Brazil's crushing defeat, here are the highs and lows of the World Cup leading up to the final.
Colombia's James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot at the 2014 Fifa World Cup, but who were the other top scorers and which clubs do they play for?
A stunning from Lionel Messi spared Argentina's blushes as they qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup with a hard fought 1-0 win over Iran.
Youngsters from a slum in Sao Paulo have thrown down a World Cup gauntlet: they have challenged the winners to play a match against them.
Police raids on activists' homes notwithstanding, anti-World Cup protests in Brazil are gaining wide audiences with their online presence.
The country has welcomed the 23 qualifying teams that will take part in this year's Cup. But not all Brazilians are happy to play host.
The World Cup host's national pride is built on a treacherous foundation – and so is its cooking.
If financial equality determined the tournament outcome, then Latin America wouldn't stand a chance.
Days before the start of the World Cup, Brazil's Homeless Workers' Movement has reached a deal with authorities not to protest during the tournament.
More than half of Brazil's population has African roots, and the state has now approved a law creating 20% quotas for black people in government jobs.
Glamour and squalor coexist uneasily here, but one thing unites rich and poor: everyone's furious about Fifa World Cup Brazil.
The chief executive of Anglo American plans to double profitability in the company after shedding low-income operations.
Zico is frustrated with the state of his country but hopes that they will rediscover football's joys.
The rise of powerful politician Katia Abreu, who disregards green issues, has alarmed Brazilian environmentalists.
As Brazilian authorities brace for a new set of protests during the World Cup, Fifa says it expects Brazil's police to contain violent demonstrations.
A report said a fire at a World Cup stadium in Brazil has caused damage that could compromise the stability of the construction.
Scientists have discovered the first new river dolphin species in almost 100 years, in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.
Beyond all the corporate flummery, this year's sporting centrepiece remains a beautifully pure football occasion.