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BMC International Health and Human Rights

, 16:26

Health and human rights of marginalized populations


BackgroundInformal settlements are common throughout the developing world. In Peru, land occupations, commonly -invasions- in Spanish, are a means by which the extremely poor attempt to obtain access to land. Here, we examine difference in child health between two communities in the Peruvian Amazon, one well-established and one newly formed by ‘invasion’, as captured incidentally by a prospective epidemiological cohort study.

MethodsBetween 2002 and 2006 a study designed to describe the epidemiology of pediatric enteric infections and child growth in a community-based setting enrolled 442 children in Santa Clara de Nanay, a community adjacent to the city of Iquitos, in Loreto, Peru. In early 2003, a land occupation, commonly called an -invasion- in Spanish, was organized by members of the Santa Clara community, and approximately 20 % of participating study families began occupying privately owned agricultural land adjacent to Santa Clara, thus forming the new community of La Union.

ResultsParents in families that chose to invade reported less education than parents in families that chose not to. Children in the new community experienced a higher incidence of diarrheal disease and non-specific fevers, although fewer helminth infections, than children who remained in the established community. At the time of the invasion, there were no differences in anthropometric status between the two groups; however children in the new community experienced greater progressive growth faltering over the course of the longitudinal study.

ConclusionsGrowth faltering in early childhood represents an enduring loss of human potential. Therefore, our data suggests the human cost of land invasion may be disproportionately borne by the youngest individuals. Innovative policy strategies may be needed to protect this vulnerable group.

KeywordsPeru Informal settlement Child health Height-for-age Natural experiment AbbreviationsETECEnterotoxigenic Escherichia coli

HAZHeight-for-age Z score

LULa Union

SCSanta Clara

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Autor: Gwenyth O. Lee - Maribel Paredes Olortegui - Gabriela Salmón-Mulanovich - Pablo Peñataro Yori - Margaret Kosek

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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