HEALTH HIGHLIGHTED AT WORLD INDIGENOUS DAY 2015
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated on August 9.
The number of indigenous people in the world fluctuates between 300 and 370 million over 70 countries in the world.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was first celebrated in 1994 with the intention of strengthening international cooperation. This year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is a day of reflection dedicated to health.
Due to its diversity, the United Nations do not have an official definition for the term “indigenous,” but describes it as a community that should:
-Show its historic continuity with pre-colonial societies
-Conserve its language, culture and beliefs
– Maintain and reproduce its environment and ancestral system
Affected by environmental degradation and pollution, the indigenous communities often live in extreme poverty and have less access to health services in comparison to other populations.
According to the World Health Organization, the death rate among indigenous children in Panama is three times higher than the rest, with 60 deaths per every 1,000 births. In Vietnam, over 60 percent of indigenous children are born without having had antenatal care. In the whole world, over 50 percent of indigenous adults over 35 years old or older suffer from type-II Diabetes.
In China, the “Ethnic Minority Identification Project” has officially recognized 55 ethnic minority groups within its territory. These 55 groups have a population of approximately 113.8 million, accounting for some 8.5 percent of the total.