Malnutrition due to lack of natural resources is one of the causes of Yanomami children having a mortality rate tenfold that of the whole of South America's largest country, Agencia Brasil reported Thursday.
According to United Nations (UN) data, mortality among Yanomami up to 1 year of age reaching 114.3 for every thousand births in 2020 was 10 times the nationwide rate. It also exceeds that of African countries such as Sierra Leone's 80.5 and the Central African Republic's 77, which are among the poorest in the world.
A Yanomami Mission report released by Brazil's Health Ministry showed deaths of newborn babies accounted for nearly 60 % of deaths in children under one year from 2018 to 2022. According to the report, this reveals a failure in the attention to pregnancy, delivery, and afterbirth care. The document indicates malnutrition as one of the main causes of child deaths. The Yanomami Mission took place from January 15 to 25.
It is very common in malnutrition to have an acute respiratory infection, sometimes pneumonia, and many times what kills a malnourished child is sepsis, because their body, by not being able to protect itself, also loses the conditions to recover from these diseases. And the impairment in growth and normal brain development in this early stage of life is irrecoverable, said Pernambuco University retired Professor Sonia Lucena, who has a PhD in nutrition. Data collected since 2015 showed a recurrent underweight problem. In 2021, this rate reached 56.5% of Yanomami children. Almost half the Yanomami pregnant women were underweight in 2022.
In the meantime, as federal aid keeps reaching the indigenous group, Defense Minister José Múcio said Thursday that the airstrip located in the region of Surucucu, in Roraima, should be operational in 15 days. It will larger aircraft to operate in the area and increase support to the Yanomami community.
The airstrip in Surucucu should be ready in the next two weeks, which will enable federal authorities to deliver basic food baskets more easily. According to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), 4,090 food baskets and over 78 tons of groceries and medicines have already been transported to the indigenous lands.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)