Task force in Vale do Javari strengthens medical care in western Amazonas
Approximately 70 thousand items were delivered among supplies, personal protection equipment, respirators and COVID-19 tests during the Federal Government expedition, which took place from June 18 to 21, in the western region of the State of Amazonas. The Vale do Javari task force aimed at bringing material and medical care to the indigenous and non-indigenous population in the cities that are reference in health care in the region.
The Ministry of Health, through the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI), inaugurated indigenous wards in the municipal hospitals of Atalaia do Norte (23 beds) and Benjamin Constant (3 beds).
The Ministry of Defense sent 23 health professionals from the Armed Forces to provide specialized medical care to the urban population of Atalaia do Norte and to the riverside community near the Palmeiras do Javari Border Squad. During the four days of the mission, 940 medical consultations were provided.
The task force comprised the Ministries of Health, Defense, the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI); the Government of the State of Amazonas, the municipal governments of Atalaia do Norte, and Benjamin Constant. The Ministry of Health sent supplies and equipment to the Special Indigenous Health District (DSEI) Vale do Javari. The indigenous territory is the second most extensive in which the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health develops activities and holds the largest concentration of isolated indigenous people in the world, having its riverbank as the border between Brazil and Peru.
During the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the DSEI guided the indigenous to remain in their villages and avoid contact with other people who could transmit the virus. Of the 63 villages, only four had confirmed cases of COVID-19, all with mild symptoms and no need for removal to city hospitals.
During the mission, SESAI delivered rapid tests of COVID-19 and equipment for the assembly of an Indigenous Primary Care Unit (UAPI) at the São Luís Base Center that serves the four villages with confirmed cases of COVID-19, at Vale do Javari DSEI.
The UAPI should avoid that indigenous people with flu symptoms and mild respiratory difficulty have to be removed to the cities. The five air concentrators with oxygen cylinders, solar plates and energy generators were donated by Expedicionários da Saúde. All material delivered was sanitized by the Civil Defense and Armed Forces before and after landing in the indigenous area.
The PPE and supplies were also delivered to the Hospital Municipal de Atalaia do Norte, Hospital de Guarnição de Tabatinga, Hospital Municipal de Benjamim Constant, which are references of support to the Vale do Javari and Alto Rio Solimões DSEI.
According to the Special Secretary of Indigenous Health, Robson Santos da Silva, the objective was to assist the population and the indigenous people of the city, "the mission occurred to assist the population of the Javari Valley with emphasis on the city of Atalaia do Norte, as it is the largest urban center and reference for the region".
In addition to the equipment deliveries, the Armed Forces provided 23 health professionals with general practitioners and specialists, nurses and nursing technicians.
In all, 940 services were provided by the Armed Forces, the health teams of the Vale do Javari and Alto Rio Solimões DSEI, and the Municipal Health Secretariat of Atalaia do Norte.
During the mission, 10 procedures were performed from basic to medium complexity and there was a removal of patient with aircraft, sent to the municipal hospital of Tabatinga.
A total of 219 COVID-19 tests were carried out with the urban population attended in the mission, and 53 were positive for the new coronavirus, all with mild or no symptoms. In these cases, the patients, indigenous or not, are being monitored by the Atalaia do Norte Municipal Health Department.
The indigenous people who live in the city were assisted at the headquarters of the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (Unijava) by doctors of the Armed Forces with the support of the DSEI Alto Rio Solimões and indigenous health agents of the DSEI Vale do Javari. As needed, the patients were referred to specialties such as gynecologist, obstetrician, endocrinologist, among others.
SESAI also delivered supplies to Hospital de Guarnição de Tabatinga during the mission. According to information from the hospital board, the peak of the pandemic was between the end of April and early May and it is decreasing. Currently, of the 14 beds reserved for patients with respiratory difficulty, only 3 are occupied, and only two are patients with COVID-19.
On Thursday, June 18, indigenous wards were inaugurated at the Municipal Hospital of Atalaia do Norte, with 20 beds and 3 Intermediate Care Units (ICU), and at the Municipal Hospital of Benjamin Constant with 3 beds for indigenous people. In these spaces, the presence of shamans is allowed and there are hammock holders who respect the traditions and cultures of the indigenous people, especially those who live in villages. In total, SESAI inaugurated 154 indigenous beds between the states of Amazonas, Amapá and Pará.
SESAI also delivered, during the mission, 16 mechanical lung ventilators to the municipal hospitals of Atalaia do Norte (3), Benjamin Constant (3), São Paulo de Olivença (2), Amaturá (2), Uarini (2) and the Maternidade Estadual de Tabatinga (4).
On this occasion, SESAI Secretary Robson Santos da Silva met with the local Crisis Committee made up of representatives of the State, municipality, indigenous leaders and associations, Civil Defense, FUNAI, DSEI coordination and the District Indigenous Health Council. The demands and needs for surveillance and food security, sanitation and supply, support for local production and marketing, and reform of the Indigenous Health Basic Units (UBSI) in the villages were heard.
"This action demonstrated how important joint work between the Union, State, municipalities and local and regional organizations is for the development and well-being of the population and the confrontation of COVID-19," the secretary assessed.