SESAI has already invested R$ 113 million in the Yanomami DSEI during the pandemic
The Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI) of the Ministry of Health has already allocated more than R$ 113 million to bring basic health care to the Special Indigenous Sanitary District (DSEI) Yanomami during the pandemic caused by Covid-19. There were R$ 77 million in 2020 alone, being R$ 42 million in health and sanitation actions, R$ 35 million in human resources and R$ 523 thousand in supplies for Covid-19. This year, another R$25 million have already been made available for health and sanitation actions and R$11 million for human resources.
There was no lack of investment from the Federal Government to attend to approximately 28 thousand indigenous people, in an area of 106 thousand km2 of Amazonian forest, on the border between the states of Amazonas and Roraima and the border with Venezuela. The majority of this population is of the Yanomami ethnicity, considered to be of recent contact, who live in the middle of dense forests, whose only access is by air transport.
Reaching this population requires facing logistical, climatic, and cultural difficulties. The District´s Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Teams (EMSI) spend 30 days serving in Basic Health Units (UBSI), in the middle of the Amazon jungle, and traveling several miles on foot, where helicopters cannot reach, crossing rivers and streams, to bring vaccination and medical care to children, adults, and the elderly.
Of the R$ 42 million in 2020, R$ 29 million were used in flying hours to transport teams, supplies, and patients. In 2021, R$ 8 million had already been paid to the airlines by May 23. The Federal Government is sparing no effort to bring basic health care to the most remote indigenous populations in Brazil.
This year, 2021, SESAI authorized the bidding of an additional R$8.3 million for the purchase of hospital supplies, equipment, and medical materials for the District. All the purchases are made through public bidding, electronic auction or minutes of price registration.
There are 734 professionals involved in providing basic services to the villages, and of these, 254 are indigenous Health (AIS) and Sanitation (AISAN) agents who live in the villages and make the interlocution between patients and health professionals. The DSEI hired a Rapid Response Team to act in emergency situations during the Covid-19 pandemic, consisting of nurses and nursing technicians.
This year, SESAI authorized the DSEI to hire 16 more nursing technicians to compose the EMSI and five more endemic disease agents and a pharmacist to work directly in the fight against malaria, an endemic disease in the Amazon region. The provision of services by health professionals is contracted through a public notice. For the year 2021, the budget forecast for the DSEI to use with human resources is R$ 52 million.
The Yanomami DSEI has the resources and autonomy to acquire supplies and materials. Even so, SESAI sent more than 610 thousand items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), supplies and Covid-19 and malaria tests to reinforce the services provided in the Yanomami Indigenous Land. The supplies are to meet the demand of the 78 Basic Units of Indigenous Health (UBSI), 37 Base Poles and the Indigenous Health Support House (CASAI) Yanomami, in Boa Vista (RR). The Base Poles and UBSI have a radio telephone system to contact the District headquarters in Boa Vista and request air transportation in case of urgency and emergency.
Regarding the fight against Covid-19, the Ministries of Health and Defense carried out two inter-ministerial missions for health reinforcement to the Districts located in the State of Roraima, the DSEI Yanomami and DSEI East of Roraima, during the peak of the pandemic. Operation Roraima I, from June 29 to July 6, 2020, and Operation Roraima II, from October 19 to 26, 2020, took three tons of supplies, including medicines and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to complement the Districts´ stock. Armed Forces health professionals such as general practitioners, pediatricians, gynecologists, infectologists, nurses and nursing technicians, along with EMSI, provided more than 6,000 specialized services and procedures during the missions.
VACCINATION AGAINST COVID-19
In addition, from March 1 to March 7 this year, the Secretariat sent the SESAI Mobile Health Team to provide support in basic care and vaccination against Covid-19 in the Polos Base Surucucu, Waphuta and the UBSI Kataroa region. More than 1.6 thousand consultations and procedures were carried out during the action. The Yanomami DSEI continues working on the immunization of indigenous people directly in the villages, despite the climatic difficulties that make it difficult to land in the villages and walk in the forest with the immunization against COVID-19.
The teams spend 15 to 30 days in the area and only when they return to the DSEI headquarters are the data entered into the Information System of the National Immunization Program (SI-PNI). So far, the DSEI has immunized 75% of the indigenous people over 18 years old, registered in the Indigenous Health Care Subsystem (SASISUS) and specified in ADPF 709, and 55% with the second dose. The DSEI did not register any refusal or adverse reactions during the vaccination.