The Aymara population is the most affected

Arica has had the highest rates of tuberculosis nationwide in recent decades: The Aymara population is the most affected

November 24, 2022 // National, Society

Public statement:

To the authorities of the commune of Arica:

The Region of Arica and Parinacota has had, in recent decades, the highest rates of tuberculosis in all of Chile. One of the populations most affected by this disease, due to serious structural inequities, have been the Aymara communities. According to the Ministry of Health, the region has a crude rate of 29 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 inhabitants and 43.8 percent of the cases correspond to indigenous people (year 2020). Epidemiological studies with a sociocultural perspective have indicated that Aymara people have up to nine times more risk of getting sick and up to 6 times more risk of dying from tuberculosis than non-indigenous people (2007-2009 triennium).

To respond to this situation, Aymara people and organizations from the Arica commune organized in 2006, in the indigenous association Suma Q’amañataki/Por el buen vivir, to carry out primary health care actions in the areas of prevention, support in the diagnosis and monitoring of people undergoing tuberculosis treatment. A decade ago, the financing of the Arica Health Service, which allowed them to support them in the expenses of mobilization, snacks and educational material, was eliminated.

All the available evidence and the recommendations of the Pan American Health Organization indicate that it is imperative to incorporate civil society in the response to this disease. We cannot expect tuberculosis to stop disproportionately affecting the Aymara communities in the commune of Arica, if we continue to do the same. This is not only the responsibility of the health service, but also of the municipality that is in charge of primary care and, therefore, the possibility of negotiating or raising the necessary resources to allow the return of the Suma indigenous community strategy. Q’amañataki.

The Aymara and non-indigenous people who sign this declaration ask all the health and political authorities with jurisdiction in the Arica commune to make a commitment to allow the Aymara people to be part of the solution to this serious health problem, as established Law 20,584 on the Rights and Duties of the Patient, which ensures the right of indigenous people to receive health care with cultural relevance.


The article is in Spanish


Tags: Aymara population affected

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