Pilot project takes telemedicine to indigenous villages
This Friday, November 26, the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI) will launch a new model of Basic Indigenous Health Unit (UBSI) in the Rio das Cobras indigenous land, in the municipality of Laranjeiras do Sul (PR).
The event will be attended by Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga. The proposal is to incorporate health technologies to expand the service capacity of the Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts (DSEI) to indigenous peoples in the context of the Unified Health System (SUS).
The UBSI in Rio das Cobras will be the first to receive health equipments and information and communication technologies, and will serve as a base for the expansion of this type of unit in all the Districts, thus improving the care of the more than 1,200 Basic Indigenous Health Units that serve more than 761,000 indigenous people in 6,000 villages throughout Brazil.
For the Special Secretary of Indigenous Health, Robson Santos da Silva, the new UBSI model will enable the arrival of a new standard of service to indigenous villages, including the possibility of performing tests directly in the villages and remote consultations, reducing response time in cases of more specific care and facilitating patient access to health professionals in the most diverse specialties.
"We are taking an important step forward in health care for indigenous people. Having a Basic Health Unit in the indigenous territory that is able to resolve at least 90% of the indigenous community´s health demands is something that represents efficiency in the use of public resources and the efficiency of SESAI in its mission to guarantee quality health care," he said.
During the execution stage of the pilot project, the indigenous people will be able to undergo intelligent screening, capable of generating qualified data. An example of this is the use of retinography - an examination technique that consists in taking photographs of the retina, the optic nerve and the fundus of the eye with the objective of making a more precise diagnosis of possible lesions in the region.
Another example is the clinical and cytopathological tests that will rely on the help of artificial intelligence to track diseases and ensure accurate diagnoses quickly and efficiently. This work, associated with telehealth care, will guarantee that the indigenous people will be attended to wherever they are, without leaving their territory.
This equipment was acquired through partnerships, as was agreed with the mining company Vale S.A., which donated to the Ministry of Health and SESAI, on October 28, 34 kits containing a portable multiparameter monitor, a hard case with high-density foam, a digital ECG electrocardiograph, a spirometer, a portable retinograph, a notebook, and a webcam. The kits will be distributed to 34 Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts (DSEI), totaling about R$ 7 million.
The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the Hospital Israelita Albert Einsten and the Brazilian Society of Pathology are also partners in the project and will provide technologies and knowledge to make the UBSI a reference in indigenous territory. Hilab, Phelcom Eye, Cnoga, Bembras, Prime Field, Biomoviment, and the Laboratory of Technological Innovation in Health - LAIS/UFRN are also partners.
The enterprise will be supplied with clean, renewable energy from the installation of a mini solar photovoltaic plant that will keep the equipment running based on the prerequisites of sustainability.
Text: Patricia Rodrigues and Luiz Cláudio Moreira - Nucom/Sesai
Translation: Renata Arruda – Nucom/Sesai