Health Program Update – First Quarter 2014

Below is an update on our health programs, that are run by Mano a Mano’s counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia, for the first quarter of 2014.

Mother and child in a Mano a Mano clinic.

Mother and child in a Mano a Mano clinic.

Delivered 706 Babies

Infant and maternal health is one of the primary services in our clinics. In the first quarter of 2014 our network of clinics delivered 706 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 – 248 of the 706 deliveries, or 35%, were in-home deliveries attended by Mano a Mano staff.

For comparison, over the same number of births that Mano a Mano delivered in the first quarter of 2014 and had 7 infant deaths, up to 56 babies could be expected to die according to the average in rural Bolivia.

237,457 Total Patient Visits in First Quarter 2014

Mano a Mano’s clinics focus on primary care; the vast majority of these visits were for basic needs:

  • 82,655 visits were for what we categorize as lab services – pap smears, wound care, IV hydration, providing iron supplements and Vitamin A injections, among others.
  • 15,980 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.
  • 44,287 visits were for dental care – exams (27,392) , treatment (6,192), fluoride applications (8,113), and extractions (2,590 extractions). Dental care is a huge need in rural Bolivia, which is why of the 471 medical professionals working in our clinics, 77 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).
Waiting to be seen in a Mano a Mano clinic.

Waiting to be seen in a Mano a Mano clinic.

471 Medical Professionals Staffing our Clinics – All Salaries Paid by Sources in Bolivia

Mano a Mano has 471 medical professionals on staff. All of our clinic staff are Bolivian and are living on-site in our clinics and hospitals, which includes 164 doctors, 230 nurses, and 77 dentists. Every staff salary is paid for by someone other than Mano a Mano. The Bolivian Health Ministry (81% of staff salaries), local Bolivian municipal governments (11%), and a handful of local companies and organizations (8%) 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 direct 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).

Report Notes

The clinic information is from the first quarter report on clinic activity sent to us by our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia, which includes the months of January, February, and March. This report includes 141 of our clinics reporting; clinics that have been newly constructed take a quarter or 2 to be included (at year-end 2013 we have built a total of 145 clinics). There is usually about a 3-month lag before reports are completed for the previous quarter.