Mobile Health Team performs more than 6K services at DSEI Potiguara
João Pessoa (PB) - Very early in the morning, the Potiguara Indigenous Special Sanitary District (DSEI) team arrives at an indigenous school on the coast of Paraíba. With classes suspended due to the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the health professionals of the DSEI will use this space so that the Mobile Health Team (ESV), sent by the Special Secretary of Indigenous Health (SESAI), of the Ministry of Health, can make the assistance to the indigenous peoples of the Tabajara and Potiguara ethnic groups.
"We prepared ourselves, set up all the logistics, trained health professionals, indigenous health agents and indigenous sanitation agents so that everything went smoothly and we could assist as many indigenous people as possible within our DSEI," emphasized Vilson Ortiz, Coordinator of the DSEI Potiguara.
With an indigenous population of almost 15,000 villages, concentrated on the coast of Paraiba, the Tabajara and Potiguara received for the first time ESV assistance, directly in the villages, due to the repressed demand of the COVID-19 pandemic. This include medical, nutritional and psychological care.
With two general practitioners, three nurses and three nursing technicians, together with professionals from the DSEI, they formed a task force with more than 20 health professionals, serving the villages of the Base Poles (PB) Marcação, Rio Tinto, Baía da Traição and the villages located in the municipality of Conde, on the southern coast of Paraiba.
Between November 30 and December 10, 6,500 medical consultations were performed. The logistics were similar to the Family Health Program, also of the Ministry of Health, where first the patients are welcomed, screened and tested for COVID-19 and then proceeded to medical care. Everyone received the medication free of charge according to the medical prescription.
The most complex cases were transferred to the reference network of the Unified Health System (SUS) in the municipality. "We are very thankful for having an action like this here, with medical care for our entire population", highlighted Natan Galdino, chief of the Alto do Tambá village.
ESV also visited the patients who could not go to the consultation because they were bedridden or in the middle of a treatment. The proximity of the city brought new habits to the indigenous people, especially in relation to food, which caused problems of hypertension and diabetes. "We have not left our culture, our rituals behind, but I recognize that the proximity between the village and the city has negatively influenced our people," says Edileuza Potiguara, a District nurse.
Actions against COVID-19
The Federal Government has developed a National Contingency Plan for Human Infection by Coronavirus in Indigenous Peoples that details how health teams should act according to each case. The DSEI also prepared their respective District Contingency Plans for the different situations to face COVID-19, respecting the characteristics of each people and their specific needs. All this planning and early study results in more efficient care directly in the villages.
In all cases, the DSEI teams have acted within the planning and carried out the isolation of the infected, suspicious cases and the transfer to the state and municipal public network of patients who need specialized support in hospitals. To this end, SESAI employs a fleet of vehicles, boats, and aircrafts to remove the indigenous people to the reference network of the Unified Health System (SUS) in the nearest city.