The Ombudsman’s Office requested the Regional Government of Lambayeque attend and guarantee the sustained medical attention of girls, boys and adolescents who present arsenic in their organisms, in the district of Pacora.
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In addition, the institution asked to urgently manage the comprehensive sanitation project in that jurisdiction, in order to have a new infrastructure for safe water supply and protect the health of the community affected by the consumption of this input.
The Lambayeque defense office warned that, between 2019 and 2020, 407 cases of girls, boys and adolescents with exposure to arsenic were detected, after taking a total of 522 samples. However, health care for this age group would not be provided in a comprehensive, continuous and permanent manner.
According to the same report, in February and March 2020, medical care was provided to only 162 girls and boys, while in January of this year another 100 were attended and in February no less than 58 care and 14 medical referrals to the Lambayeque Regional Hospital.
“The figures show that so far the care and right to health of girls, boys and adolescents affected by the consumption of water containing arsenic is not being fully protected and guaranteed”, says the Ombudsman in a statement.
He adds that the situation is getting worse because the Pacora health center does not have the healthcare resources, in number and specialty required, sufficient medical equipment and infrastructure for quality care and treatment.
#Lambayeque ? Comprehensive health care is urgently needed for 407 children and adolescents contaminated by the consumption of water with arsenic in #Pacora ?https://t.co/WAlqIInvpq #LasPersonasPrimero pic.twitter.com/5W0dE1AHXh
– Defensoría Perú (@Defensoria_Peru) May 10, 2021
For this reason, the Ombudsman’s Office requires the Regional Government to urgently prepare a work plan and request technical assistance from the Ministry of Health and manage the necessary budget for the hiring of professionals who are in charge of this work.
“The objective is that contamination with arsenic can continue to be verified according to the prioritized population, considering that, according to the INEI, in Pacora there are 2,284 girls, boys and adolescents between 1 and 14 years old and not all have managed to access the evaluation and medical care; and then the study can be extended to other population groups “, need.
It should be noted that on the last August 27, 2020, the Pacora district was declared in a state of emergency for 60 days, due to the contamination of drinking water with arsenic.
“However, after the state of emergency has been continuously extended and after having had a period of eight months to implement the necessary actions, the Regional Government of Lambayeque and the Regional Health Management have not guaranteed the protection of life, the health and integrity of affected girls, boys and adolescents, since the actions carried out have been insufficient, not only in health care, but also in the management to obtain a new infrastructure of safe and quality water for the population”, ends.
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