Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Prevalence of common diseases in indigenous people in Colombia

The Indigenous tribe called the Wiwa lives retracted in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Little is known about their health status and whether the health care system in place covers their needs. In 2017 and 2018, a permanent physician was in charge for the Wiwa. Diseases and complaints were registered, ranked, and classified with the ICD-10 coding. Datasets from the Indigenous health care provider Dusakawi, collected from local health points and health brigades travelling sporadically into the fields for short visits, were compared. Furthermore, a list of provided medication was evaluated regarding the recorded needs. The most common complaints found were respiratory, infectious and parasitic, and digestive diseases. The top ten diagnoses collected in the health points and in the health brigade datasets were similar, although with a different ranking. The available medication showed a basic coverage only, with a critical lack of treatment for many severe, chronic, and life-threatening diseases. Most of the detected diseases in the Indigenous population are avoidable by an improvement in health care access, an expansion of the provided medication, and an increase in knowledge, hygiene, and life standards.


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