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Our concerns

MedicalInadequate access to healthcare
With Brazil becoming one of the world’s biggest COVID-19 hotspots, our teams are focused on the north of the country, where there is a lack of material and human healthcare resources, overcrowding and understaffing.  

MedicalVulnerable people groups
A sharp rise in cases in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, caused the local health system to collapse. There are shortages of oxygen and reports of people dying of suffocation in local hospitals. The transfer of patients in critical condition to the state capital became difficult, resulting in patient deaths. Our team arrived in Manaus in January 2021 to start COVID-19 responses.  

Our responses

MedicalSupporting health authorities
MSF has revisited remote locations in the interior of the Amazonas after noticing a rise in COVID-19 cases. We are supporting the hospitals by donating oxygen cylinders and concentrators and providing tests for the local people. 

MedicalEquipping healthcare staff
We are providing medical support and training in emergency care units across the country to improve care for patients in moderate to critical conditions. 

MedicalMental health support
We continue to provide mental health support for professionals from the biggest public hospital and one emergency care unit in Manaus, Amazonas.

Completed COVID-19 projects in Brazil

  • COVID-19 care activities in Manaus: During our activities, MSF staff worked in the public hospital and managed 12 beds in the intensive care unit, along with 36 beds for moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. We also ran an isolation centre for migrant Venezuelan indigenous people with suspected COVID-19.
  • São Paulo palliative care project: Management of our palliative care services has been passed to the Tide Setubal hospital staff. MSF is providing some staff for to ensure a smooth transition. 


Will you support our COVID-19 response?

Médecins Sans Frontières is providing support and medical care around the world to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re providing essential care through dedicated COVID-19 facilities, equipping frontline medical staff with PPE and training, and supporting health authorities through testing and community education.

With 50 years of experience fighting epidemics, we’re committed to protecting the most vulnerable and saving lives.

Can you help increase our capacity to respond by making a donation to our COVID-19 Crisis Appeal?



MSF first worked in Brazil in 1991.

Following the Haiti earthquake of January 2010, thousands of Haitians fled the devastation and sought asylum in Brazil. Stranded in the border town Tabatinga, and unable to work or leave until they received authorisation, many were living in extremely poor conditions. In November of 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières began offering psychological support and distributed washing kits. 

By January of 2012, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice announced that some 4,000 Haitians would be granted residence and work visas. The federal government also opened up legal migration opportunities from Haiti. With the improvement in the situation, MSF’s program was closed in February 2012.

Many Haitians left Tabatinga for the city of Manaus, and an MSF team provided training in mental healthcare and health promotion to health staff and social workers in Manaus.