“Doctors Without Borders” in support of the Navajo nation, present in many parts of the world plagued by international conflict, MSF also landed for the first time in the United States to help indigenous people at serious risk of coronavirus and almost forgotten by the central government.
A team of 9 people was sent to the Navajo nation to provide medical care to the indigenous population severely affected by Covid-19. The team consists of 2 doctors, 3 nurses and midwives, a sanitary specialist, two logisticians and a health organizer who specializes in community health education.
Gene Stowell, head of the MSF team that deals with the emergency coronavirus infection in the United States, told CBS News that the situation with the Navajo
“There is a specific risk profile. Situationally, Native American communities are at much higher risk of complications from COVID-19, as well as of spreading to the community, as they lack access to the variety of elements that make self-isolation possible. You can’t expect people to isolate themselves if they have to travel 100 miles to get food and water. “
To date, the Navajo nation is home to about 170,000 people. It is a local reserve located between the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, in the southwestern United States. There are currently 3,204 coronavirus cases and 102 deaths registered here, the largest number of any state in the United States in terms of population. In early May, the region showed higher coronavirus mortality than other countries. The fear is that Covid-19 could literally wipe out the population.
The coronavirus can “destroy” the Indians from the Navajo Indians. Outbreaks in the “reserves”, but no hospitals
Due to the shortage of specialized nursing and medical staff, critically ill patients must be taken to hospitals. In addition, the Navajo have a high rate of diabetes and hypertension. This makes them even more at risk.
Some tribes have taken drastic measures, closed their borders and adopted strict measures of self-isolation to protect the virus from their communities. But that is not enough. The fact that the Navajo nation is a veritable “food wasteland” dependent on the US government has exacerbated the situation. In addition, it is estimated that one in three residents does not have access to running water. And all this in the indifference of the institutions, which do not even send them the necessary medical material.
The government only sends body bags to the Indians, the Irish rush to help “pay off”
The Doctors Without Borders team currently plans to stay in the Navajo country until the end of June , but the post could be extended if help is needed for even longer.
The elders of the Navajo nation are the people, the greatest risk due to their age and care for them is essential because they have the task of going down and preserving the language and culture of the tribe.
“I’m afraid for our languages, our culture, our people,” Dr. Michelle Tom said in a CBS News documentary. “I know this is happening all over the world. I understand. My time is limited on this Earth, but our language and cultures can live forever, as long as there are Navajo people. That’s what scares me the most. “