– Representatives of the Ministry of Health and professionals from the Pontifical Catholic University participated in a meeting of the Council for Environmental and Social Recovery (Cras) of the commune, to provide details of the project "Health situation and its determinants in the commune of Coronel".

Nearly forty representatives from different Colonel's organizations, and that make up the Council for Environmental and Social Recovery (Cras) of the commune, they learned last Thursday the details of the project "Health situation and its determinants in the commune of Coronel, Biobío Region".

The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Health and will be executed by experts from the Pontifical Catholic University. Its objective is to describe the prevalence of priority diseases and their social determinants in the environment of people, using a methodology already validated in the country, by applying questionnaires and laboratory tests, in a representative sample of the commune of Coronel.

The Undersecretary of Health, Paula Daza, he pointed out that "this study was born as a response of the Ministry to the concern of the inhabitants of the commune of Coronel linked to environmental exposures. This is the first regional study of this nature, spanning a population of more than 1.000 people, and will be carried out through the Department of Public Health of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..

This work seeks to establish the communal prevalence of diseases associated with environmental deterioration, prevalence of elevated levels of urinary inorganic arsenic or lead in the blood and its risk factors in people over 18 years of age.

The Dra. Sandra Cortés, researcher responsible for the execution, highlighted how important it was for the research team to listen to CRAS members, who agreed on the relevance of the study to the Colonel's community.

"We talked in a general way about how we could execute this study in the best way and we asked for the collaboration and support of the community and all its key actors to open the doors of their homes and allow us to collect the information we need for its success", said Dr. Cortes.

The inhabitants of Coronel will receive throughout this 2021 the field team, made up of 2pose and UC health team, duly identified, who will make contact with eligible people, randomly selected for an estimated period of 4 months.

After this process is complete, and analyzed the information, each participant will receive a report with their personal results. "The health authority will have pioneering epidemiological information for decision-making in this area of high Community concern", added the researcher.

This project is approved by the research ethics committee of the Faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University, which adds to the strong collaboration of the Undersecretariat for Public Health and the Seremi de Salud.

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