The world’s 370 million indigenous people living in over 90 countries make up around 5% of the global population. Indigenous communities worldwide share common features that make them especially vulnerable to the complications of and mortality from COVID-19. They also possess resilient attributes that can be leveraged to promote prevention efforts. How can indigenous communities mitigate potentially devastating effects of COVID-19 in the best way? In Bolivia, where nearly half of all citizens claim indigenous origins, no specific guidelines have been outlined for indigenous communities inhabiting native communal territories. In this Public Health article, we describe collaborative efforts, as anthropologists, physicians, tribal leaders, and local officials, to develop and implement a multiphase COVID-19 prevention and containment plan focused on voluntary collective isolation and contact-tracing among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists in the Bolivian Amazon. Phase 1 involves education, outreach, and preparation, and phase 2 focuses on containment, patient management, and quarantine. Features of this plan might be exported and adapted to local circumstances elsewhere to prevent widespread mortality in indigenous communities.
In a major step forward for reproductive rights in Bolivia, women and girls can now access safe, legal abortion in the first eight weeks of pregnancy under a broad range of circumstances. This historic law change, enacted on 15 December 2017 when Acting President Alvaro Garcia Linera signed the nation’s newly revised Penal Code, which contains specific provisions for legal abortion. This comes after years of advocacy by a grassroots movement representing Bolivia’s diverse population. … Continued
Article 153 on abortion in the draft criminal code was approved on September 28 in the Chamber of Deputies of the Legislative Assembly of Bolivia.It allows abortion up to eight weeks of pregnancy without penalty if the woman is responsible for senior citizens with disabilities or for minors, and also if continuing the pregnancy presents a risk to the life or health of the woman, there are fetal malformations incompatible with life, if the … Continued
In August seven women accused of abortion in five cities were arrested, compared to two cases in the past seven months. Five other people were also arrested as accomplices. Doctors, who filed the complaints in the majority of cases said they were complying with the law in order to avoid being seen as accomplices. But they are also failing to respect the confidentiality of their patients and stop women with abortion complications seeking care, … Continued