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Reddick, Heather (2015-05). Public Health Assessment for the Indigenous People of the Chayanta Province of Bolivia. Doctoral Dissertation. | Thesis individual record
abstract

Bolivia, a country of approximately 10 million people as of 2011, is one of the poorest countries in South America. Extending deep into the Andes Mountains are indigenous people who were denied access to education, political participation, and economic growth until the early 1950s. As a result, due in part to the remote locations of many indigenous people, villagers remain poor and lack basic health infrastructure, sanitation and education. The goal of this research is to: 1) examine access to healthcare in the Pocoata Municipality near the village of Quesimpuco; 2) identify health problems of the indigenous population of the Chaupirana Valley; and 3) develop a tailored public health surveillance program that will help track the incidence of water-borne disease morbidity in villages near Quesimpuco.

Results indicate the need for more healthcare clinics in the study area. In addition, the main medical problems identified in the villages were gastrointestinal upset (including parasitic infection, gastritis, diarrhea, abdominal pain) possibly due to contaminated water supplies, musculoskeletal pain and back problems, an increased prevalence of eye issues, and respiratory morbidity. With community-specific health needs identified, a public health surveillance system can be implemented and monitored by local, community members. Village leaders can then allocate the appropriate workforce, training needs and resources to ensure progress in community health initiatives. Further, the use of Epi Info can assist with the organizational structure of health data management in the remote villages of Bolivia.

Ensuring a safe, potable water supply and proper hygiene infrastructure such as hand washing stations and latrines can greatly improve the lives of the indigenous people of the Chayanta Province. The long-term outcome of this research will assist leaders in identifying specific health needs, focusing limited resources, educating the population about ways to improve and sustain a healthy life, and ultimately eliminate common diseases through preventative measures.


Results indicate the need for more healthcare clinics in the study area. In addition, the main medical problems identified in the villages were gastrointestinal upset (including parasitic infection, gastritis, diarrhea, abdominal pain) possibly due to contaminated water supplies, musculoskeletal pain and back problems, an increased prevalence of eye issues, and respiratory morbidity. With community-specific health needs identified, a public health surveillance system can be implemented and monitored by local, community members. Village leaders can then allocate the appropriate workforce, training needs and resources to ensure progress in community health initiatives. Further, the use of Epi Info can assist with the organizational structure of health data management in the remote villages of Bolivia.

Ensuring a safe, potable water supply and proper hygiene infrastructure such as hand washing stations and latrines can greatly improve the lives of the indigenous people of the Chayanta Province. The long-term outcome of this research will assist leaders in identifying specific health needs, focusing limited resources, educating the population about ways to improve and sustain a healthy life, and ultimately eliminate common diseases through preventative measures.

etd chair
publication date
2015