Bolivia: MSF assists Yuracare, Yuqui and Quechua

National staff : 31
International staff : 8

In Mizque, MSF focuses on supporting and developing the health system in the rural areas inhabited by native Americans of the Quechua ethnic group. An estimated 38,000 Quechua live in these areas. Activities include mother and child health care, training of health workers, construction, re-equipment and rehabilitation of health posts and health centres as well the provision of logistical support to the government vaccination campaigns etc.

In Chimore, the 3,000 members of the Yuracare and Yuqui indigenous groups have been substantially outnumbered since the late sixties by the migrant Quechua population. This community is made up of an estimated 20,000 people. MSF's objectives at the municipal level also involve mother and child health care, construction and rehabilitation of health posts and health centres, and large-scale water and sanitation assistance in the primary schools as well as the installation of water hand pumps for a total of 2.550 families.

In addition to ongoing mid and long-term development programmes, MSF intervened in the departments of Beni and Pando in the summer of 1998 in response to the flooding brought on by the El Nino climate phenomenon in the Bolivian Amazon Region. Mobile teams staffed by medical and non-medical personnel provided medical consultations and distributed medical supplies to health posts and health centres. The relief aid programme reached over 6,000 displaced families who were supplied with blankets, water containers, personal hygiene products, mosquito nets, etc. Alongside the Bolivian health ministry, MSF combated the acute malaria problem by training technicians to fumigate over 6,000 homes infested with mosquitoes.

MSF continues to monitor general changes in weather patterns (flooding and drought) and epidemiological developments throughout the country.