On December 12, 17 and 18, the Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), conducted a Health Event for the Venezuelan Indigenous refugees in the Pintolandia Shelter, under its management. The event had the collaboration of different organizations of the health sector, and assisted directly more than 400 person of the community.
Their actions focused on preventing, diagnosing and treating scabies, pediculosis, intestinal parasites, besides examinations and tests for malaria, among other possible diseases, and nutritional evaluation and treatment for children up to five years old.
The medical attendance, done after selection and consultation, included medication, vaccination and nutritional guidance.
The program was carried out in three stages, the first was to motivate and raise awareness of the community on the benefits of having good cleaning habits for the home and common areas (hammock sector, tents, external areas) besides giving instructions and promoting talks and workshops about personal hygiene.
Updating of vaccines done by the Boa Vista Indigenous Health personnel,
and identification of foci and cases of malaria carried out by the Center of Zoonoses
An educational event was the second stage, with pedagogical activities, exhibition and promotion of videos and educational activities about health and hygiene, as well as washing clothes and disinfecting techniques.
The last stage of the program was on the 18th. All the community in the shelter became involved in promoting their own health by participating in the established routine, besides distributing kits of personal hygiene, mattress disinfection, changing the hammocks and washing and cutting the hair.
For those who wanted and needed, there was the option of having their hair washed and cut.
The Indigenous community was organized into several teams to carry out the trash collected, cleaning the tents, besides participating, through group leaders, in organizating and leading the community through the different stages of service.
Fábio, a field officer of the Adventist Agency of Development and Assistance Resources (ADRA), responsible for the mattress cleaning team, commented that it was a basic and sustainable procedure to eliminate accumulated fungi and bacteria.
“In addition to the products being natural and harmless to the environment, the sanitizing of the mattress enables them to be used again”, he stated that this is “something important because there is no appropriate place in the city for the disposal of this material. The landfill is not for this, because this kind of material needs to be burnt in a specific way”.
“I am helping to clean mattresses and at the moment there are also people helping clean the tents. People are very collaborating and participative. I am very glad for what they are doing and for those who are participating”, said Jhonny Ramos, who helped in the process and has been living in the shelter for one year.a
Currently, the shelter has more than 588 people of the Warao and E’ñapa ethnicities, that come from the Orinoco River Delta and from the Venezuelan Amazon. The great objective of this action, besides the support, is that they may learn new habits and keep their care of themselves with a better life quality.
The initiative was a group effort of the Fraternidade International (FIHF),UNHCR, Adventist Agency of Development and Assistance Resources (ADRA), World Vision, the Brazilian Army, the Doctors without Borders (MSF), Zoonozes Center of the City of Boa Vista, and the Indigenous Health Secretariat (SESAI), besides the residents in the shelter.