Tropical diseases are important issues in Colombia, and major causes of death. Malaria affects near 85% of the national territory, mainly the Pacific ocean coast, the Amazon jungle and eastern savannas, with an estimated of 250,000 cases/year and a mortality rate of 3/100,000.
The main agent is Plasmodium vivax with 66% of the cases, except on the Pacific coast, where Plasmodium falciparum causes 75% of the cases.
Yellow fever and Dengue fever are major public health concerns, due to their high epidemic potential, high mortality rate and wide distribution of Aedes aegypti. The Colombian government develops vaccination campaigns against yellow fever on a regular basis.
Bothrops atrox is the main cause of death for snakebite in Colombia.
Chagas disease is endemic to the Santander Department and nearby areas. Other diseases such as Leishmania, rabies, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and West nile virus are also present in Colombia.Snakebites are a big concern, because of the shortage in antivenom supplies countrywide.
Different forms of malnutrition severely affect the population, especially children under five years, with moderate to severe rates of malnutrition of 21% and iron deficiency anemia of 23%.