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Dozens of Yanomami children hospitalized in northern Brazil amid health crisis

In northern Brazil, dozens of indigenous children suffering from malnutrition and acute illness are hospitalized, and a scene of relatives in hammocks holding their debilitated frames underscores the seriousness of the public health crisis. emphasizes the

The health secretary of Roraima state capital Boa Vista said Friday that 59 indigenous children are currently in the state’s only children’s hospital, 45 of them Yanomami children. Eight were in intensive care.

The secretary said the children were suffering from acute diarrhea, gastroenteritis, malnutrition, pneumonia and malaria.

The Brazilian government last week declared a medical emergency in the Yanomami region, the country’s largest indigenous settlement, following reports of children dying from malnutrition and disease linked to illegal gold mining.

A nurse speaks with a mother whose son is being treated for malnutrition in the Indigenous Unit of the Santo Antonio Children’s Hospital in Boa Vista, Brazil, January 27, 2023.

Officials have called the crisis “genocide,” accusing the government of former president Jair Bolsonaro of inaction, and some say the territory now looks like a “concentration camp.”

“Malnutrition is the biggest problem right now,” Health Secretary Boa Vista Regian Matos told Reuters in an interview. What we are looking for now is a solution.”

She said illegal mining in the area “worsened” the crisis, severely polluting the region’s key waterways for the Yanoma to obtain water and food.

The reservation has been invaded by illegal miners for decades, but since Bolsonaro took office in 2018 he promised to allow mining on previously protected land. Intrusions doubled.

Reuters saw indigenous children so thin their ribs were visible at the Boa Vista Children’s Hospital.

Their parents asked for help.

“Many people are sick and have no food!” said Marcelo Yanomami, father of a hospitalized child. “Many of our relatives have died. Many Yanomami have died.”

Last week, President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva visited the region. The Brazilian Air Force opened a field hospital in Boa Vista on Friday, providing care for about 700 Yanomami people and food delivery flights to the area.

https://www.voanews.com/a/dozens-of-yanomami-children-hospitalized-in-northern-brazil-amid-health-crisis-/6937734.html Dozens of Yanomami children hospitalized in northern Brazil amid health crisis

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