Minister Nísia Trindade said this Tuesday (7) that indigenous health in Brazil is undergoing restructuring amid the crisis experienced by the Yanomami people.
“We are restructuring the Secretary of Indigenous Health, which […] did not have the guidance that it needs to have as a subsystem of the SUS”, the minister told Sheet.
In the ministry, the Sesai (Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health) is responsible for executing public health policies aimed at indigenous communities.
Indigenous health has peculiarities in relation to other areas of public health. One of them is that primary care is a direct responsibility of the federal government—normally this falls under the purview of state and municipal governments.
“The Ministry of Health does not do this in other areas because [a saúde indígena] it is a special subsystem”, explained Trindade. According to her, improvements in actions aimed at the health of indigenous peoples are necessary throughout the national territory. “We have a situation that requires intervention in several areas of Brazil”, he added.
Trindade pointed out that the situation facing the Yanomami is extremely serious. The indigenous people suffer from various complications such as malnutrition and malaria. Expired medicines, improperly reused oral syringes and feces scattered in care units, in addition to the diversion of food and medication to treat malaria, are some of the problems recorded among the Yanomami in a preliminary report prepared by the Ministry of Health.
The extremely critical scenario among the Yanomami led the federal government to declare a Public Health Emergency of National Importance on January 20th. “You don’t do an emergency at any time,” said the minister.
Health challenges like those seen in indigenous communities are related to several factors, including gold mining and the invasion of demarcated territories. Therefore, Trindade said that the work for the health of these communities also permeates other fronts of the federal government. “It will not be an agenda only dealt with by the Ministry of Health”, she added.
Visit at USP
Trindade spoke to the reporter during his visit to the USP Faculty of Medicine, in São Paulo, this Tuesday (7). During the speech at the educational institution, the minister addressed that the current management of the folder seeks to resume the tradition of being based on scientific evidence to strengthen the SUS (Unified Health System).
In addition, she reported that the portfolio’s responsibility programs were only possible to be continued due to the Spending PEC. “Essential programs of the Ministry of Health had suffered cuts in the order of 55% to 60%”, she added.
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