Peru: Spanish health bill damages Peruvian immigrants
Sendero Luminoso denounced by two NGOs; Peruvian ex-pats put at risk by new Spanish health law; new vaccination programmes put in place…
Two NGOs denounce terrorist group
The Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) was accused of false imprisonment, manipulation of vulnerable people and the violation of minors this week.
The denouncement was made by two separate NGOs who are concerned with the impact Sendero Luminoso is having on the Valle de los Ríos Apurímac y Ene (VRAE) in the central jungle region of Peru, one of the terrorist group’s last strongholds.
In light of the recent incident at the Camisea gas plant in Kepashiato, where Sendero Luminoso took workers hostage,‘Save the Children’ and the Instituto Promoviendo Desarrollo Social (Institute for the Promotion of Social Development – Iprodes), have both expressed concern over the increase in crime related to the influence of the terrorist group.
The NGOs took their complaint before the Attorney General, pleading for the State to capture the ‘drug trafficking delinquents’ that are the root cause of many of the kidnaps and violations of human rights in the region.
On the basis of several international treaties, such as the Rome Statute (UN 1998) or the Convention for Children’s Rights, the NGOs also demanded that the accused group should release the minors it has in its grips.
Óscar Valdés Dancuart, the director of the Council of Ministers, and the Ministry for Women and Vulnerable People have been contacted in order to collaborate on a strategy aiming both to reunite children with their families and also to avoid such terrorist activity in the future.
10 million Peruvians hit by Spanish health law
Amendments to legislation regarding access to health care in Spain have provoked a cascade of criticism and concern across Latin America.
The new law, created in a country suffering from recession and high unemployment rates, states that ‘irregular immigrants’ (non-registered persons) will no longer have access to free primary healthcare.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy claims that this amendment will only affect immigrants who do not have their residency papers legalised, arguing that the Spain can no longer afford to pay out for those who do not pay tax contributions whilst sending the majority of their income out of the country.
In addition to this rationale, Rajoy claims that studies reveal that non-Spanish-nationals tend not to use the health services as much as nationals anyway.
Two of the main critics of this amendment are Alberto Adrianzén, the vice-president of the Andino-Peruvian Parliament and Aminta Buenaño, the Ecuadorian ambassador to Spain. Both have outlined their outrage at the Spanish government for allowing the most vulnerable of the population to be left without access to their basic rights.
It is not only representatives from Latin America who find this change to be misguided but also the Sociedad Española de Medicina de Familia y Comunitaria (Spanish Medical Society for Family and Community), an institution that represents over 20,000 health professionals, who have raised concerns over the inevitable spread of transmissible disease if these poorer communities are to be neglected.
New immunisation for under fives and over 60s
Minsa, the Ministry of Health has established a new vaccination programme as part of President Ollanta Humala’s social justice campaign.
This week was the launch, dubbed as ‘Semana Nacional de la Vacunación or National Vaccination week. All children under the age of five are to be vaccinated against tuberculosis, pneumonia, rotavirus, hepatitis b, influenza, diphtheria, tetanus, HPV (human papilloma virus), polio and rubella.
The scheme will also offer free influenza vaccinations to those over 60. The Ministry has organized a long weekend where all residents of each compartment can go to their local health centre to receive free vaccines in an attempt to put an end to avoidable disease in some of the poorer, overpopulated regions.
Information leaflets have been created in the three dominant languages; Spanish, Quechua and Aymara.
87,000 homes fumigated
In an attempt to eliminate Dengue fever in the city of Iquitos in the Loreto region, over 87,000 homes have been fumigated to stop transmission of the virus, which is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Although not life threatening, dengue fever causes high fever, dehydration and severe rashes which, if left untreated can lead to further complications. The illness is easily prevented and is treatable.
Thus Diresa, the Regional health body aims to control the outbreak of dengue by exterminating the vector and by raising awareness of preventative measures, such as the use of mosquito nets as well as the measures which can be taken should symptoms emerge.
Manager of Diresa, Hugo Rodriguez informed the press of the extermination regime, which started last Friday and will run for ten days. It is hoped that this will pre-empt the usual increase in dengue presentations that usually accompany the rainy season.