Mar 31, 2010

In Peru, Life for the Life-Givers

AUTHOR:Dr Harry Strulovici, MD, MPHSOURCE:PBS NewsHour

Great piece by Ray Suarez! I encourage all of you to watch this program tonight, Wednesday, March 31st, on the PBS News Hour (or go to the link). Here, in a rural area of Peru the maternal mortality rate is very high. The country has estimated it to be 185 deaths/100,000 live births. But UNICEF estimates the rate to closer to 240. This is very typical of countries worldwide where deaths are underestimated.

 The Peruvian government along with international agencies and
other foreign governments coordinated their efforts to emphasize the
need for women to deliver in a hospital where a physician is present.
Over the last 10 years they reduced the death in half. Because cultural
factors sometimes precluded women from coming to a facility they
incorporated a holistic approach whereby pregnant women who were close to giving birth would enter a ‘birth hone’ and deliver either in a
‘Western style’ or in a chair thus protecting their modesty. By
recognizing the specific context they respected women’s traditional
culture.

LIFE FOR MOTHERS (LFM) recognizes the need for women to become empowered worldwide. Here, in Peru, women were encouraged to come and the transportation (sometimes taking 3-4 hours to get to the facility-no paved roads, etc) issue was obviated. This is a great example whereby the community and the government can work together and improve health outcomes for pregnant women and their newborn infants.


Harry Strulovici, MD, MPH

PBS NewsHour: In Peru, Life for the Life-Givers


Did you know?

Almost every minute, a woman dies related to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Source:United Nations Department of Public Information


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