More than 6.6 thousand services performed at DSEI Guamá-Tocantins during Interministerial Mission
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 did not reach the indigenous people of the Oriximiná Base Pole (PA), in the Guamá-Tocantins Special Indigenous Health District (DSEI GUATOC). There are 21 villages of the Wai-Wai, Kaxuiana, Tiriós and Tunayana ethnic groups that are on the banks of the Cachorro, Mapuera and Trombetas rivers, in the middle of the Amazon jungle, in places of difficult access. The distance from urban centers and the fulfillment of social isolation guided by the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI) of the Ministry of Health has prevented the disease from reaching the villages, which are mostly of the Wai-Wai ethnicity.
In order for the indigenous to remain in isolation, but have specialized medical care, the Federal Government took the Interministerial Mission to Combat COVID-19 to the DSEI GUATOC, from November 23 to 30. There were more than 6,600 consultations during the Mission, involving approximately 140 health professionals from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defense. "We were able to evaluate that the professionals who were involved in this mission went beyond the technical part, the personnel who worked directly in the fulfillment of the Mission. There was the possibility to know the environment and value the work that SESAI develops in fulfilling this noble mission," evaluated the coordinator of the Mission by SESAI, Geraldo Cavalcanti Jr.
SESAI has sent more than 31 thousand items of inputs such as medicines, rapid tests and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Oriximiná Base Pole. The Ministry of Defense sent 21 health professionals from the Armed Forces, including general practitioners, pediatricians, gynecologists, infectologists, orthopedists, nurses and nursing technicians. They were also military vets for controlling zoonoses in the villages. The logistics of the Armed Forces made it possible for the service to be carried out in ten villages and to cover 11 more around them. Daily helicopters from the Ministry of Defense took the health teams to the places of care. The Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Team of DSEI GUATOC awaited the arrival of the doctors with the indigenous patients already screened for medical consultation.
In this opportunity, the DSEI carried out a dental treatment mutirão, testing for COVID-19 and other diseases, among other Basic Care actions. "These villages are distant in up to 3h flight from the nearest city, Oriximiná, which is small. The advantage of having a doctor and other professionals such as dentists, nurses and nursing technicians inside the village is that the care is immediate," says the coordinator of the DSEI Guamá-Tocantins, Stanney Nunes. Professionals from the Oriximiná Base Pole and the District headquarters in Belém were mobilized for this action.
The teacher and president of the Local Council of Mapuera village, Pedro Tiotio, has not left his village for months and took advantage of the Mission to consult with the general practitioner. "So far this disease called coronavirus has not arrived in our village because we respect the general chief, Eliseu Wai-wai, who has locked for no one to go down to Oriximiná. I have never been to the city again, I have been here for 8 months. Who is protecting us is the chief and the nurse Cristiano (from DSEI GUATOC) so that we do not go down there and bring the disease to the village", he explains.
The technical responsible for the villages of the Oriximiná Base Pole, the nurse Cristiano Adson, clarifies that the specialized medical care directly in the villages is a benefit that saves the indigenous from a trip of up to 4 days navigating the rivers. "We work the Basic Attention, we do not have the average and high complexity in the villages. We managed to bring specialized professionals to meet our repressed demand during the pandemic. The doctors closed the diagnoses on time and referred those who could not be attended in the villages. We will receive them at the Casai (Indigenous Health House) in Oriximiná to take to the reference municipalities," says the DSEI GUATOC nurse.
The Interministerial Mission was also of great benefit to the 84-year-old, Carakó Wai-wai, who does not come out of the hammock, in the village of Bateria, due to joint pain. He received a home visit from an Armed Forces orthopedist to receive the diagnosis and treatment of his illness during the Mission. Of the consultations, more than 1,500 serology tests, COVID-19 and other diseases were performed. More than 1,000 people were screened in the infirmary and 1,700 medical appointments were made, 587 different exams, 242 dental procedures and veterinarians attended 37 animals in the villages. During the Mission, the doctors identified two cases that needed urgent removal, a child with knee infection and a teenager with early pneumonia that were immediately removed by DSEI aircraft to a hospital.
For some health professionals this was the first mission in an indigenous area. Major Silvana Santiago is a pediatrician in the Brazilian Army and was surprised to find the villages so well assisted by the Basic Health of DSEI GUATOC. "We have the impression that we are going to arrive in a place of difficult access and find the children who are unassisted, but it caught my attention that they are being very well accompanied in basic health care," she said.
The Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Teams (EMSI) are made up of several professionals, including Indigenous Health Agents (AIS) and Indigenous Sanitation Agents (AISAN), who are responsible for monitoring patients in the villages, performing vaccine updating, water quality analysis, solid waste disposal, basic health information, among other actions. A constant work that exemplifies the presence of the Brazilian State in more than 6 thousand villages throughout the country and benefiting more than 750 thousand indigenous people in 34 Indigenous Special Sanitary Districts.
"So SESAI passed us that we would have a support during the Mission, but in fact, we did not expect to have the structure that we found here. Logically, the health professionals do not have the same structure that they have in the big cities, but everyone who came was motivated to help. We are living a difficult year, a year of pandemic, where society is incredulous about our people and our values, but I had the opportunity this week to witness these young men and women, military and civilians, who worked hard on a common good that was indigenous health," highlighted Col. Fabio Felippe, Mission Coordinator for the Ministry of Defense.
This is the 18th Interministerial Mission to Combat COVID-19 in indigenous areas. SESAI has already allocated approximately 40 tons of medicines, rapid tests for COVID-19 and EPIs to serve the indigenous population in the villages. The next mission takes place in the DSEI Alto Rio Solimões, in Amazonas, from December 7 to 14.