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Publicación Katherine Simbaña eng

The eruption of the Tajogaite volcano began on the island of La Palma on September 19, 2021 and lasted 85 days. This study aims to present the design and methodology of the ISVOLCAN cohort (Impacto en la Salud de la Población de La Palma debido a la Erupción Volcánica), as well as preliminary results from the first 1002 participants enrolled. In the midst of tumultuous events, this comprehensive study was launched to investigate the profound impacts of this volcanic event on the health and well-being of the local population. This study aims to elucidate the complex relationship between volcanic activity and public health, shedding light on its design, methodology and initial results. In this article, we present an overview of the study framework and outline the initial results obtained from the participation of the first 1002 people.


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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common reasons for prescribing antibiotics in primary care. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms and laboratory test results. Although antibiotic therapy is the primary strategy, some studies suggest that treatment may not be optimal, leading to therapeutic failures and bacterial resistance. In the study by Dr. Xavier Sánchez, Dr. Ruth Jimbo-Sotomayor, and Mr. Santiago Escalante, antibiotic prescription patterns in adult patients with suspected UTIs were analyzed, and the appropriateness of these prescriptions was evaluated. A cross-sectional study was conducted in outpatient centers and a second-level hospital of the Ministry of Public Health in a city in Ecuador during 2019. The International Classification of Diseases was used.


In the context of Ecuador, necessary transformations in the health sector and society as a whole are examined to ensure the sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities. The analysis is based on two sources of information: the results of national surveys on family relationships and violence against women, and a qualitative study by the United Nations Population Fund in Ecuador (UNFPA, 2017) on pregnancy in adolescent women with disabilities and its relationship with gender-based violence and challenges in human care.


The research on teenage dating violence conducted by our investigator Venus Medina takes a mixed-methods analysis approach, combining quantitative data from surveys with semi-structured interviews. This approach has yielded valuable scientific knowledge and the formulation of innovative hypotheses for future research. The study emphasizes the importance of such research for preventing violence in romantic relationships, as individuals involved often fail to recognize abusive behaviors due to their normalization. Providing a space for reflection is crucial as a first step toward awareness.


In the study in which our researcher Anita Moncayo is involved, the global challenge of reducing child mortality rates is addressed, especially in regions with high inequality, such as Latin America. Using machine learning (ML) algorithms, the relationship between social determinants and under-5 mortality rates (U5MR) in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico over two decades was explored. Employing a random forest model (RF), it was identified that poverty, illiteracy, and the Gini index were the most relevant variables for predicting U5MR. Furthermore, the existence of non-linear relationships, especially between the Gini index and U5MR, was highlighted. The analysis suggests that long-term public policies in Latin America should focus on reducing poverty, illiteracy, and socioeconomic inequalities to effectively address this public health issue.


The study conducted by our external associate researcher, Katherine Simbaña, examined anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) in California king snakes in Gran Canaria, an invasive species subject to a control plan involving capture and euthanasia. Ten ARs, mainly second-generation compounds, were identified in 90% of the analyzed snakes, with brodifacoum being the most common. Surprisingly, over 50% of the studied snakes showed exposure to multiple compounds. The research revealed a correlation between the size and geographic location of the snakes and higher AR concentrations, indicating potential patterns in the distribution of these compounds. The results suggest that California king snakes could serve as sentinel species for monitoring ARs in the ecosystem, especially in relation to birds of prey on the island.

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The study by Dr. Xavier Sánchez and Dr. Ruth Jimbo aims to assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) caused by SARS-CoV-2. The research focused on data collected between May 2021 and March 2022, using a test-negative design. Patients meeting SARI criteria and hospitalized for at least 24 hours were included. Cases had positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, while controls tested negative. Vaccine effectiveness was calculated through logistic regression based on vaccination status obtained from national records, considering a valid dose administered at least 14 days before symptom onset. The study is crucial for understanding the impact of vaccines on severe cases in Ecuador during the ongoing pandemic.