People arriving passed out and in wheelchairs seeking medical attention, while a patient was transferred, with an oxygen mask, to a SAMU ambulance parked next to tents set up by the FAB (Brazilian Air Force).
This was the scenario witnessed by Sheet this Tuesday (6) in the parking lot of the UPA (Emergency Care Unit) in Ceilândia, a satellite city of Brasília, where the Armed Forces set up a field hospital to try to combat the dengue epidemic that is hitting the Federal District.
The DF already has 46,298 probable cases of dengue fever as of February 4, which represents an increase of 1,120% compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Health Department. To date, 11 deaths from the disease have been confirmed in the capital from the country.
The scenes at the field hospital reflect the drama experienced by people who seek out the FAB emergency hospital in search of treatment. Patients walked around the structures — campaign tents spread across the parking lot — with serum injected into their arms, without the use of support, to carry out the screening process.
There was a constant arrival of children, adults and elderly people in search of care. Members of the Armed Forces helped transport those who had difficulty standing.
The Federal District is the federation unit with the highest incidence of dengue cases in the country, having declared a public health emergency on January 25th.
To try to meet the demand for care in the public health network, the DF government entered into a partnership with the FAB to open the field hospital.
The space installed in Ceilândia, the largest city in the DF, has the capacity to serve 600 people. The first consultations took place on Monday (5).
Health professionals at the scene told Sheet that demand is high throughout the day, as in other health units in the DF. According to the FAB, until 8am this Tuesday, 1,324 procedures had been carried out, including consultations, exams and transfers.
Student João Victor Carvalho, aged 14, sought treatment at the field hospital after experiencing symptoms, on Saturday (3), such as diarrhea, vomiting, eye pain, body pain and headache.
He was accompanied by his mother, Dayanne Carvalho, 36 years old, who already faced dengue at the beginning of the year.
“I couldn’t find any mosquito outbreaks, I don’t know where I had dengue. Furthermore, a health agent never came to our apartment to do an inspection in the six years I lived there”, said Dayanne, a resident of Guará, another satellite city from Brasilia.
Like João, concierge agent Maria de Jesus Araujo Cerqueira, 43, went to the scene to receive assistance. Diagnosed on Friday (2), she was hospitalized and released, but fainted twice this Tuesday. She is a resident of the Sol Nascente community, the largest favela in the DF.
“Where I work there is a lot of dengue fever, practically all my colleagues caught the disease. This is the second time this year, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It was much worse than when I had Covid,” he said.
At the moment, five administrative regions account for 43.5% of cases in the Federal District. Ceilândia had the highest number (9,925), followed by the regions of Sol Nascente/Pôr do Sol (2,704), Taguatinga (2,692), Samambaia (2,461) and Brazlândia (2,351).
In relation to age group, most probable cases are concentrated between the ages of 20 and 29 years, with an incidence of around 1.7 thousand occurrences per 100 thousand inhabitants. Next come the elderly aged 80 to 89 and 70 to 79 years old, with 1.68 thousand cases per 100 thousand inhabitants and 1.66 thousand records per 100 thousand inhabitants, respectively.
The Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade, said last week that the time is now for care and prevention. She has stated that the dengue vaccine is not the solution, but an ally in fighting the disease.
On Saturday, there was the first meeting of the COE (Emergency Operation Center) for dengue. For the minister, a national mobilization to combat the disease is important.
“The vaccine is not a solution for this moment of dengue outbreak because it is a vaccine applied in two moments with an interval of three months. We are talking about a situation with a large number of cases”, he added.
The folder will make doses of the vaccine available to 37 health regions that are distributed across 16 states and the Federal District, prioritizing those with high transmission of the disease and incidence of serotype 2 of the virus.
The government’s forecast is to vaccinate around 3.2 million people aged 10 to 14.
The Ministry of Health reported that the first 750,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in January, which will be offered by the SUS (Unified Health System).
Nísia met, also on Saturday, with Esper Kallás, director of the Butantan Institute, and Mario Moreira, president of Fiocruz. The objective was to facilitate a strategic partnership aimed at increasing the production of dengue vaccines in Brazil.
With the support of the Ministry of Health, Fiocruz will join efforts to increase production of the vaccine from pharmaceutical company Takeda. On the other front, the Ministry of Health guaranteed support for the final approval of the vaccine being developed by the Butantan Institute.