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COVID-19 and Indigenous health in the Brazilian Amazon

Bruno Wichmann () and Roberta Wichmann ()

Economic Modelling, 2022, vol. 115, issue C

Abstract: We test whether the COVID-19 pandemic has an ethnicity-differentiated (Indigenous vs non-Indigenous) effect on infant health in the Brazilian Amazon. Using vital statistics data we find that Indigenous infants born during the pandemic are 0.5% more likely to have very low birth weights. Access to health care contributes to health gaps. Thirteen percent of mothers travel to deliver their babies. For traveling mothers, having an Indigenous baby during the pandemic increases the probability of very low birth weight by 3%. Indigenous mothers are 7.5% less likely to receive adequate prenatal care. Mothers that travel long distances to deliver their babies and give birth during the pandemic are 35% less likely to receive proper prenatal care. We also find evidence that the pandemic shifts medical resources from rural to urban areas, which disproportionately benefits non-Indigenous mothers. These results highlight the need for policies to reduce health inequalities in the Amazon.

Keywords: Indigenous peoples; Infants; COVID-19 pandemic; Health care access; Brazil; Amazon (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 I18 J15 R58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2022.105962

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