Improvement of living conditions in rural communities of Calvas (Loja, Ecuador), through the participation of students and teachers from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador - Healthy Living Initiative 2021

CISeAL. Lugar: Ecuador

Area of Activity: Control & Prevention, Information, Education & Communication (IEC)
Type of Project: Implementation, Other

Students during field work building the 8th antichagas home in the community of Bellamaría, Loja, Ecuador. By: Neketa Forde

Chagas disease (CHD), recognized in 2010 as a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization (WHO), mainly affects populations in rural regions or impoverished areas in urban settings of the American continent.

In the province of Loja in Ecuador, the presence of triatomine insects or kissing bugs that cause this disease has been associated with conditions of chronic poverty, the precarious construction of houses and the cultural practices of rural life. This project is part of the Healthy Living Initiative (HLI, 2009 - 2022), a multidisciplinary effort for the long-term control of CHD through the promotion of comprehensive health and the improvement of homes. In this context, the project proposes that, under the guidance of teachers from PUCE and the University of Ohio, students will apply knowledge acquired in class and participate in a range of interventions related to health, economics, communication, construction, and social aspects that will contribute to the improvement of the well-being of the rural communities of Cantón Calvas, Province of Loja. They will also be able to acquire knowledge of CHD, its relationship with chronic poverty and sustainable solutions for the long-term control of this disease.

Children from the community of Guara learn how to prevent the kissing bug bite. By: Neketa Forde