Besides protecting Brazil’s sovereignty over its southern border and stopping illicit activities, Operation Agatha 2 also helps communities. More than 2,400 people have already benefited from civic-social actions in which doctors and dentists from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) see patients, perform procedures, and give talks on health-related topics.
“The work is very interesting, everyone is helping, and we’re really thankful for and satisfied with the care we’re receiving here,” said Maria Helena Beck, a teacher, who brought her 10-year-old daughter to see a pediatrician. She lives in the rural community of Rondinha, in the municipality of Joia (Rio Grande do Sul), more than 400 km from Porto Alegre, near the border with Argentina.
“We have an underprivileged population here that has an extremely difficult time making contact with a doctor,” said Lieutenant Felipe Madeira, a doctor at the Canoas Air Force Hospital. The two dentists on the team also saw patients and performed procedures, as well as giving educational talks in the schools.
The mayor of Joia, Jânio Andreatta, thanked the Air Force for its help and said that the municipality’s great difficulty is its low demographic density, with a few families scattered across a very large region. “We have difficulty reaching all the communities to provide health care, and we’re thankful for the Air Force’s help,” he stated.
During Operation Agatha 2, a team of doctors from the Sao Paulo and Campo Grande air bases is also conducting similar missions in Mato Grosso do Sul, in municipalities along Brazil’s border with Paraguay.