DSEI Alto Rio Negro receives air support to bring covid-19 vaccine to northern Amazonas
The Special Indigenous Sanitary District (DSEI) Alto Rio Negro has already vaccinated against Covid-19, with the first dose, 65% of the indigenous people aged 18 or older, enrolled in the Indigenous Health Care Subsystem (SASISUS) and specificities of ADPF 709, and 33% with the second dose. To reach the most distant villages in the north of Amazonas, on the border with Colombia and Venezuela, it takes up to 12 days of boat travel along rivers and streams. Bringing basic care, vaccines against various diseases, and performing health monitoring in these remote areas requires a great deal of transportation logistics in the Amazon.
Therefore, the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI) of the Ministry of Health has a partnership with the Ministry of Defense for logistical support such as transporting supplies and the Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Teams (EMSI) to the hard to reach areas. This week, from May 15th to 22nd, the DSEI Alto Rio Negro is carrying out a mission of vaccination against Covid-19 in hard to reach communities with the support of the Armed Forces. The DSEI has deployed 12 health professionals from the EMSI to go through more than 40 villages with the immunizers, conduct active search of those who have not yet been vaccinated against the new coronavirus and administer the second dose of those who have already received the first. "The fight against covid-19 continues, we are committed to vaccinate the entire indigenous village population of Alto Rio Negro," emphasizes the District coordinator, Ernani Gomes. The goal of the National Immunization Program (PNI) is to vaccinate 90% of the priority groups.
The District team has the support of the 1st Special Border Platoon of Yauaretê, in São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM), from where the flights to the indigenous communities depart daily. The teams are transported by helicopters and still have to walk through the forest to the nearest villages. The professionals carry Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), vaccines against covid-19, and also immunizers for vaccine updates against other diseases for adults and children according to the Indigenous Peoples´ Vaccination Month (MVPI) calendar. A representative of the District Indigenous Health Council (CONDISI) of Alto Rio Negro is accompanying the mission.
The Alto Rio Negro DSEI provides basic health services to more than 28 thousand indigenous people from 23 ethnic groups in around 650 villages. There are 25 Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Teams working in 14 Basic Indigenous Health Units (UBSI) and 25 Base Poles.