Brazil declares public health emergency for Yanomami people (Associated Press/CBC News World – January 21, 2023)

Report says some running illegal mines are occupying community airstrips

Brazil’s government has declared a public health emergency for the Yanomami people in the Amazon who are suffering from malnutrition and diseases such as malaria, as a consequence of illegal mining.

The decree, signed by Health Minister Nisia Trindade late Friday, has no expiration date and allows for hiring extra personnel. It determines that the team in charge has to publish reports regarding the Indigenous group’s health and general well-being.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also created a multi-ministerial committee, to be co-ordinated by his chief of staff, for an initial period of 90 days. He is travelling to Roraima state’s capital, Boa Vista, where many ill Yanomami have been admitted to specialized hospitals.

The Yanomami are the largest native group in Brazil, with a population of around 30,000. They live in an area larger than nine million hectares (22 million acres), in the northern area of the Amazon rainforest, close to the border with Venezuela.

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