Professors and students of Medicine carried out the Community Health Census in Chiloé


A pioneering initiative in its field was developed by a group of faculty members and medical students from the University of Valparaiso in the township of Curaco de Vélez in the province of Chiloé. It is the First Communal Health Census, developed between 15 and 26 January, which will allow the CESFAM (Primary Care Centre) of this municipal district to have detailed and systematised information on the various health needs of the population and improve health decisions.

The initiative is the result of a two-year collaboration led by Rubén Alvarado, professor of Medicine and researcher at CIESAL, as part of a research project that seeks to improve healthy lifestyles – nutrition, physical exercise, sleep, mental health, social life, etc. – supported by a native app built with cultural relevance.

The students managed to collect information from 691 households and 1,690 people in the town. Each household that agreed to be surveyed was geo-referenced, which together with the digitalisation of the survey will allow the commune to have an epidemiological map based on population-based information (and not only on consultations), which can be permanently updated with information on the most prevalent health conditions, as well as the social and environmental determinants, in a sectorised manner within its territory. In this way, community health authorities will be able to strengthen planning and actions at the local level, achieving a better adaptation to the current needs and challenges.

In addition, the students made a presentation of the results to the community, where they analysed the local health situation with a focus on social and environmental determinants, together with the elaboration of proposals for interventions to improve the diagnosed problems. These proposals were constructed in collaboration with key actors of the commune, experts by experience (such as social leaders, caregivers of sick and/or disabled people, etc.), professionals of the Primary Care Centre and other departments of the municipality. The presentation was attended by health authorities from the regional and local level and from the municipality, social leaders and neighbours. The activity culminated in an enriching dialogue in order to visualise opportunities for intervention and improvement for the health and well-being of the inhabitants of the commune of Curaco de Vélez.