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Originally published on Hivos América Latina, May 26th 2020

Hivos, through the All Eyes on the Amazon program, supports the response of Amazonian Indigenous peoples and nationalities to COVID-19 and the threat it poses to their existence. In this framework, on May 25, it signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement with the Amazon Regional University - IKIAM for the processing of 1008 tests for Indigenous peoples and local communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The purpose of the agreement is “the [inter-institutional] coordination to face the emergency [of the global pandemic] of the COVID-19 virus, through the donation of supplies and complete kits for molecular diagnosis of COVID-19, in order that the Ikiam Regional Amazonian University, through its Biochemical Molecular Biology Laboratory, carry out the COVID 19 tests, with special emphasis on the communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon that are part of the All Eyes on the Amazon program and thus, face the health emergency caused by the effect of the pandemic and prevent its transmission ”.

“this initiative can become a unique model of collaborative work between academia, civil society and the public sector to promote the effective exercise of the right to health of the Indigenous peoples and nationalities of Ecuador ”.

Carolina Zambrano, All Eyes on the Amazon

Carolina Proaño, director of the Ikiam Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, points out: "in the context of the global pandemic due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Ikiam Regional Amazonian University, faithful to its commitment to society, seeks in coordination with the staff from the Ministry of Public Health, to analyze up to 90 samples a day in the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry laboratory. In this context, thanks to the joint effort with Hivos, through the "All Eyes on the Amazon" program, the needs of the communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon will be addressed as a priority.”

This contribution by Hivos to diagnose and prevent the spread of the virus is part of a broader initiative that, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and with the advice of the Pan American Health Organization and local Amazon organizations, seeks to build an Intercultural Health Management Model for the Amazon region of Ecuador. The so-called "Amazon Indigenous Health Route" will generate protocols with a cultural approach that facilitate the prevention and containment of the virus in Amazonian indigenous territories. As Carolina Zambrano-Barragán, director of "All Eyes on the Amazon", mentions: “this initiative can become a unique model of collaborative work between academia, civil society and the public sector to promote the effective exercise of the right to health of the Indigenous peoples and nationalities of Ecuador ”.