• Mothers and Children First

    Bolivian indigenous doctors pioneer a model to tackle maternal mortality in Bolivia

According to the latest reports of the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization, Bolivia has reduced the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) by a 61 per cent since 1990. However, it is still the third country with the highest MMR in the region of the Americas after Haiti and Guyana, with 200 deaths to 100,000 live births.

To tackle this problem and to generally improve the public healthcare system, social actors and institutions, working closely with NGOs and International Development Agencies, is trying to develop the most ambitious intercultural healthcare system in the world. They want to bring traditional indigenous medicine into modern hospitals to help the indigenous peoples (62 per cent of the country's population) to trust professional doctors and advanced science. The first goal is to reduce the MMR by adapting hospital facilities and pairing indigenous midwives to professional obstetricians.

This project showcases the best example of how intercultural healthcare is being developed in Bolivia, in the Aymara town of Patacamaya, in the middle of the high Andean plateau.

After facing issues such as access to water and sanitation and improving education, healthcare is going to be the new cornerstone for Bolivian policy-makers. This is a real ongoing pioneer program that's being tested as you read. If it finds success, the European international development agencies (Europe Aid, AECID-Spain, GIZ-Germany) will try to export the model to other countries they are working with, and it would become an economical, political, social and academical point of interest.

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Project information

  • Locations
    Nuestra Señora de La Paz - Bolivia, Patacamaya Municipality - Bolivia
  • Duration
    4 months
  • Release date
    May 2016
  • Budget
    € 20000
  • Round
    round5