A project coordinated by researcher Paulo Basta, from Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca (Ensp/Fiocruz), will examine samples of the quality of water for human consumption and sediments in the villages of Maturacá and Ariabu, in the Yanomami Maturacá Indigenous Land (TI), in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Amazonas, aiming to reduce the incidence of acute diarrheal disease (ADD) and infant mortality from causes related to dehydration and malnutrition among indigenous children aged 0 to 5 years. The initiative is an offshoot of research conducted in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) in 2019, which analyzed the social determinants of malnutrition among indigenous children up to five years old in the Yanomami Special Indigenous Health District (DSEI).
The study carried out in partnership with Unicef analyzed 304 children under the age of five (80 from Auaris; 118 from Maturacá; and 106 from Ariabú). The data showed that 81.2% of them had low height for age (chronic malnutrition); 48.5% had low weight for age (an indication of acute malnutrition) and 67.8% were anemic.
"Based on the 2019 survey data, we developed a theoretical model that could explain the social determinants of malnutrition from the perspective of the Yanomami villages studied, and the absence of clean drinking water was an aggravating factor. The project we are developing now, in 2023, entitledOn the paths of water, the resumption of Yanomami health, seeks the development of socio-technical adaptations (social technologies) that ensure access to water in adequate quantity and quality for the selected communities in the Yanomami Indigenous Land," explains the researcher.
During the fieldwork, which will take place between January and February 2023, the researchers will analyze the quality of the water in the rivers, wells, and taps used for human supply and sediment; and will develop a talking map with the potential risk factors for contamination and points available in the village for water supply, considering the domestic use by families (water for drinking, food preparation, and personal hygiene). Basta also reveals that the team will evaluate the management of rivers, rainwater, human waste, and solid waste. It will also conduct a diagnosis of the possible causes for the high number of cases of diarrhea in the Yanomami Indigenous Land, located in Maturacá (AM).
The project will also make it possible, through a partnership with Companhia de Pesquisa de Recursos Minerais (Serviço Geológico do Brasil), for the Yanomami Indigenous Lands to become part of the Hydrogeological Atlas of Brazil to the Millionth, which brings together studies and research conducted in Brazil on groundwater. Researchers Gina Boemer, Alexandre Pessoa, Pedro Basta, from Fiocruz, Valdemilton Gusmão and José Luiz Marmos, from CPRM, are part of the research group, which also counts with the participation of Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) and the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of Rio Negro.