Colombia: An Airlift against COVID-19 | Reporter - On Location | DW | 26.03.2021
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Colombia: An Airlift against COVID-19

Plastic surgeon Camilo Prieto has a comfortable life in Bogotá. But since the global pandemic struck, he’s been on a mission. He flies to villages in Colombia’s hinterlands to combat the coronavirus.

Deep in the rainforest, everything is scarce: masks, disinfectants, COVID tests, oxygen tanks. And awareness. The governments’ mandates on social distancing, hygiene measures, and exercising caution all seem so far away from reality here. Healthcare has always been poor in the rainforest villages, and now armed gangs are on the move, sometimes even attacking doctors.

But none of that deters Camilo Prieto. He braves the odds and the long flight into the rainforest to help as best he can. Private volunteer pilots take helpers as far in as possible: then they press on by boat. As happy as he is to help, he knows his work can only offer a temporary solution. Sustainable change can only come about when the country tackles its systemic inequality.

A Report by Antonia Schaefer & Felipe Abondano


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