Tired and without the strength to breathe, Yanomami children with severe malnutrition arrive at the Hospital da Criança Santo Antônio ( Santo Antonio Children's Hospital), in Boa Vista, and need an ICU bed. The lack of food has altered the organism of these malnourished boys and girls, many of whom are just a few months or years old. They are very skinny, have a sad and distant look when awake, and are exhausted from diarrhea and pneumonia associated with malnutrition.
In the ICU, children need to be intubated, a necessary strategy given the impossibility of breathing. Infections are treated, and a protocol for refeeding is initiated. This Wednesday afternoon (25), five beds in the ICU at the Children's Hospital are occupied by Yanomamis. Children from the largest indigenous land in Brazil, which is experiencing a sanitation and public health crisis, are present in practically all sectors of the health unit, with the majority placed in most of these wards.
Folha's reporting team was at the unit and toured its different sectors, which made it possible to verify the size and severity of the lack of health care crisis, with an explosion in cases of severe malnutrition and preventable diseases such as worms and malaria. The Yanomami are in large numbers in the ICU, in wards –where hammocks are set up or improvised to adapt to their customs– and especially in the emergency ward dedicated to cases of respiratory infection.
Translated by Cassy Dias