Healthcare Access and Health Beliefs of the Indigenous Peoples in Remote Amazonian Peru

Charlotte K. Brierley Christ Church, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Project Amazonas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; The Honors College, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

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Nicolas Suarez Christ Church, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Project Amazonas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; The Honors College, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

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Gitanjli Arora Christ Church, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Project Amazonas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; The Honors College, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

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Devon Graham Christ Church, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Project Amazonas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; The Honors College, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

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Little is published about the health issues of traditional communities in the remote Peruvian Amazon. This study assessed healthcare access, health perceptions, and beliefs of the indigenous population along the Ampiyacu and Yaguasyacu rivers in north-eastern Peru. One hundred and seventy-nine adult inhabitants of 10 remote settlements attending health clinics were interviewed during a medical services trip in April 2012. Demographics, health status, access to healthcare, health education, sanitation, alcohol use, and smoke exposure were recorded. Our findings indicate that poverty, household overcrowding, and poor sanitation remain commonplace in this group. Furthermore, there are poor levels of health education and on-going barriers to accessing healthcare. Healthcare access and health education remain poor in the remote Peruvian Amazon. This combined with poverty and its sequelae render this population vulnerable to disease.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Charlotte K. Brierley, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ, United Kingdom. E-mail: ckbrierley@gmail.com
† These authors contributed equally to this work.

Financial support: This work was supported by Christ Church College, Oxford; The University of Oxford Medical School, and Project Amazonas Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Authors' addresses. Charlotte K. Brierley, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ, UK, E-mail: ckbrierley@gmail.com. Nicolas Suarez, Cheltenham General Hospital, Cheltenham, UK, E-mail: suarez.nick@gmail.com. Gitanjli Arora, UCLA Center for World Health, Los Angeles, CA, E-mail: gtarora@gmail.com. Devon Graham, Project Amazonas, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, FL, E-mail: devon@projectamazonas.org.

Reprint requests: Devon Graham, Project Amazonas, Inc., 701 E Commercial Boulevard #200, Fort Lauderdale, FL 3333.

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