Situation of the indigenous health
Within the frame of cooperation Comunities - ASCIM there are multiple efforts for health improvement, primarily in the preventive area. Much of the time of the personnel is used to prepare and carry through vaccination campaigns, pregnancy and children controls, home visits in order to promote hygiene and good nutrition and conscientization of community leaders.
The worst diseases by which the aborigenes are aflicted, include respiratory infections, the tuberculosis, the parasitosis with the consequent anemia and the malnutrition of the children. In all of the above areas an improvement has been observed during the last 25 years of systematic work. The most spectacular example is the tuberculosis from which 10% of the population suffered in 1968, and during the last years less than 0,5%.
Nevertheless it is still a threat which should not be undervaluated and the control of which is continued tenaciously.
The general death rate in the agricultural communities which maintain a cooperation agreement with the ASCIM, is 6 per 1,000, one third of the rate they had 25 years ago. With a birth rate of approximately 26 per 1,000 – in spite of the family planning program offered to them – the normal annual population increase is 2%.
The basic infrastructure of the ASCIM for this health program comprises a health centre in Yalve Sanga and 16 health stations located in the main indigenous settlements. The centre in Yalve Sanga, is not only the administrative and functional headquarters of the program, but also serves as the reference hospital and training centre for indigenous personnel, which comprises half of the staff and includes 2 dentists, 2 laboratory technicians and about 20 health promotors. After graduation from a three year course these promotors are trained in all areas of public health as well as nursing and the diagnosis and treatment of sicknesses.