The impact of immigration on tuberculosis and HIV burden between Colombia and Venezuela and across frontier regions
Arenas Suarez, Nelson Enrique | 2021
Historically, human migrations have determined the spread of many infectious diseases by promoting the emergence of temporal outbreaks between populations. We aimed to analyze health indicators, expenditure, and disability caused by tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS burden under the Colombian-Venezuelan migration flow focusing on the Northeastern border. A retrospective study was conducted using TB and HIV/AIDS data since 2009. We consolidated a database using official reports from the Colombian Surveillance System, World Health Organization, Indexmundi, the Global Health Observatory, IHME HIV atlas, and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Disability metrics regarding DALYs (disability adjusted life years) and YLDs (years lived with disability), were compared between countries. Mapping was performed on ArcGIS using official migration data of Venezuelan citizens. Our results indicate that TB profiles from Colombia and Venezuela are identical in terms of disease burden, except for an increase in TB incidence in the Colombian-Venezuelan border departments in recent years, concomitantly with the massive Venezuelan immigration since 2005. We identified a four-fold underfunding for the TB program in Venezuela, which might explain the low-testing rates for cases of multidrug-resistant TB (67%) and HIV/AIDS (60%), as well as extended hospital stays (150 days). We found a significant increase in DALYs of HIV/AIDS patients in Venezuela, specifically, 362.35 compared to 265.37 observed in Colombia during 2017. This study suggests that the Venezuelan massive migration and program underfunding might exacerbate the dual burden of TB and HIV in Colombia, especially towards the Colombian‐Venezuelan border.