Due to intense
violence, large portions of
Colombia’s population flee their homes, thus encountering many physical
and mental health challenges.
In addition to the lack of access to health services, these vulnerable
individuals experience a loss of
productivity and poor sanitation and living conditions. PAHO/WHO, in collaboration with several partners, has
been engaged in an on-going project to improve the health of internally
displaced populations (IDP).
collaboration with international, national and local partners, PAHO/WHO
aims to reduce emergency health
needs of displaced populations and focuses activities on:
1. Improving health information
vital computer tool - SIGA - is used throughout the country to
register and report the delivery of health services for displaced
populations. This tool helps manage information and monitor the uses of
national resources for displaced persons. It also generates
epidemiological reports and demonstrates the demand for health care.
2. Coordinating the health response
- Health Round Table
meetings provide a space where all actors that play a role in health
and displaced populations can gather around the same table discuss
current issues, make decisions and assign responsibilities to different
organizations or institutions. These meetings include not only local
authorities but also representatives from displaced communities as well
as individuals from health insurance organizations, among others.
3. Reducing the gaps in health services
- The Access Route to Healthcare – commonly known as the ‘Ruta de
Salud’ – is a tool used to teach communities about their rights to
healthcare access, how to obtain them and what to do if those rights are
not granted. The “Route” is adapted to the local level needs in various
communities and is disseminated by video, radio and printed copies. Check
health systems function during and after a crisis
response teams are created at
the local level to increase authorities' ability to
coordinate response and provide support immediately after a mass
displacement, natural disaster or any other public health emergency.
These teams are trained in topics such as damage and needs assessments,
shelters and mental health, and are extremely valuable in remote areas
where populations have difficulty accessing healthcare.
Learn more about the different
activities in Colombia