Basic health care

Basic health care
2018. Mass drug administration and anemia prevention in the Department of Vaupés, Colombia. Photo: María Camila Rodríguez © Sinergias ONG

Basic health care

One of the main needs of the people in the communities where Sinergias works is the resolution of their most pressing health problems. In this dispersed rural area, the nearest hospital is several hours away by boat or road, and the population does not always have the resources to cover transportation costs. For this reason, it is essential to have trained personnel who can respond to the most frequent problems in the communities themselves. 

In this scenario, indigenous nursing assistants become very important. They have been trained to attend the most prevalent health problems in the territory, from the biomedical point of view, but they are also knowledgeable of the local culture and languages, so they become articulators between the health institutions and the communities and are the ones who operate the interculturality in health in the territory. They work hand in hand with the traditional healers to jointly solve the main health problems of the community.

Due to the low connectivity of the department, it is through means of communication adapted to the context, such as radio telephones, that the assistants can have direct contact with health professionals from the local hospital, resolve doubts and receive indications for the management of patients. In addition, health professionals accompany them in the communities to continue with the education and follow-up processes.