Journal of Public Health

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 221–223

Colombia: the widening gap between health care reform and gastric cancer


DOI: 10.1007/s10389-007-0093-5

Cite this article as:
Aboul-Enein, F.H. & Caceres, D.C. J Public Health (2007) 15: 221. doi:10.1007/s10389-007-0093-5


The purpose of this paper is to discuss Colombia’s recent health care reform and subsequent social implications regarding gastric cancer, which is a common cancer in Colombia. This review explores the use of Helicobacter pylori prevalence classifying as an indicator of failing implementation of health policy, specifically H. pylori should be explored in the context of socioeconomic inequity. A review of the literature examining recent Colombian health care reform and H. pylori infection was conducted. H. pylori occur most frequently in impoverished populations. Gastric cancer (GC) is the main cause of mortality by cancer in Colombia, a South American country, which has a high prevalence of H. pylori in the population. Over the past 40 years, Colombia has undergone a revolutionary improvement in the health and social status of its population. In recent times, the country has faced a unique challenge as its government has grappled with the ongoing civil war with numerous war rebels. It is known that socioeconomic conditions, known to influence gastric cancer risk, are important determinants of H. pylori infection. The role of socioeconomic gradients in developing countries should be emphasized as a basis for etiological research; the disparity between the wealthy and poor is increasing over time. Colombia is currently undergoing major changes in disease-specific mortality rates, including an increasing burden of cancer death.


ColombiaHelicobacter pyloriGastric cancerHealth care reform

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faisal H. Aboul-Enein
    • 1
  • Diana Carolina Caceres
    • 2
  1. 1.College of NursingTexas Woman’s UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.National Epidemiological Health InstituteBogotáColombia