Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon

by Alianza Arkana
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon
Emergency Health Fund in the Peruvian Amazon

The last campaign concluded in March and the results were very important for us:

  • 62 Shipibos assisted
  • 60% adult women
  • 40% aged between 36 to 55
  • 20% emergencies by Covid-19
  • 70% used less than $130 to be served
  • 7 months' salary for a Shipiba coordinator. 

 This was possible thanks to the campaign we carried out together with Xapiri organization, who raised $10,000.

 With hospitals still collapsing and income limited, the new campaign can be a great help to our Shipibo brothers and sisters, and for this we need your support!  We want to raise approximately $25,000 to cover more than 100 emergencies. Recently, we received $4,000! Now we have to keep working to reach the full amount.

 

Help us to reach this goal!

 

IRAKE!!

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Alianza Arkana recognizes the hard work of medical workers in Peru in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we do not cease to criticize the public health system, abandoned by the governments and which has forced vulnerable populations to seek alternative solutions to a decent treatment in a hospital.

There are more than 150 Shipibo-Konibo communities in the Peruvian Amazon, of which only 63 have a basic health center, all of them precarious, and without the capacity to offer a comprehensive and effective service to the families. This reflects the lack of interest of the political parties and their militants in improving the living conditions of the indigenous population.

In the case of urban areas, there are no specific records about the Shipibo population and the health centers they use, but we have empirical knowledge about their needs and deficiencies. We are talking about health problems that are not only the 1517 cases of Shipibos infected by COVID-19, according to official government reports, but other diseases or emergencies that were abandoned by the pandemic, silenced by historical state deficiencies, including: childbirth problems, strokes, cysts, hemorrhages, infections, etc.

The Health Fund for emergencies promoted by Alianza Arkana contributes to solve these needs, which are not published to respect the privacy of patients, providing financial support to those who really need it.

Unfortunately, this is a fund that depends on donations, so your support is essential!

 

Share our work or help us with a donation.

Irake! Thank you very much!

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Thanks to a succesful campaing with our allies, Xapiri Ground, we funraised to cover health costs for our emergency fund during COVID-19. Thanks to all our donors we managed to produce the following succesful results!W

APPLICATIONS RECEIVED: 43 FAMILIES

We recieved applications from 43 families to financially support their health emergencies during COVID-19. 


FAMILIES SERVED: 39 FAMILIES

We served 39 families. 


PEOPLE SERVED: 48 PEOPLE

From those 39 families, 48 individuals were helped. 


DECEASED: 2 DECEASED

2 people deceased as their health was too complicated and there was nothing further we could do. 


REQUESTS TO BE TAKEN: 4 REQUESTS

There are still 4 requests to attend. 

 

In total we also attended 11 men, 29 women and 8 children. 

 

We had  a budget of about $180 per family. 10 cases used up to 40% of the budget, 9 cases used up to 50% of the budget, 9 cases were over 65% of the budget, 6 cases used up the total budget, and 3 cases exceeded the budget. 

This makes for a very eficient used of the resources gathered which allows us to be able to support a few more families in need. 

 

We are very proud of Ruth, a young shipibo woman, who has been coordinating the activities of the fund, and supporting the families in need. Thanks to your donations, we can help those most severely impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, and those with other illnesses that make them vulnerable to COVID. 

 

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Aide packages being dispensed
Aide packages being dispensed

Along with the rest of the world, our health priorities as an organization have changed dramatically in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At Alianza Arkana, we have shifted our activities to cater to the immediate needs of our partner communities and allies and as a result, our usual Intercultural Health activities have been put on hold.

Quarantine guidelines in Peru have been extremely strict since the beginning of March, and the penalties for breaking them have sometimes been harsh and punitive here in the department of Ucayali. For more than three months, men and women have only been allowed to leave their houses on separate days to perform vital tasks, such as buying food and medicine. All travel has been shut down, with the exception of food transport to and from major cities. Our local hospital has also been closed intermittently, as healthcare workers have no access to personal protective equipment, and hospitals do not have essential equipment such as ventilators nor appropriate medicine to handle COVID-19-related cases.

Our staff based in Yarinacocha has been working tirelessly to support our community partners in every way that we can. Thanks to our generous donors who responded to a targeted fundraising campaign, we were able to provide packages of daily food and cleaning staples to every household in our partner community Santa Clara. In addition, we provided medications requested by community members in order to meet their regular prescription needs as well as emergency supplies that would usually be sought after in the local health post. We were likewise able to transport packages to the community of Paoyhan. Since normal transport has been curtailed, our staff members travelled over 30 hours by boat to complete this delivery, highlighting the extreme situations that communities currently face. Local allies in urban residencies have also been provided with food deliveries, and we have recently initiated efforts to raise an emergency fund for individuals and families in need with a partner organization, Xapiri.

 

As of June 12th, the Peruvian Ministry of Health reported 220,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (out of 1,300,000 individuals tested). Unfortunately, diagnostic COVID-19 testing is extremely limited in the Amazonian regions of the country, especially in areas where existing health services and statistics are already scarce. In the community of Paoyhan, the nurse technician who runs the community’s only health post told us he had received two separate shipments of 55 and 50 rapid tests for COVID-19 from the local-level Ministry of Health office in order to serve his community of approximately 1,500 people. After conducting preliminary household testing, he feels confident that most households have at least one infected person, despite no positive cases being recorded for this locale.

While people across the world find themselves facing difficulties at this time, crises such as these undeniably exacerbate longstanding inequalities at national and local levels. Like other indigenous communities, our partner communities have received no support from the government, and no plans are currently in place to provide meaningful support. Shipibo-Konibo communities have found themselves largely cutoff, unable to access food, healthcare, and their usual sources of income. Many families, already vulnerable due to poverty and related sequelae such as food insecurity, are faced with unprecedented need.

 

In the face of these challenges, we are witnessing exceptional leadership among communities. Shipibo leaders have taken action to set up their own security checkpoints to limit the possibility of infection in their communities. Our partners at Axenon Ikanwe have aired pertinent COVID-19 information on their radio program in order to inform Shipibo-speaking listeners. Indigenous people around the country are galvanizing in support of one another to demand the essential support and services to which they have a right.

As always, our staff at Alianza Arkana have proven to be relentlessly dedicated. A core tenet of community health is the promotion of systems and behaviors that ensure the wellbeing not only of individuals, but of all who surround us. The coronavirus pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of our work and we will remain steadfast in our mission.

 

We hope that all of our allies and their loved ones are safe and healthy during this time. We extend our sincerest gratitude to everyone who has supported us and sought to keep themselves informed of our struggles and ongoing work.

 --

Alianza Arkana is an indigenous-led non-profit organization working with Shipibo-Konibo communities in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon. For more information, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, visit our website, and contact us at info@alianzaarkana.org. 

Rapid test administered in Paoyhan
Rapid test administered in Paoyhan
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Washing hands during our workshop
Washing hands during our workshop

It’s summer here in the southern hemisphere and, for the Amazon, this means it’s rainy season. The rainy season usually entails extensive flooding, which makes sanitation efforts difficult in both urban and remote areas, and water-borne illnesses an even greater threat. Further, emergency transportation to hospitals during the rainy season is often impossible. This year in Pucallpa and surrounding areas, however, the weather has been abnormally dry.

Despite the dry weather, Pucallpa is still reeling from the impact of rain in other areas of the country. At times, roadways have been closed due to mudslides and flashfloods, which have restricted transport to and from the city. Road closures are causing food and fuel shortages, which affect households and businesses alike. The shortages are noticeable in locations such as Santa Clara, our partner community, where people often rely on vendors that come from the town center to sell items like chicken, fruit, and rice.

We at Alianza Arkana have learned that food insecurity solutions are most effective when community-based. Not only are such solutions pragmatic, but they also encourage anti-colonial approaches to issues brought on largely by colonial development methods in the Amazon.

During our Intercultural Health course, which was completed at the end of 2019, our nutrition component highlighted the fact that the traditional Shipibo diet, which consists of staples such as locally sourced fish and bananas, promotes better health than the fast food and packaged food options which are now common in urban centers and indigenous communities.

Together with our community partners, we recognize that the current state of food insecurity is especially unjust considering that these areas were once teeming with biodiversity. Alianza Arkana’s agroforestry and permaculture projects aim to not only restore ecological diversity, but will also provide edible crops for community consumption and income generation via sustainable, traditional practices in the long-term.

 

In our last quarterly update, we announced that we were offering a month-long training course for Shipibo health professional students. The Intercultural Strategies for Community Health course was designed to complement students’ coursework, introduce students to public health concepts and research methodologies, and discuss in detail specific diseases that are a concern in local communities. Our students had a wonderful time delivering a parasite prevention workshop in Santa Clara, and it was a pleasure to learn alongside them.

Our upcoming Intercultural Health activities will be directly informed by the community household surveys we conducted last year. After interviewing families in Santa Clara, we learned that almost half of all community members are not currently enrolled in SIS (Sistema Integral de Salud), a public health insurance that qualifies recipients for a myriad of free healthcare services. Working with the Ministry of Health for the Department of Ucayali (DIRESA – Dirección Regional de Salud), we hope to support Santa Clara community members in procuring public insurance with an inscription campaign, similar to the one we completed in the community of Paoyhan in 2018.

 

As always, we will keep you updated on all of our future activities. We greatly appreciate your continued support of our programs!

--

Alianza Arkana is an indigenous-led non-profit organization working with Shipibo-Konibo communities in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon. Our Intercultural Health Program works to address health issues in urban and rural communities through a series of educational workshops, health campaigns that bridge access to government resources, and community-based action. For more information, follow Alianza Arkana on Facebook and Instagram, visit our website, and contact us at salud@alianzaarkana.org. 

Workshop participants
Workshop participants
Conducting household surveys
Conducting household surveys
Conducting household surveys
Conducting household surveys
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Organization Information

Alianza Arkana

Location: Yarinacocha, Ucayali - Peru
Website:
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Project Leader:
Development Team
Yarinacocha, Ucayali Peru
$6,979 raised of $49,100 goal
 
47 donations
$42,121 to go
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