One of the áreas of service of Humanitarian Roraima Mission, an enterprise of Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation, is the health attendance of Venezuelan refugees – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – who are staying in the temporary shelters that the Brazilian Government has implemented in the state of Roraima, beginning in March of this year.
At the moment, Fraternidade impels this task with four paramedic youths from Boa Vista, who with perseverant decision help the work of doctors and nurses of the military forces and of the Special Indigenous Health Secretariat (SESAI) of the Health Ministry of Brazil.
The collaborators – two nurses, one technician in nursery and a manager of Indigenous health – daily help, from Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., three places where Fraternidade works in the capital of Roraima: Tancredo Neves, New Cana and Pintolandia.
Their daily routine includes the register of patients, the elaboration of clinical files, the accompaniment of treatments and medication, support to pregnant women and children with special needs, assistance to sick people and parturient who are referred to public hospitals.
Consolation and solace
Moved by their great sensitivity, they do not limit their help to the professional service they render, and go beyond, seeking to contact the human being that is behind each patient. And what they discover touch them: it is a degree of suffering they did not know, which is gestated and grows within each refugee, regardless of their race and social condition, for the sudden loss of all reference (family, habitat, sources of subsistence, entertainment, culture, country). Perplex and feeling impotent, they seek to console with a smile, a hug, a word of hope.
“Each time I conduct a nursery attendance, I also seek to talk, hear and leave a word of help, to alleviate a little the immense suffering they go through”, reports Bruno Rodriguez, a voluntary nurse in the Indigenous shelter of Pintolandia. In this place, more than 600 natives of Warao and E’ñepa ethnic groups wait for better days.
“I put myself in their shoes, because I am Indigenous, too, of the Macuxi ethnic group, from Brazil, and I know how difficult it is to live separate from the rivers, the jungle, receiving industrialized food. During the talks that I have kept with them, I always hear their desire to count on a little piece of land to cultivate it and to live more on nature”, said Dejaíne Viriato, a manager in Collective Indigenous Health, who also collaborates in Pintolandia.
Lack of Psychologists
In spite of their good intentions, the four collaborators know that the assistance they can offer in the emotional level is minimal and the support from other professionals is urgent. This group feeling is verbalized by Bruno, who makes the following call: “We need the help from professionals that can attend with a more integral vision, not just contemplating the physical symptoms, but also the emotional and psychological situation of the patients. Also necessary is the support from professionals in psychology”.
Since the beginning of the Humanitarian Roraima Mission, in 2016, some doctors and therapist of the Network-of-Light have rendered their professional collaboration in Boa Vista and Pacaraima. However, the ceaseless growth of migration makes it imperious that this support be intensified.
Expansion of consciousness
In the Meantime, besides serving, the collaborators extract life lessons from each experience. “We often feel unsatisfied with what we have, but this humanitarian service is leading me to be more grateful and to value everything: the possibility of having a home, food, the family together…”, confess Samanta Sing, technician in nursery and collaborator in the shelter for non-Indigenous families in New Cana.
“I personally am led to reflect about my attitude as professional and as a human being; to me it represents a great opportunity of growth”, admits Bruno.