Americas / Colombia

Taking care of Colombian mothers so they can take care of their children

20

Health centers will be built and rehabilitated

40

Health workers and midwives will be taught health skills to bring back to their communities

Colombia is in a crisis. Due to the internal conflict in the country, combined with a high number of people who have been displaced as a result, there is an extreme lack of access to basic services -specifically heath- for people in affected rural and remote areas. Malteser International Americas is on the ground to help.

Nearly 86% of people – mostly indigenous and Afro-Colombian people who have been displaced – in La Guajira and Magdalena – only have limited access to basic health services and 80% of the few existing health centers don´t have an adequate infrastructure nor equipment. Due to the high numbers of malnourished children in the target area, there is a big supply gap in the field of Primary Health Care.

While many – especially indigenous – communities don´t have any access to health centers, the women in the area we are working give birth within their communities with the help of traditional midwives, which in most cases haven´t received any formal training. In those areas, maternal and child mortality is very high.

To minimize maternal and child mortality at birth, we are rehabilitating and equipping 20 health centers, establishing of a sustainable supply system with drugs and healthy food supplements, and training 40 health workers and traditional midwives who can bring their skills to their communities and teach others. As a result, access to and quality of basic health services, as well as a stable women’s network, will be strengthened.

Our work will also focus on improving access to Primary Health Care -including mother-child health- and mental health care of female survivors of sexual violence and displacement in marginalized, rural and semi-rural communities in La Guajira and Magdalena.