Zoé indigenous community, in Pará, has 100% of the population with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine
Actions of the Health District that serves the population are carried out in line with traditional medicine practices
The Zoé people, a community living in northern Pará, feel safer to maintain their traditions and rites, even in the context of a pandemic. This is possible due to the work of the Special Indigenous Health District (DSEI) Guamá-Tocantins, which, respecting and valuing the community´s traditional medicine practices, vaccinated 100% of the target population with two doses and also with a booster dose against Covid-19.
Regarding the young population aged 12 to 17, 100% of the age group has already been vaccinated with the 1st and 2nd doses. The Ministry of Health has also acted to protect the community against the Influenza virus. To avoid flu symptoms being confused with those of Covid-19, the DSEI also anticipated anti-influenza vaccination - reaching 100% of those vaccinated against the disease.
Served by the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (Sesai), the Zoé indigenous people live in an area of 669 thousand hectares in the north channel of the Amazon River, located in an area of dense forests, between the Cuminapanema and Erepecuru rivers. The population is dispersed in more than 50 different villages, with no roads between them, and mobility is by trails in the forest interior or less frequently by canoe through rivers and streams.
"The vaccination of 100% of the members of the Zoé community reflects the commitment of the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health and Sesai, with indigenous communities throughout Brazil," points out the secretary of Indigenous Health, Robson Santos da Silva.
After the appearance of covid-19, the DSEI intensified its care and protection measures and in September 2020, it installed an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the Basic Indigenous Health Unit (BHU) of the Zoé Indigenous Land. The unit is equipped with a mechanical respirator, digital X-ray equipment and an oxygen cylinder for emergency treatment because the only access to the villages is by air.
The Zoé community is also supported by a plan named Access Protocol to the Zoé Indigenous Land. The document is part of the Contingency Plan for the Prevention and Combat of the covid-19 on Zoé Land, which determines the establishment of health barriers around and inside the indigenous land.
The plan also determines the carrying out of PCR exams, clinical monitoring and isolation before each access and in the first days after arrival at the base, as well as the disinfection of aircraft and supplies taken to the area. Constant radio communication with the villages and the guarantee of maximum resolution of health problems within the Zoé Indigenous Land itself are guidelines that preceded the pandemic and continue to be fundamental in this period.
Protecting indigenous people
In total, Brazil has applied more than 935,000 vaccines against Covid-19 in the indigenous population served by the Indigenous Health Care Subsystem (SasiSUS). More than 90% of the indigenous over 18 years of age received the first dose and 85% have completed the vaccination scheme. In the 12 to 17-year-old population, 67% received the first dose.