Health of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil: Inequities and the Uneven Trajectory of Public Policies

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open access
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Book chapter
Date
2022-08
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Oxford University Press
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Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto Leônidas e Maria Deane. Manaus, AM, Brasil
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
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Abstract
Abstract
Victims of epidemics, slavery, genocide, and countless other episodes of violence during the colonial enterprise in Brazil, which continues decades into the 21st century in some regions, Indigenous peoples face health inequities resulting from a five-century history of social marginalization and vulnerability. Since the late 1990s, the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in the country have benefited from progressive legislation that values sociocultural diversity within a public primary healthcare subsystem attending to Indigenous peoples living in federal Indigenous lands. However, these transcultural ideals remain elusive in practice. The Indigenous Healthcare Subsystem continues to suffer from numerous systemic problems, including low quality of local services, lack of health professional training for work in intercultural contexts, and unpreparedness for attending to health emergencies involving Indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation. Being Indigenous in Brazil in the 2020s implies greater chances of higher infant mortality, lower life expectancy, suffering from undernutrition and anemia during childhood, living with a high burden of infectious and parasitic diseases, being exposed to a swift process of nutritional transition, and experiencing a surge in chronic violence. Community case studies have shown the importance of close patient follow-up over long periods of time, the heavy burden of disease due to nutrition transition since the mid-1980s, the relevance of international reference curves for evaluating Indigenous child undernutrition, and failures of primary healthcare provided to Indigenous populations. Improvements in national health information systems in Brazil beginning in the early 2000s have shown external causes, perinatal diseases, infectious and parasitic diseases, and respiratory diseases to be the leading causes of death among the country’s Indigenous population.
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Brazil, Health Governance, Health Iniquity, Demography, Health of Indigenous Peoples, Indians, South American
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Brasil, Saúde de Populações Indígenas, Índios Sul-Americanos, Desigualdades em Saúde, Morbidade, Mortalidade, Demografia, Governança em Saúde
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Santos, R. V.; Welch, J. R.; Pontes, A.L; Garnelo, L.; Cardoso, A. M.; Coimbra Jr., C. A. Health of Indigenous peoples in Brazil: Inequities and the uneven trajectory of public policies. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedias of Global Public Health (D. McQueen, Ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, p. 1-33.
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https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190632366.013.33
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