More than 50 Yanomami children are in a children’s hospital in Boa Vista; 7 are in intensive care

Sixty-four indigenous people are hospitalized and, of these, 53 are children of the Yanomami ethnicity (Jonathas Oliveira/Prefeitura de Boa Vista)
Iury Lima – Cenarium Magazine

VILHENA (RO) – At least seven Yanomami children are in ICU beds in the Santo Antônio Children’s Hospital (HCSA), in Boa Vista, capital of Roraima. Three of them had to be intubated because of serious health problems. The information was confirmed to CENARIUM MAGAZINE on Thursday, 26, by the city hall that manages the unit.

Through a note, the administration also reported that the hospital specializing in child care has, until this Thursday, 64 indigenous hospitalized and that of these, 53 are children of the Yanomami ethnicity. The main causes are acute diarrhea, severe gastrointestinal inflammation, severe malnutrition, pneumonia and malaria.

The unit is the only one in the state to attend children from 29 days of life until they are 12 years old. The hospital also receives patients from Guyana and Venezuela. According to the city hall, in 2022 alone, the last year of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration, the HCSA had 703 Yanomami indigenous people hospitalized.

Fifty-three Yanomami children are hospitalized; three are intubated in the ICU at the children’s hospital in Boa Vista (Jonathas Oliveira/Prefeitura de Boa Vista)

Field hospital

Another aid is the field hospital (HCAMP), announced by the federal government last week, after the visit of the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), to the Indigenous Health House (Casai) of Boa Vista.

The structure is being assembled next to the Casai, by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), and will be inaugurated next Friday, the 27th, where, initially, more than 700 indigenous people will be attended to. Part of the equipment comes from Rio de Janeiro.

According to the FAB, 30 military personnel, among graduates and officers, are part of the HCAMP team in Boa Vista. The care will be provided by doctors in the specialties of Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Radiology, Gynecology and Pathology. The hospital will also have nurses, pharmacists, and nursing technicians on hand.

Field hospital for Yanomami indigenous people will be inaugurated on Friday, 27 (Reproduction/FAB)

Health and humanitarian crisis

In the last four years, almost 600 Yanomami children under the age of five have died from malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria and verminosis. Diseases that could have been prevented with more assistance and access to public health services.

“What happens to the Yanomami people is not new today, it has been happening for some time,” commented the indigenous leader and coordinator of the Kanindé Ethnoenvironmental Defense Association, Neidinha Suruí.

“In the Bolsonaro government, this has gotten much worse. Minister Damares did not heed the requests to contemplate the Yanomami. President Bolsonaro didn’t pay attention, he didn’t get the miners out of there. During the four years of his government, numerous denunciations were made”, said the activist in an interview with CENARIUM.

For the indigenous leader Neidinha Suruí, Bolsonaro’s government must be held responsible for the crime of genocide (Kanindé/Reproduction)

Also on Thursday, during a meeting that brought together health representatives from all levels of management, the president-director of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), Antônio Barra Torres, was outraged by the abandonment of the largest demarcated Indigenous Land in the country.

“Scenes that we only saw in World War II documentaries. Scenes from the Holocaust, in World War II, when we saw people with bones covered only by skin. And we see this happening in our own country. How did it get to this point?”, Torres questioned.

Director-president of Anvisa compared images of the Yanomami crisis with the extermination of Jews (Leopoldo Silva/Agência Senado)

A report in the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo showed that military reserve officers who occupied directorates in the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) during Bolsonaro’s administration had plans in hand to repress mining in the region, but did not put the actions into practice.

They are Samuel Vieira de Souza, who headed Ibama’s Environmental Protection directorate, and Aécio Galiza Magalhães, former coordinator of environmental enforcement at the agency.

“For me, the Bolsonaro government is responsible for the genocide of the Yanomami, because we see images of war, images of the Holocaust (…) so it is a situation of total abandonment of the human being, which is what this government did, and I believe that it must respond for the act of genocide and ethnocide”, concluded Neidinha Suruí.


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