Malaria affects nearly 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.
In 1925, Paulina Beregoff became the first woman to become a Doctor of Medicine from a Colombian institution, the Russian-American graduated from the University of Cartagena.In 1636, Rodrigo Enriquez de Andrade started the first faculty of medicine in the New Granada, at St Bartholomew's College with little success because of the prejudices against the medical career in the Spanish culture, where it was considered vulgar and proper of lower-class people.Most of the medical practice in the country was provided by people without formal education.Although this new system has widened population coverage by the social and health security system from 21% (pre-1993) to 56% in 2004 and 66% in 2005, health disparities persist, with the poor continuing to suffer relatively high mortality rates.The refractive surgery keratomileusis was developed by Ignacio Barraquer in 1964 in Bogotá. Elkin Lucena performed the first successful In vitro fertilization, that allowed the birth of the first Latin American test tube baby Carolina Mendez. Alberto Villegas performed the first heart transplant in Latin America to Antonio Yepes. Manuel Elkin Patarroyo received the Prince of Asturias Awards by his technical and scientific research in the development of synthetic malaria vaccine.