Government abandons reports after registering increase in Yanomami deaths

Government abandons reports after registering increase in Yanomami deaths

After publishing, throughout the year, a series of periodic reports on the situation of the Yanomami people, the Lula government interrupted publications in October after the failure to reduce the number of indigenous deaths in this first year in office.

Until September, bulletins from the Ministry of Health were weekly. Afterwards, publications would become monthly. However, there have been no new publications since October.

Used by the Lula government as a flag to accuse the previous government of inaction in relation to the Yanomami issue, the problems persist with signs of worsening 10 months after the start of emergency operations in the region inhabited by the indigenous people.

The last bulletin from the Secretariat of Indigenous Health (Sesai), of the Ministry of Health, was published on October 4, 2023. The report had pointed out 215 Yanomami deaths in 2023 for various causes – at the time, the numbers had already surpassed the deaths of indigenous people throughout the entire year 2022.

According to the document, 53% of deaths are of children up to 4 years of age. Of the total, 90 deaths were caused by infectious diseases; 29 due to malnutrition; 43 for “ill-defined” causes; 39 due to external causes; 4 due to problems with the digestive system, in addition to 10 neonatal deaths.

Wanted by People’s GazetteSesai reported that “the change in the frequency of the COE bulletin is due to the fact that the Yanomami emergency is in the third phase, with more robust and more structuring actions”.

The Secretariat also said that it follows the World Health Organization (WHO) standard regarding the deadline for publishing health bulletins. “At the beginning of the Emergency, it (the bulletin) is daily. Afterwards, it becomes weekly and fortnightly. Finally, it is established as monthly considering the strength of the shares. At this stage, the COE is focused on meeting priority actions, such as: staff replacement, training of the Multidisciplinary Indigenous Health Team (EMSI), distribution of inputs and renovations of the Base Poles and Basic Indigenous Health Units (UBSI)”, says another excerpt from the Sesai note sent to the reporter this Friday (8).

Lula’s administration should record a number of Yanomami deaths higher than the average of recent years

As reported by People’s Gazette In July of this year, despite the actions announced by the government, the lack of health care in the villages continued to be dramatic and with the same pattern of deaths as in previous years.

To give you an idea, in 2022, 209 deaths were recorded, while in 2021 there were 249. The numbers released by Sesai until July 2023 suggested that the number of deaths would exceed the average for the years 2018 to 2022 (excluding 2020, the height of the pandemic of Covid-19, when the number of deaths was impacted by the virus), which is 238 per year.

If deaths maintain the same growth pattern recorded between January and October until the end of this year, the first year of Lula’s government will be marked by a higher number of deaths among Yanomami than the average of recent years. Given the absence of new reports, it is not possible to confirm, but it is likely that at this date deaths have already effectively exceeded the average of recent years.

At the beginning of his term, President Lula (PT) widely exploited the crisis in the region to erode the image of former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and enhance the current administration.

In addition to Lula, the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Flávio Dino, even used the high number of deaths among Yanomami to suggest that there was an ongoing “genocide” by the previous government.

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