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Climate change and agricultural workers' health in Ecuador: occupational exposure to UV radiation and hot environments.
| Idioma(s): Inglés
Climate change is a global concern but little is known about its potential health effects in workers from non-industrialized countries. Ecuadorian workers from the coast (hot environments) and Andean region (elevated UV radiation) might be at particular risk of such effects. In the Andean region, measurements of UV index show maximum levels exceeding 11, a level considered being extreme according to the WHO. Also, an increased incidence of skin cancer was reported the last decennium, this being the second most common cancer type in men and women. In the coast, a high reported prevalence of kidney disease in agricultural workers is suggested to be related to exposure to hot temperatures. The scarce data available on occupational health in Ecuadorian agricultural workers raise the need for further investigation. Data worldwide shows an increasing prevalence of UV radiation- and heat stress-related illnesses in agricultural workers and urges the adoption of preventive measures.
A qualitative exploration of the impact of the economic recession in Spain on working, living and health conditions: reflections based on immigrant workers' experiences.
| Idioma(s): Inglés
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to analyse how immigrant workers in Spain experienced changes in their working and employment conditions brought about Spain's economic recession and the impact of these changes on their living conditions and health status. METHOD: We conducted a grounded theory study. Data were obtained through six focus group discussions with immigrant workers (n = 44) from Colombia, Ecuador and Morocco, and two individual interviews with key informants from Romania living in Spain, selected by theoretical sample. RESULTS: Three categories related to the crisis emerged--previous labour experiences, employment consequences and individual consequences--that show how immigrant workers in Spain (i) understand the change in employment and working conditions conditioned by their experiences in the period prior to the crisis, and (ii) experienced the deterioration in their quality of life and health as consequences of the worsening of employment and working conditions during times of economic recession. CONCLUSION: The negative impact of the financial crisis on immigrant workers may increase their social vulnerability, potentially leading to the failure of their migratory project and a return to their home countries. Policy makers should take measures to minimize the negative impact of economic crisis on the occupational health of migrant workers in order to strengthen social protection and promote health and well-being.
Bananas, pesticides and health in southwestern Ecuador: A scalar narrative approach to targeting public health responses.
| Idioma(s): Inglés
Public health responses to agricultural pesticide exposure are often informed by ethnographic or other qualitative studies of pesticide risk perception. In addition to highlighting the importance of structural determinants of exposure, such studies can identify the specific scales at which pesticide-exposed individuals locate responsibility for their health issues, with implications for study and intervention design. In this study, an ethnographic approach was employed to map scalar features within explanatory narratives of pesticides and health in Ecuador's banana-producing El Oro province. Unstructured observation, 14 key informant interviews and 15 in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out during 8 months of fieldwork in 2011-2013. Analysis of interview data was informed by human geographic literature on the social construction of scale. Individual-focused narratives of some participants highlighted characteristics such as carelessness and ignorance, leading to suggestions for educational interventions. More structural explanations invoked farm-scale processes, such as uncontrolled aerial fumigations on plantations owned by elites. Organization into cooperatives helped to protect small-scale farmers from 'deadly' banana markets, which in turn were linked to the Ecuadorian nation-state and actors in the banana-consuming world. These scalar elements interacted in complex ways that appear linked to social class, as more well-off individuals frequently attributed the health problems of other (poorer) people to individual behaviours, while providing more structural explanations of their own difficulties. Such individualizing narratives may help to stabilize inequitable social structures. Research implications of this study include the possibility of using scale-focused qualitative research to generate theory and candidate levels for multi-level models. Equity implications include a need for public health researchers planning interventions to engage with scale-linked inequities, such as disparities within nation-states. Finally, the prominence of the global North in explanatory narratives is a useful reminder that 'structural factors' prominently include inequities related to the legacies of colonialism.
Social determination of the oral health-disease process: a social-historical approach in four Latin American countries/ Determinación social del proceso salud enfermedad bucal: una aproximación socio-histórica en cuatro países de Latinoamérica/ Determinação social do processo saúde doença bucal: uma aproximação sócio-histórica em quatro países da América Latina
| Idioma(s): Inglés
Objective. This study sought to contrast the perspectives on the social determination of oral health present in the scientific literature published in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico since 1970 until 2012. Methodology. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study on the Latin American scientific production published in specialized databases between 1970 and 2012. Results. The social determination of oral health in Latin America is characterized by the conflict among the players when seeking to overcome the limitations and traditional perspectives in health. The differences among the countries studied are explained by the existing relationship among research, higher education, and the socio-political trajectories of the countries and the similarities by health systems that have permitted accumulation of inequities in health. In Brazil, the concern for the individual and collective in local settings is important, while in Ecuador, Mexico, and Colombia the explanation based on the social determinants of the diseases predominates. Conclusion. The view of the social determination of the oral health-disease process in Latin America is characterized by a continuous dispute between emancipation and accumulation approaches. The scant impact of social determination in oral health obeys to the history of the odontology profession, the predominance of care policies and services of technical care nature. Objetivo. Contrastar las perspectivas sobre determinación social de la salud bucal presentes en la literatura científica publicada en Colombia, Brasil, Ecuador y México desde 1970 hasta 2012. Metodología. Estudio descriptivo transversal sobre la producción científica latinoamericana publicada en bases de datos especializadas entre 1970 y 2012. Resultados. La determinación social de la salud bucal en Latinoamérica se caracteriza por la conflictividad entre los actores al intentar superar las limitaciones de las perspectivas tradicionales en salud. Las diferencias entre países estudiados se explican por la relación existente entre la investigación, la educación superior y las trayectorias sociopolíticas de los países; las similitudes, por los sistemas de salud que han permitido la acumulación de inequidades en salud. En Brasil la preocupación por lo individual y colectivo en ámbitos locales es importante, mientras que en Ecuador, México y Colombia predomina la explicación basada en los determinantes sociales de las enfermedades. Conclusión. La mirada de la determinación social del proceso salud enfermedad bucal en Latinoamérica se caracteriza por una disputa continua entre enfoques de emancipación y acumulación. El escaso impacto de la determinación social en salud bucal obedece a la historia de la profesión odontológica, al predominio de políticas y servicios de atención de carácter técnico asistencial. Objetivo. Contrastar as perspectivas sobre determinação social da saúde bucal presentes na literatura científica publicada na Colômbia, no Brasil, no Equador e no México desde 1970 até 2012. Metodologia. Estudo descritivo transversal sobre a produção científica latino-americana publicada em bases de dados especializadas entre 1970 e 2012. Resultados. A determinação social da saúde bucal na América Latina se caracteriza pelos conflitos entre os atores ao tentar superar as limitações das perspectivas tradicionais em saúde. As diferenças entre países estudados se explicam pela relação existente entre a investigação, a educação superior e as trajetórias sociopolíticas dos países e, as similitudes por sistemas de saúde que permitiram a acumulação de inequidades na saúde. No Brasil a preocupação pelo individual e coletivo em âmbitos locais é importante, enquanto no Equador, no México e na Colômbia predomina a explicação baseada nos determinantes sociais das doenças Conclusão. A mirada da determinação social do processo saúde doença bucal na América Latina se caracteriza por uma disputa contínua entre enfoques de emancipação e acumulação. O escasso impacto da determinação social em saúde bucal obedece à história da profissão odontológica, ao predomínio de políticas e serviços de atendimento de caráter técnico assistencial.
| Idioma(s): Inglés
This was an observational study offering a screening program for diabetes in a health clinic in Puerto Ayora town on Santa Cruz Island to determine the prevalence of this disorder and identify those at risk. A 1-month screening program was undertaken. Of 141 patients screened, 85% of men and 83% of women were overweight or obese; 16 (11%) had suspected undiagnosed diabetes and 22 (16%) were at high risk of developing diabetes. This is the first reported study of glucose intolerance prevalence in Galapagos. Urgent education and prevention programs are required to address this public health problem.
Integrating participatory community mobilization processes to improve dengue prevention: an eco-bio-social scaling up of local success in Machala, Ecuador.
| Idioma(s): Inglés
BACKGROUND: This project investigates the effectiveness and feasibility of scaling-up an eco-bio-social approach for implementing an integrated community-based approach for dengue prevention in comparison with existing insecticide-based and emerging biolarvicide-based programs in an endemic setting in Machala, Ecuador. METHODS: An integrated intervention strategy (IIS) for dengue prevention (an elementary school-based dengue education program, and clean patio and safe container program) was implemented in 10 intervention clusters from November 2012 to November 2013 using a randomized controlled cluster trial design (20 clusters: 10 intervention, 10 control; 100 households per cluster with 1986 total households). Current existing dengue prevention programs served as the control treatment in comparison clusters. Pupa per person index (PPI) is used as the main outcome measure. Particular attention was paid to social mobilization and empowerment with IIS. RESULTS: Overall, IIS was successful in reducing PPI levels in intervention communities versus control clusters, with intervention clusters in the six paired clusters that followed the study design experiencing a greater reduction of PPI compared to controls (2.2 OR, 95% CI: 1.2 to 4.7). Analysis of individual cases demonstrates that consideration for contexualizing programs and strategies to local neighborhoods can be very effective in reducing PPI for dengue transmission risk reduction. CONCLUSIONS: In the rapidly evolving political climate for dengue control in Ecuador, integration of successful social mobilization and empowerment strategies with existing and emerging biolarvicide-based government dengue prevention and control programs is promising in reducing PPI and dengue transmission risk in southern coastal communities like Machala. However, more profound analysis of social determination of health is called for to assess sustainability prospects.
Consideraciones para la transformación del sistema de salud del Ecuador desde una perspectiva de equidad./ [Equity-based considerations for transforming the Ecuadorian health system].
| Idioma(s): Español
OBJECTIVE: The present study was aimed at analysing socioeconomic inequity regarding the use of health services in Ecuador, inequity regarding the geographic distribution of healthcare-related human resources and reflecting on the challenges concerning equity which the Ecuadorian health system is currently facing. METHODS: The Ecuadorian Demographic, Maternal and Infant Health Survey (2004) was used as the main data source, as its sample was representative of the Ecuadorian population. Multilevel multivariate analysis (MLWiN 2.02 statistical software) and spatial data analysis regarding health resources (GeoDa 1.0.1) were used for estimating the effects of using health services. RESULTS: It was found that social, economic and geographic inequity limited access to health services in Ecuador. People living in low economic resource households or indigenous housing and people living in rural areas (many of them having all three characteristics at the same time) had less possibility of using health services. In spite of a marked concentration of health-service providers in urban areas, it was found that the presence of healthcare personnel (excluding doctors) in rural public entities increased the possibility of using preventative and curative services. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts at transforming the Ecuadorian health system must be aimed at reducing social, cultural and financial barriers and inequality regarding the distribution de healthcare-related human resources, particularly in rural areas. Community and family orientation of the services and increasing spaces for citizen participation are necessary for reducing such inequity.
| Idioma(s): Español
Un grupo de profesionales en el Perú, conocedores de sistemas nacionales de salud, conformado desde 1975, comenzó un proceso que llevó al país a ser el primero en América del Sur en iniciar la organización moderna de este sistema. El avance pionero que significó la creación del Sistema Nacional de Servicios de Salud en 1978 ocurrió antes de las reformas de los sistemas de salud en Chile (1980), Brasil (1990), Colombia (1993) y Ecuador (2008). El alentador inicio tuvo vaivenes reformistas permanentes desde entonces, con evolución negativa por falta de una política de Estado. Las características actuales del sistema peruano son el desempeño ineficiente y la discontinuidad, sin evaluación alguna, lo que determina un gran atraso con relación a los sistemas de salud de América. En el siglo XXI se han desaprovechado importantes esfuerzos técnicos para modernizar el sistema y sus funciones. El futuro es preocupante y el papel de las nuevas generaciones será decisivo. In 1975, a group of professionals in Peru who were experts on national health systems began a process that led the country to be the first in South America to initiate a modern organization of the health system. This pioneering development meant that the creation of the National Health Services System [in Peru] in 1978 occurred before the health system reforms in Chile (1980), Brazil (1990), Colombia (1993), and Ecuador (2008). This encouraging start has had permanent reformist fluctuations since then, with negative development because of the lack of a State policy. Current features of the Peruvian system are inefficient performance, discontinuity, and lack of assessment, which creates a major setback in comparison with other health systems in America. In the 21st century, significant technical efforts have been missed to modernize the system and its functions. The future is worrying and the role of new generations will be decisive.
Lessons learned in evaluating the Familias Fuertes program in three countries in Latin America/ Lecciones aprendidas al evaluar el programa Familias Fuertes en tres países de América Latina
| Idioma(s): Inglés
This report describes 1) the evaluation of the Familias Fuertes primary prevention program in three countries (Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador) and 2) the effect of program participation on parenting practices. Familias Fuertes was implemented in Bolivia (10 groups, 96 parents), Colombia (12 groups, 173 parents), and Ecuador (five groups, 42 parents) to prevent the initiation and reduce the prevalence of health-compromising behaviors among adolescents by strengthening family relationships and enhancing parenting skills. The program consists of seven group sessions (for 6-12 families) designed for parents/caregivers and their 10-14-year-old child. Parents/caregivers answered a survey before the first session and at the completion of the program. The survey measured two important mediating constructs: "positive parenting" and "parental hostility." The Pan American Health Organization provided training for facilitators. After the program, parents/caregivers from all three countries reported significantly higher mean scores for "positive parenting" and significantly lower mean scores for "parental hostility" than at the pre-test. "Positive parenting" practices paired with low "parental hostility" are fundamental to strengthening the relationship between parents/caregivers and the children and reducing adolescents' health-compromising behaviors. More research is needed to examine the long-term impact of the program on adolescent behaviors. Este informe describe 1) la evaluación del programa de prevención primaria Familias Fuertes en tres países (Bolivia, Colombia y Ecuador) y 2) el efecto de la participación en el programa sobre las prácticas de crianza. El programa Familias Fuertes se llevó a cabo en Bolivia (10 grupos, 96 padres), Colombia (12 grupos, 173 padres) y Ecuador (5 grupos, 42 padres) para prevenir el inicio y reducir la prevalencia de comportamientos que constituyen un riesgo para la salud de los adolescentes, mediante el fortalecimiento de las relaciones familiares y la mejora de las habilidades de crianza. El programa consta de siete sesiones de grupo (para 6 a 12 familias) dirigidas a padres o cuidadores y sus hijos de 10 a 14 años de edad. Los padres o cuidadores respondieron a una encuesta antes de la primera sesión y al término del programa. La encuesta midió dos conceptos importantes: la "crianza positiva" y la "hostilidad parental". La Organización Panamericana de la Salud capacitó a los facilitadores. Después del programa, los padres o cuidadores de los tres países presentaron puntuaciones medias significativamente mayores en "crianza positiva" y significativamente menores en "hostilidad parental" que en la encuesta previa. La prácticas de "crianza positiva" asociadas con una baja "hostilidad parental" son fundamentales para fortalecer la relación entre los padres o cuidadores y los niños, y reducen los comportamientos que constituyen un riesgo para la salud de los adolescentes. Es necesaria una investigación más amplia para analizar la repercusión a largo plazo del programa sobre los comportamientos de los adolescentes.
| Idioma(s): Inglés
BACKGROUND: Ecuador's current nutrition policies have not taken adequate notice of the double burden of malnutrition and continue to focus on stunting and to a lesser extent on overweight, without addressing the simultaneous presence of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight or obesity (OW/OB). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article was to describe the prevalence and distribution of undernutrition (stunting, anemia, and zinc deficiency), overweight, and obesity in Ecuador to explore the evolving double burden of malnutrition at the national, household, and individual levels and to discuss whether current public health policies are addressing the double burden. DESIGN: Data from the 2012 Ecuadorian National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT-ECU) was used to estimate the dual burden of malnutrition at the national, household, and individual levels in children <5 y old, school-aged children, and women of reproductive age. RESULTS: In 13.1% of households, mothers with excess body weight coexist with a stunted child <5 y old. Moreover, among households with overweight or obese mothers, 12.6% have an anemic child and 14% have a zinc-deficient child. At the individual levels, the coexistence of OW/OB and stunting, anemia, or zinc deficiency was found in 2.8%, 0.7%, and 8.4% of school-aged children, respectively. In addition, 8.9% and 32.6% of women aged 12-49 y have excess body weight and anemia or zinc deficiency, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This article shows the coexistence of high rates of undernutrition and OW/OB at the individual, household, and national levels in Ecuador. Although integrated approaches to address the emerging double burden are required, public health policies to date have not responded adequately.