Health Expeditions in the Amazon
Roughly 500,000 indigenous people live in rural or forest territories in Brazil – areas that lack access to health services due to their remote location. To alleviate the difficulties from this circumstance, Expedicionários da Saúde (EDS) has been working for 13 to bring free health services to those remote communities in the Amazon.
“It takes three months of preparation to organize an expedition – preparation that involves meetings with indigenous leaders and with local institutions to ask for support. We are very well received”, says Márcia Abdala, General Coordinator at EDS.
EDS performs three expeditions per year, bringing-state-of-the-art technology to the Amazon to perform surgeries, pre and post-procedure consultations, as well as pediatric, gynecological, orthopedic and additional services. The most recent expedition, in November, provided treatments specifically for trachoma, a disease afflicting the Hupdas indigenous people, who are at higher risk due to the extreme poverty in which they live. Without treatment, the disease can cause permanent blindness.
As for the expedition’s impact – the numbers speak for themselves. The expedition delivered a total of 68 eyelid surgeries, benefiting 34 patients. In 2016 alone, 664 surgeries, 3,742 treatments and 8,508 exams and procedures were realized. “They really need these medical services. If it were not for us going there, they would have had a difficult time getting treatment in the city”, adds Márcia.
See EDS in action on their last expedition here: