MSH-Perú and White Ribbon Alliance Partner to Improve Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition in Bolivia
Two women die every day in Bolivia during pregnancy, childbirth, or the postpartum period. That figure is four times as high for indigenous women in rural areas than it is for women in the cities. Because the majority of these deaths are preventable, White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and MSH-Perú are proud to announce a new partnership to help women of childbearing age in the rural area of Beni make more informed health choices during their pregnancies and to improve nutrition in the area.
Located in the plains of Moxos municipality, the department of Beni has only 3 doctors and 4 health facilities for each 10,000 persons, drastically below World Health Organization minimum recommendations to provide essential maternal and child healthcare services. Only half (52%) of indigenous women and of those living in the rural zones of Bolivia give birth with the assistance of qualified healthcare personnel, compared to the national average of 83%. Additionally, cases of anemia and micronutrient deficiencies are widespread in Beni’s children, which has the highest low birthweight rate in Bolivia.
Working with health workers and led by MSH-Perú, the program will educate women how to identify warning signs during pregnancy and follow best practices for newborn care, including seeking pre- and postnatal services and the use of micronutrients for the mother and her newborn child. The overall framework of the program is to ensure that women understand their health rights, including the services and bonuses guaranteed by the Bolivian legislation and to provide a framework for a public policy solution. This program is part of WRA’s larger body of self-care work, supported by Bayer Consumer Health.
“We are calling on everyone to work differently to address these immense challenges. This means breaking down silos and working across sectors. It means challenging the status quo and supporting individuals to have the confidence and knowledge to act to improve their own lives and those of their families,” said Betsy McCallon, CEO of White Ribbon Alliance. The self-care community implementation project launched in Bolivia this week with a three-day planning session led by WRA and MSH-Perú.
“At MSH-Perú we believe that public health problems could be solved with the active participation and leadership of women, families, communities, and local leaders to develop a self-care movement and the improvement of the economic and social conditions that create health problems,” said Edgar Medina Figueroa, Executive Director, MSH-Perú
About White Ribbon Alliance:
White Ribbon Alliance is a powerful network of advocates working for maternal, newborn health and rights at the local, national and global levels. We mobilize citizens, helping them recognize and seize their power to demand that all women and their children are safe and healthy before, during and after pregnancy. Find out more at www.whiteribbonalliance.org
MSH-Perú was founded in 2014, a local affiliate organization of MSH International. MSH-Perú aims to build local capacity for improved public health care and to promote sustainable developments for populations at greater risk and vulnerability. To this effect, MSH-Perú carries the experience and technical expertise gathered over MSH International decades of work in Peru. MSH-Perú builds on the success of the Healthy Communities and Municipalities I-II projects (2006-2015). This program, and others managed by MSH in Peru, succeeded in providing access to thousands of individuals, families, and communities in various regions of Peru to live healthy lives while changing paradigms in health care and local development.