Introduction The Amazon River Basin is the largest and the most complex fluvial system in the world. The Brazilian government provides dental and medical care to the riverine populations in this region in part through medical assistance missions, conducted by four hospital ships. The Brazilian Navy invited U.S. Navy medical personnel to join the February 2019 mission aboard Navio de Assistência Hospitalar (NAsH) Carlos Chagas to provide care along the Madeira River. Materials and Methods In the course of providing primary care services, demographic, health, and dental data of the Madeira Riverine population were collected. Descriptive statistics were used to generate average health and dental data. Chi-square tests were used to compare population prevalence data. Linear regression was used to evaluate dental caries per patient with proximity to nearest large population center and village population. This project was approved by Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Institutional Review Board. Results The Madeira Riverine population has similar dental health to Brazilians living in urban centers. Their prevalence of hypertension and diabetes compared favorably with the U.S. averages (17.7% vs. 34.3% [P < 0.001] and 3% vs. 9.4% [P < 0.001], respectively). Based on the most prevalent ICD-10 code diagnoses, future missions can expect high volumes of patients with intestinal parasites, hypertension, common skin infections, women's health concerns, and musculoskeletal complaints. Conclusions This study adds to the limited health data currently available on Brazilian Riverine populations. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the Hospital Assistance missions in providing dental care and documents some unique aspects of Riverine health that warrant further study.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health