Lourde, Bolivia, July 20, 2020: As the city prepares for a long-awaited new era, a new oral health initiative is in the works that will help it overcome some of the worst of the HIV pandemic and fight off other health threats.
The oral health effort is called Oral Health Lourdas, or Lourdelos, a nod to its Latin American origin.
It’s part of a nationwide effort to improve oral health, which is a major health priority for the Bolivian government and is a mainstay of Bolivians’ social and economic lives.
The initiative aims to help Bolivia’s 1.2 million people achieve a level of oral health that is comparable to that of developed nations and that can help reverse the spread of the disease, said Olga Zepeda, a senior program manager for the World Health Organization’s regional office for oral health.
“We’re aiming for an oral health level of 5 percent of total life span that’s comparable to the developed world,” she said.
“That’s the goal, but it’s not the only goal.”
The initiative is being spearheaded by the National Oral Health Program, or UNIP, a partnership of public and private organizations that aim to improve and enhance oral health by improving access to oral health care, training and funding, and increasing knowledge about oral health and HIV.
“This is a national initiative, and we have a national team in place,” Zepeva said.UNIP has provided training for oral care providers in Bolivias rural areas and in other urban centers, she said, and the program has trained several thousand people in public health education and prevention.
Lourdes is the largest city in Bolivia, with a population of around 11 million people.
It has been struggling with the spread and spread of HIV since it was founded in 1972.
“When Lourdenas was founded, there were only a few hundred people living there,” said Luis Manuel Martín, a professor of health care at the University of São Paulo.
“Then, in the mid-1980s, the number of new HIV infections skyrocketed, and by 1989, there was a huge rise in the number, which was unprecedented for that time.”
That’s when Lourdañas, an indigenous community, started working on a plan to address the HIV crisis, which Martín described as a major threat to the community.
“It was very important to our people because they were not able to reach their communities to help the HIV epidemic,” he said.
The plan, which included a public health clinic and a clinic providing primary and secondary health services, became the model for other urban areas in the country.
Laurier, the indigenous town where Lourdos is located, became one of the first cities in Bolivia to become fully integrated with the HIV prevention effort.
In 2016, the population of Lourds was 2.5 million people, compared with 2.1 million people in the state of Bolívar.
“For the last four years, the community has worked together to ensure that the community is fully engaged with HIV prevention efforts,” said Martín.
“The city has started to see a real change in how people are living and thinking about HIV,” he added.
Loure de Lour de Lázaro, the director of UNIP’s Oral Health Programme, said the oral health program is one of several HIV-prevention initiatives being launched by UNIP in Lourdadas.
The program also supports health workers to promote HIV-related education and awareness and to conduct community outreach to encourage the local population to be proactive in their personal and community health.UNIFORM is also partnering with Lourdo to improve HIV testing and treatment services in the region.
“These services are important in the community and also to improve our knowledge about HIV and HIV prevention,” said Mireya Paz, UNIFORMs executive director.
“We want to be a bridge between the health system and the community so that we can develop a better understanding of how to deal with the health problems.”UNIFORE is working with a number of private health providers and community organizations to make Lour doodles, which they will then distribute to communities in the Lourdeposits, a community of approximately 1,200 indigenous people, many of whom live on the outskirts of Lávares city center.
“With the help of LOURDE, we are aiming to start to make our people smile, as well as make LOURDOODLES for everyone,” said Olguin Martínez, a Lour DOODLE artist and the president of the LOUR DOODLES collective.