Health and social well-being of the Nenets in Western Siberia in comparison with other indigenous peoples of the world

Lead Author Andrei, Lobanov
Institution Contact State Public Institution “Scientific Center of Arctic Research”, Russia
Co-Authors Sergey Andronov, Andrei Popov
Theme Theme 4: Building Long-term Human Capacity
Session Name 4.5 Work and workers in the Arctic
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Global research (Indigenous and tribal peoples’ health: a population study) which involved 23 countries and 28 indigenous peoples of the world (I. Anderson, B. Robson, M. Connolly et al. Indigenous and tribal peoples’ health: a population study // Lancet, 2016. URL: (16)00345-7/abstract (accessed: 30.05.2016)) showed that the greatest differences in the health and social well-being between migrant population and aboriginal people was observed on the magnitude of infant mortality rate and access to education. This global study included examination of health and social well-being of the Nenets people in Western Siberia. Information was obtained from government data and our own research. The Nenets have largely retained their traditional way of life: nomadic herding and traditional fishing. However, nomadic way of life, remoteness of villages, absence of roads create significant challenges for ensuring medical care and education quality. In addition, education in boarding schools, prenatal hospitalization of pregnant women do not always positively perceived by tundra nomadic peoples. There is a certain correlation between these two factors. If elder children start to study in a boarding school, their mother keeps her nomadic lifestyle in tundra, usually with several younger children who need care. When a woman is hospitalized in maternity house, family members have to choose between two options: younger children are left without proper care (which can be dangerous by nomadic way of life) or elder children are forced to leave boarding school and replace their mother. Otherwise, long stays in one place lead to reindeer loss, caused by lack of food. Other relatives can handle the situation but they are not always able to care for several children. As a result, women are often urgently hospitalized with the help of aviation. Given a large number of days with bad weather conditions, the complications risk in childbirth is quite high. So, the infant mortality rate in the region according to 2012 data among Nenets population is 47.8 per 1000, among non-indigenous population is 6.6 per 1000, that is 7.2 times less (p<0.001). the="" maternal="" mortality="" rate="" in="" the="" region="" according="" to="" 2013="" data="" among="" nenets="" population="" were="" 146.4="" per="" 100000,="" among="" non-indigenous="" population="" 24.5="" per="" 100000,="" that="" is="" 6.0="" times="" less=""><0.001). for="" comparison:="" in="" canada="" the="" infant="" mortality="" rate="" according="" to="" 1997-2007="" data="" among="" indigenous="" population="" was="" 10.7="" per="" 1000,="" non-indigenous="" population="" 5.7="" per="" 1000,="" that="" differs="" 1.9="" times="" (p="">0.05). The infant mortality rate in Sweden according to 2009-2013 data among indigenous population was 2.8 per 1000, non-indigenous population is 2.2 per 1000, that is 1.3 times less (p>0.05). The education level (corresponding to upper secondary) in the region according to 2012 data among the Nenets amounted to 90.2% of the adult population, the non-indigenous population 99.6% of the adult population (p>0.05). The education level in Sweden according to 2013 data among indigenous population amounted to 71.0% in comparison to non-indigenous population 72.0% (p>0.05). The high level of infant mortality among the Nenets unlike indigenous peoples in other Arctic countries is connected with difficult logistics and remoteness of the tundra population from medical institutions, where expert medical care is provided.