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Our Pediatric Care Fairs continue to reach indigenous communities in La Guajira

A total of $2,372.24 was raised for pediatric care in indigenous communities in La Guajira from two successful Zumbathons backed by the Colombian Society of Pediatrics (CSP) and led by Zumba instructor Paula Andrea Acosta Zuluaga in the cities of Buffalo, NY, and Bogota, Colombia.

During September 10 and 17 of this year, the foundation Los Hijos del Sol-Süchonni Ka’i brought its Integral Child Healthcare Fairs to the Wayuu communities of Cerro in Cabo de la Vela and Juyasirain in the municipality of Uribia.

A total of 262 patients, among them children and adolescents, were attended during the Healthcare Fairs which took place in the INSETINKA Educational Institute of Cabo de la Vela and were supported by the Yanama Organization. During the fair, volunteers found that in children five years and younger, 69% were of proper weight for their height, 25% were at risk of malnutrition, 4% had moderate acute malnutrition, and 2% had severe acute malnutrition. These cases have already been reported to their respective health and Family Welfare centers for home help management. In children five years and older, it was found that 82% had an adequate body mass index for their age, 8% were at risk of thinness, and the remaining 10% were in a state of thinness.

The diseases found in children under 5 were: acute respiratory infection – ARI (58%), acute diarrheal disease – ADD (23%), and the following diseases which were detected with lesser frequency: parasitic infections, anemia, and the skin diseases impetigo, scabies and atopic dermatitis. In children five years and older, 50% had ARI, 14% had ADD, and the remaining children, in order of frequency, had parasitosis, abdominal pain, and skin diseases. 100% of the children over age one were wormed.

Meanwhile, in the Satellite Classroom Educational Institution of Juyasirain, with the support of the Lions Club Uribia – Akalinja, doctors and volunteers dewormed 131 students, led educational talks on oral health and teeth brushing techniques, and delivered dental kits.

Volunteers found that 100% of the children under five years old had an appropriate weight for their height. In children over five years old, 74% had a body mass index suitable for their age, 24% were at risk of thinness, and only 2% were in a state of thinness.

During these two health fairs, the children were treated by pediatricians and residents of the Universidad del Norte, and the health fair talks were led by volunteers from the foundation Los Hijos del Sol-Süchonni Ka’I on hygiene and hand washing. Doctors gave all children with pathologies the appropriate drugs for management and also explained to their parents the key signs of alarm like high fever that will not go down, difficulty breathing, and incessant vomiting, among other symptoms.

The pediatrician Iliana Curiel said that “timely medical interventions for common childhood diseases, education about the signs of alarm, and deworming are strategies that have a short-term impact on the nutritional status, health, prevention of anemia, and improvement of academic performance in school-age children.”

Photos and Editorial: Eleonora Arango Castrillón – Executive Director
Translation: Ruth Bishop
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