DATA PROVIDES MATERNAL HEALTH SOLUTIONS
MAR launched one of its very first maternal health projects in Yantalo, a small rural village in San Martin province, in northern Peru. The people who live in this part of the upper Amazon rainforest are extremely poor. In fact, over half of the population lives in poverty, a quarter of them in extreme poverty. Maternal mortality rates here are among the highest in the region, and further efforts are needed to ensure adequate pre-natal, natal and post-natal care is available to all women.
To help tackle these challenges, MAR partnered with the Yantalo Foundation, a small local organization with a mission to improve health and education standards in the area. Together, we designed a Safe Motherhood Assessment to identify gaps in care for expectant mothers and newborns in Yantalo. MAR designed the survey exercise and Yantalo volunteers interviewed over 450 mothers and pregnant women, as well as traditional birth attendants in Yantalo and surrounding “caserios” – poor rural hamlets.
MAR analyzed the survey data and prepared a report and recommendations. Our report highlighted a number of challenges to address, including insufficient pre-natal care uptake by pregnant women, low rates of post-natal check-ups for new moms and babies, low awareness of sexual and reproductive health issues, a high prevalence of teenage pregnancies, and abundant incidences of domestic violence. These findings informed the planning of services to be made available by the Yantalo Clinic, a new state-of-the-art health center being built by the Yantalo Foundation.
Dr. Luis Vazquez, founder of the Yantalo Foundation, complemented MAR for the report, saying:
Mothers at Risk deserve 100% congratulations. Maternal-child health is a priority for us and to which we should give more attention for future generations. The data will help us in our public health planning efforts and will help us improve our clinical practice for mothers and babies in Yantalo.