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More than three thousand indigenous people in Acre receive care

Between 2 and 11 November, the operation of the Ministries of Health and Defense to combat Covid-19 was intended to strengthen operations in the region.


More than three thousand indigenous people in Acre receive care
For 10 days, the interministerial mission mobilized a team of 30 health professionals from the Armed Forces - Photo: Ministry of Defense

Nov 14, Brasilia: From the banks of the Envira River to the imposing Buritis that guard the tributaries of the Moa River, the Federal Government promoted 3.1 thousand services in the indigenous lands of Alto Juruá, in Acre.


Between November 2 and 11, the operation of the ministries of Health and Defense to combat Covid-19 was intended to reinforce the work of multidisciplinary indigenous health teams, especially in places that are difficult to access.



For 10 days, the interministerial mission mobilized a team of 30 health professionals from the Armed Forces who worked in the villages of Morada Nova, Formoso, Nova Floresta, São Vicente, Sete Estrelas, Boa Vista and Barão. In addition to all the logistical support, the portfolios sent more than two tons of inputs, including medicines, rapid tests and personal protective equipment.


Throughout the mission, indigenous people who had difficulty breathing and those who had suspected cases of the new coronavirus were referred for medical evaluation and testing. According to Major William Lyra Rocha, a biochemist at the Ministry of Defense, the action served to prove the drop in the transmission rate of Covid-19.


“In the absence of clinical signs of the disease, only 30 patients were tested throughout the mission. In these cases, most of the results detected positive IgG. This means that the patient had an infection at least three weeks ago and, most likely, he may be immunized ”, he explains.



Coordinator of the Alto Juruá Indigenous Special Sanitary District, Iglê Monte da Silva, corroborates the perception of an immunization scenario. Supervising health care in 162 villages and prioritizing humanitarian care that welcomes indigenous people in their own environment, the social worker believes that Covid-19 peak has passed.


“Contamination by the new coronavirus fell significantly in the Alto Juruá region. Our concern now is to deal with the consequences that the disease left. That is why the interministerial action was of fundamental importance, since it welcomes the indigenous people within their tribes, alongside their families ”, he ponders.



Home Care

Considering the moment of fragility and recovery of the indigenous people, the mission sought to expand health care efforts. Although the visits were made in the villages themselves, patients who are bedridden often need special support. The opportunity to provide this support was special for First Lieutenant Letícia Moreira de Castro. The Army medical clinic said home visits had an important impact on the lives of indigenous families.



“It was a very rewarding experience. The visits allowed me to look into the patient's eyes and receive in return the reflection of hope in those faces. Often there was not even the need to prescribe a new medication, but the simple fact of talking, listening to the other's difficulties are already transforming attitudes. For me, this is the legacy of the mission ”, he highlights.


Consolidated throughout the operation, one of the statistical data that most impresses is the fact that 54% of the adults served were overweight. Of this total, obesity already reached 22% of the indigenous people. According to the Army nutritionist, aspiring Adriana Leão de Miranda Ferreira, the phenomenon is associated with the proximity of urban centres and the change in eating habits.



“In the context of acculturated Indians, who live close to the city, as is the case in the village of Morada Nova, the introduction of industrialized foods and physical inactivity lead to the development of chronic diseases. In the case of indigenous people who live more isolated, such as Nova Floresta, farming and hunting activities are predominant. However, if on the one hand there are no chronic diseases, on the other hand, we have been able to identify cases of child malnutrition ”, he says.



Operation Covid-19

On March 20, the Ministry of Defense activated the Joint Operations Center to coordinate and plan the employment of the Armed Forces in the fight against the new coronavirus. In this context, ten Joint Commands were activated, covering the entire national territory, in addition to the Aerospace Operations Command (COMAE), which is permanently operational. The initiative is part of the Federal Government's effort to confront Covid-19.


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