In south-east Colombia, the busy township of Puerto Nariño on the banks of the River Amazon can only be reached by water – but the Covid-19 infection has already arrived!
The lock-down means tourism, a major source of employment, has completely dried up leaving many families without income or food. At this time of year food stores from last year’s harvest are exhausted and now hunger is a serious additional threat.
Kilyam Gomez, a Fénix graduate nurse born in Puerto Nariño, is responsible for the active search for cases of Covid-19 in the department of Amazonas. 26 new cases were found in just one day in May. There are 7,000 inhabitants nearly all Ticuna, Cocama and Yagua Indians, in Puerto Nariño and surrounding villages with large numbers of vulnerable people including the very old and children suffering from malnutrition, while the local hospital lacks basic equipment such as oxygen regulators and even face-masks and other protective equipment for the staff.
With no government aid arriving Nurse Kiliyam is appealing for urgent help. Fundaciónes Natütama and Fénix are meeting some of the most desperate needs: Fénix has sent oxygen regulators, N95 masks, disposable gloves, and face shields for the health care staff; Natütama is funding food supplies for families without resources.
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