Amazon Indigenous Health Route

Goal

Promote structural changes in health systems and networks to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the lives, organizations and territories of Indigenous populations in the Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon, and to improve the access to care, prevention and protection measures by placing the rights and cultures of Indigenous peoples at the core of public health systems.

Where

Ecuador, Peru (Madre de Dios), Brazil (Maranhao)

Why

In the Amazon, COVID-19 represents an increasing threat. The lack of access to health services and the limited response to the pandemic add to the pressures that Indigenous peoples and local communities and their territories have historically faced. The effects of COVID-19 and its response measures have exacerbated their vulnerabilities to the impacts of deforestation, logging, illegal mining, oil extraction and the constant violation of their human and territorial rights.

How

The Amazon Indigenous Health Route (AIR) project is an innovative model of care based on intercultural knowledge dialogues and facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes, bringing together health public servants, indigenous organizations, academia, and civil society organizations around joint activities designed to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the Amazon.

The Route’s implementation is organized around four main strategies:

Strategy 1 – Placing the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples at the center of the diagnostic and primary healthcare and telehealth networks

Strategy 2 – Adapting health promotion and disease prevention approaches and materials to be culturally relevant and effectively foster behavioral change, in target Indigenous communities

Strategy 3 – Developing capacities of indigenous Community Health Promoters (CHP)

Strategy 4 – Expanding digital surveillance capacity in Indigenous communities and linking data to the formal health system

Results obtained so far:

  • The development of an integrated health care network.
  • The design of access routes to health centers to facilitate access for the Waorani, Shuar, A’i Kofán, Siona and Achuar nationalities.
  • Training activities in prevention, health and community care measures aimed at health professionals, community health promoters and Indigenous leaders.
  • The development of a friendly and easy-to-use protocol with prevention and care measures with four lines of action: Family, Community, Health Promoters and Health Professionals.
  • The production of graphic and educational material kits
  • The provision of 2,000 COVID-19 PCR tests aimed at Amazonian Indigenous peoples.
  • First place in the SDSN Amazonia 2020 Award (Sustainable Development Solutions Network).

Partner organizations

CONFENIAE (Ecuador), FENAMAD (Peru), Centre for Indigenist Work – CTI (Brazil)

Funding

The Rockefeller Foundation