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Revista de la Universidad Industrial de Santander. Salud

Print version ISSN 0121-0807


FERNANDEZ-NINO, Julián Alfredo et al. Health situation of Venezuelan pregnant migrants in the Colombian Caribbean: first report for a rapid response in Public Health. Rev. Univ. Ind. Santander. Salud [online]. 2019, vol.51, n.3, pp.208-219. ISSN 0121-0807.


In the current migration from Venezuela to Colombia, women represent a significant proportion of the irregular migrant population, and those who are pregnant have been a priority given their particularly vulnerable condition. Nevertheless, their health conditions are not known.


To obtain a multi-dimensional characterization of the health situation of irregular Venezuelan migrants who are pregnant and residing in the main receiving the Caribbean region of Colombia: Barranquilla and Riohacha.


We carried out a descriptive, cross-sectional study with 520 pregnant women surveyed from August 2018 to May 2019 with a systematic sampling in public hospitals and an active community search using snowball sampling. We used a standardized questionnaire to evaluate the main health problems, nutritional status, food security, presence of depressive symptoms and accessibility/ satisfaction with health services.


Half of the participants perceived their health during pregnancy as good or very good (53.4%), 51.3% presented iron deficiency anemia, and the majority (87.5%) experienced some lack of food security. The prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms was 32.1%. A high proportion reported some type of intimate partner violence (90.2%). 25.9% required urgent medical care, irrespective of the prenatal care they received. With regard to quality of care in the emergency service, 62.7% rated it as very good or good, and 73.1% reported that they received the care that was needed for their health problem.


Food insecurity, anemia, depressive symptoms, violence committed by the partner and lack of prenatal care were the main health problems for pregnant women who participated in the study. Their health situation should be viewed in the context of the migration process, based on the social determinants of emigration, transit, arrival, and return. The health care system should continue to strengthen primary care measures for this population at the local level and based on the evidence.

Keywords : Emigration and Immigration; maternal health; social determinants of health; Venezuela; Colombia; reproductive health, food supply; pregnancy; prenatal care; Caribbean region.

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