Below is an update on our health programs, that are run by Mano a Mano’s counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia, for the third quarter of 2013.
4 New Clinics Built
In the third quarter of 2013 Mano a Mano completed clinics in 4 communities:
- San Jacinto
- Guitarrani (San Jacinto and Guitarrani were completed in November)
- Tarana (Korka and Tarana were completed in September)
There is also a signed agreement (and complete funding) for a clinic in the community of Paracti. We completed clinic projects in Chivirancho and Esmeralda earlier this year.
Delivered 747 Babies
Infant and maternal health is one of the primary services in our clinics. In the third quarter of 2013 our network of clinics delivered 747 babies, with 4 infant deaths (for all 3 quarters of 2013 Mano a Mano has delivered 1,930 babies, with 7 infant deaths). Bolivia has the second-worst infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, trailing only Haiti, and the rural infant mortality – where Mano a Mano’s clinics are built – are much higher than the national average (up to 8% in rural areas).
Frequent prenatal exams (assisted by the Bolivian government-funded Juana Azurduy program which provides stipends for expecting mothers to attend prenatal exams and give birth in a hospital) and having births attended by trained healthcare personnel, in addition to ongoing exams after birth and the ability to quickly communicate with larger hospitals in case of emergencies, can dramatically decrease early infant mortality. Mano a Mano staff are also well-connected in the community and travel frequently to peoples’ homes – 286 of the 747 deliveries, or 38%, were in-home deliveries attended by Mano a Mano staff.
For comparison, over the same number of births that Mano a Mano delivered in 2013 and had 4 infant deaths, up to 60 babies could be expected to die according to the average in rural Bolivia.
247,696 Total Patient Visits in Third Quarter
Mano a Mano’s clinics focus on primary care; the vast majority of these visits were for basic needs:
- 102,247 visits were for what we categorize as lab services – pap smears, wound care, IV hydration, providing iron supplements and Vitamin A injections, among others.
- 15,660 visits were for vaccinations – tetanus, yellow fever, measles, polio, etc. Because Mano a Mano clinics are designated as the official health center for their catchment area, we receive vaccinations, medications, and other supplies from the Bolivian Ministry of Health as part of their national healthcare outreach programs.
- 45,163 visits were for dental care – exams, treatment, fluoride applications, and extractions (2,219 extractions!). Dental care is a huge need in rural Bolivia, which is why of the 467 medical professionals working in our clinics, 76 are dentists (in a typical clinic, staff will include a doctor, nurse, and part-time dentist, but this varies by the size of the community and their needs).
467 Medical Professionals Staffing our Clinics – All Salaries Paid by Sources in Bolivia
Mano a Mano has 467 medical professionals on staff – including 8 new positions created in this quarter with the new clinic projects. All of our clinic staff are Bolivian and are living on-site in our clinics and hospitals, which includes 165 doctors, 226 nurses, and 76 dentists. Every staff salary is paid for by someone other than Mano a Mano. The Bolivian Health Ministry, local Bolivian municipal governments, and a handful of local companies and organizations pay for all of our staff salaries as a continual line item in their annual budgets. In this way our projects are able to continue to operate even though they receive no ongoing funding from Mano a Mano (they are still supported through continuing education, distribution of medical supplies and equipment, and direct connection with our Cochabamba office for difficult cases).
The clinic information is from the third quarter report on clinic activity sent to us by our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia, which includes the months of July, August, and September; the 2 most recent clinic projects in San Jacinto and Guitarrani technically were completed in the 4th quarter but we wanted to include all of the most recent projects here. There is usually about a 3-month lag before reports are completed for the previous quarter.