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Chile: Red Cross provides health care for communities in rural south

30-06-2008 News Release 08/116

Buenos Aires (ICRC) – On Saturday 28 June, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Chilean Red Cross ran a community health-care day in the Chaura Alto district of Villarrica, a municipality in the Araucanía region of southern Chile.

" Our aim is to improve basic health-care provision for people living in rural areas, who cannot easily travel to medical centres,” said Gabriel Santangelo, who is in charge of ICRC cooperation with National Societies in the Southern Cone and Brazil. “These are vulnerable, mainly Mapuche, communities. "

The ICRC has been supporting health-care activities in southern Chile since 2007, as part of its work to boost the humanitarian activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies all around the world. The Chilean Red Cross has been travelling to rural areas and offering dental care for over nine years, but through its cooperation with the ICRC, it has now expanded the scope of its work. In 2008, therefore, the Chilean Red Cross will run first-aid workshops and rural health-care initiatives and hold talks on preventing and treating illness in five municipalities.

The health-care day gave residents from Chaura Alto, Juan Licuante and the surrounding area access to general medical treatment, dental care and gynaecological care. They could also check their weight and find out their blood group. 

  For further information, please contact:
  Lucía Corte, ICRC Buenos Aires, tel: +54 11 45 15 11 18 or +54 9 11 62 54 53 58