In the Catatumbo region of northeastern Colombia, a scarcity of doctors, medicine and supplies leaves many without healthcare. The nonprofit Banco de Medicamentos, which Direct Relief supports, is working to make healthcare more accessible by sending medical teams. Tap the images for a glimpse into a day in the lives of the region’s residents, and the health personnel offering them care.
A weekend street scene in downtown Tibu, a remote city in the Catatumbo region of Colombia.
Dr. Kimberly Sarmiento shows a picture on her phone in which she stands on the line that divides Colombia and Venezuela.
A bird migration area in Tibu.
Ms. Marta is part of the Barí community. The Bari have a shelter in Tibu but usually live in remote reserves, days away by boat, foot and mule, and far from health services.
Yeider, 10 years old, waits in line for a medical check up organized for the village of 3 Bocas by a local foundation with the support of Banco de Medicamentos.
Through the grills that work as window, Yurgen, looks at outside from his room.
Yurgen, 30 years old, suffers from a complex neurological condition that makes him lose control of his movements.
Yurgen's mother, Carmen, kisses and sings to her son in their home in Tibu.
Yurgen's health began deteriorating at 8 years old, and has continued to do so.
Camila, 10 years old, stands for a picture before participating in a cultural performance as part of the health brigade visit to the village of 3 Bocas.
At an elderly home managed by the Little Sisters of the Poor, residents are called for dinner and their regular medical treatments.
Doctors, nurses, members of local Foundation Funpalcat and a representative of Banco de Medicamentos, organize medicine and products for patients visiting a health clinic in Catatumbo
Equipment and supplies used by for Dr. Wilander Moreno at the health center in Campo 2.
Dr. Moreno says he often runs out of items like stitches, gloves, gauze and meds including local anesthesia.
On the Campo 2 health center, a makeshift poster states that for any emergency the doctor can be called.
Dr. Moreno, who migrated from for better job opportunities, is the only doctor. He handles every consultation, treatment and intervention at the center, 7 days a week.
People attend the early Sunday services at the local church of 3 Bocas before taking part in the health activities of the day.
A shrine to Dr. Jose Gregorio Hernandez, who is seen as figure of hope in Venezuela, as well as in border communities throughout Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Astrid, 5 years old, receives a dental check and treatment at the dental unit managed by dentist Jonathan Leal and hygienist JC Boada.
Yaneth Barrientos, 23 years old, stands with her daughter in the house they share with other 4 family members.
Dana, 11 years old, feeds a baby squirrel she found in the bushes of 3 Bocas village.
In 3 Bocas, on the border with Venezuela, fishermen and workers of load a boat to transport their merchandise.
Mr. Leon arrived at hospital with his son-in-law, Wilmer, thanks to local electricity workers who drove them.
Dr. Wilander Moreno stitches the head of Mr. Misael Leon, who was struck by a falling branch while working on his farm.
The Guerrero-Perez family on the 2nd floor of their house. The river often floods their town, so people spend much of the year on the 2nd story.