Developing Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Strategies to Reduce Neglected Infectious Diseases

Reducing Prevalence of Trachoma, STH, and Ectoparasitosis in the Indigenous Communities of River Cubiyú, Vaupés, Colombia

Research Methods and Approaches

This study used the Participation, Action, Research (PAR) design. This type of methodology promotes the resolution of problems and implementation of changes through collaborative and democratic intervention by researchers and participants or community members. The community is involved from the beginning of the problem identification stage, in which they are considered experts, and actively contribute to determining the approach and solutions.


  • Literature review
  • Situation analysis using census data and health indicators 
  • Quantitative-qualitative methodology
  • Workshops and semi-structured interviews
  • Participation, Action, Research (PAR) design


  • The case study was carried out in a population of 203 people, comprising 43 families in the River Cubiyú area. A situational analysis of neglected infectious diseases (NIDs) and population characteristics was conducted. 
  • A community-based information system (SIBACOM PLUS 2020) was used to manage data, generate georeferenced indicators, and create alerts for follow-up and monitoring. This was the first exercise to characterize and georeference health variables in the River Cubiyú area.
  • Four workshops of 10-12 participants were held with the participation of delegates from the indigenous communities of River Cubiyú, Departmental and Municipal Health Secretariat representatives, the Vector-Borne Diseases coordinator, and members of the research team to plan for campaign integration.
  • Eight workshops of 4-55 participants were held with indigenous communities in Mitú, La Sabana, Puerto Nazareth, and Virabazú.
  • Semi-structured Interviews were conducted with four individuals at the highest level of the government of  Vaupés.

The ancestral knowledge of indigenous communities regarding NIDs and their perspectives on the health-disease process of these diseases was incorporated into the planning process.