Inirida (Agenzia Fides) - As part of the social actions carried out by the Apostolic Vicariate of Inírida (Colombia) in this period of pandemic and with the support of a group of health professionals, a boat left in past days which crossed the Guaviare River in order to bring Covid-19 prevention material and provide baby food to the indigenous communities in five areas of Cumaribo in Vichada (Colombia).
The health mission, made up of a doctor, three nurses and an agricultural engineer, monitored Covid-19 patients, providing timely and appropriate treatment, and various pathologies were treated such as scabies, arthralgia or muscle and joint pain concerning the elderly, acute respiratory diseases and parasitism in children.
The Director of the mission, Dr. Octaviano Martín, underlined that this initiative of the Apostolic Vicariate provides updated information on Covid-19 and at the same time offers the possibility of offering medical treatment for other symptoms, giving communities the possibility to access medical consultations with treatment included. In the first round of visits, about 300 families from the lower Guaviare river basin were assisted, in the communities of Sejal, San Benito, Laguna Negra, Laguna Colorada, La Rompida and surrounding communities.
This way of health care is a fundamental tool that can become a link between these indigenous communities and the health system. The multidisciplinary team, in addition to providing health services, bringing food and medicine, provided all the information in their language, so this humanitarian action had a strong impact on the indigenous population, breaking cultural and language barriers. This enabled to determine the risk to which communities are exposed to the threat that Covid-19 poses to indigenous peoples.
Colombia continues to take measures to contain the pandemic, but there are areas of the country which, due to distance from hospitals, continue to be at great risk for the population. From Carnegie Mellon University's latest report, there are 9,000 cases in Colombia with about 400 deaths to date. The most risky areas are always rural or border areas. Yesterday the Bishops of Pasto, Mgr. Julio E. Prado Bolaños, of Tumaco, Mgr. Orlando Olave, and of Ipiales, Mgr. José Saúl Grisales, the three dioceses of the Southern Department of Nariño, on the border with Ecuador, asked the government of President Iván Duque Márquez to provide "urgent, differentiated and complete treatment to Nariño", expressing their concern, "given the conditions of geographical location and the spread of the virus in this region bordering neighboring Ecuador". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 8/5/2020)