There are a multitude of communities tucked away along the river’s edge in wood huts built above the water or just inland in the many sub-tributaries of the Amazon. In 2011, the Brazilian government inaugurated the Basic Health Unit River (BFHU) system to provide primary care to the indigenous tribes.
In 2013, the BFHU launched the Igaraçu, a two-story floating clinic outfitted with medical staff, dental and exam rooms, a pharmacy and a kitchen. The clinic serves a small portion of the rivers vastness in only 44 communities of the Wood rivers above Madeirinha, Autaz-Açu and Autaz Mirin. The 80-foot transom bow travels roughly 20 days each trip, with about a month-long break to resupply and perform maintenance.