April 6, 2018

Emergency evacuations in the Asháninka

Imagine you’re pregnant and start to suffer extreme stomach pain. Or you suffer a seizure. Scary enough in a country with easy access to healthcare.

Now imagine you’re six hours by boat away from the nearest medical centre. And now imagine that when you eventually get to a hospital, you don’t get treated, because you don’t have the right paperwork.

Improving healthcare in the rainforest is so much more than just providing funds for emergency evacuations. It’s about empowerment. The first step is helping community members register for their national ID. This means people can access national support schemes, receive reimbursements for healthcare and get access to hospitals.

Asháninka girl on boat Amazon rainforest

In January alone, Cool Earth has assisted with seven emergency evacuations in the Asháninka partnership. The reasons were diverse – some illnesses and injuries were familiar and some you would only find in the Amazon. When geographical remoteness and unreliable weather come into play, an emergency evacuation can be costly and tricky to organise. It’s thanks to Cool Earth supporters that those seven evacuations resulted in seven healthy community members returning home to their family.

But we want to do more, by doing less. We want to arm the Ashaninka with the tools they need to so that they don’t have to rely on Cool Earth for emergency evacuations. So they have the skills within their community to help when a woman becomes ill when pregnant. So they call on someone nearby who is medically trained that can recognise an epileptic seizure.

And when evacuations are necessary, we want the community to have all the paperwork and information they need to be able to access emergency healthcare as they should. That way, we can be sure that families are secure well into the future.

Healthy family, healthy forest.

Asháninka family, Amazon rainforest Peru

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