Brazil Inaction Brings Malaria and Tuberculosis Back to Indian Population

Indians at Paraná's FUNASA The recent occupations of public buildings by Brazilian Indians are reactions to the ineffectiveness of Brazil's public policies, especially in the area of health.  This is the opinion of Brazil's Indigenous Missionary Council (Conselho Indigenista Missionário – CIMI). 

The headquarters of the National Health Foundation (FUNASA) in Cuiabá, in the midwestern state of Mato Grosso and Ubatuba, on the north side of São Paulo's littoral, were occupied recently.  The Brazilian Ministry of Health was the target of protests in April.

According to the vice-president of the entity, Roberto Liebgott, the indigenous peoples have gained much in the discussion, demands and proposals for public policies.  And the indigenous organization, according to Liebgott, works mostly in the area of health because these are many of the problems facing their communities.

"The government transferred its responsibility to third parties – NGO's, other indigenous organizations and to cities, giving away its own responsibility.  With outsourcing, the indigenous peoples do not have a point of contact from which to demand benefits.  Or, since the responsibility is diluted, so the assistance is also diluted.  For this reason we are seeing serious problems in almost all regions of Brazil."

Liebgott related that the third parties complain of the delay of transfer from FUNASA and attribute the delay to the lack of development for its strategic plan.  In response FUNASA alleges that it has revised its overall direction, and that the third parties have not been effective in the rendering of services.

In the South and the Midwest of Brazil, especially in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the main consequence from the negligence in health is malnutrition, according to CIMI. 

The Amazon area highlights the spreading of epidemics that already have been controlled, such as malaria, tuberculosis and hepatitis A, B, and C.

Indigenous Council of Roraima – www.cir.org.br

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