Starting next Monday, April 4, approximately 13 thousand Indians in 677 villages throughout Brazil will be immunized. This year’s, third edition of the Vaccination Week in the Americas will focus on Indian communities that live in remote areas and lack information about vaccine coverage.
The campaign will be carried out by the Ministry of Health, backed by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). Priority will be given to children up to the age of 4, women of child-bearing age, pregnant women, and the elderly.
The vaccines guarantee protection against 13 diseases. They will be administered at 18 Special Indigenous Health Districts (Dsei) located in 16 states.
“The main goal of the campaign is to lower infant mortality among indigenous populations” informs the director of the Department of Indigenous Health of the National Health Foundation (Funasa), Alexandre Padilha.
The campaign also contributes to “raising the standards” of the hospital units in the districts with the highest rates of infant mortality, he adds.
According to Padilha, the biggest obstacle to vaccinating Indians at present is access to their communities.
For this reason, he explains, “we are counting on the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Ministry of Health, the universities in the states, and the municipal secretaries.”
Translation: David Silberstein