Childbirth is not a simple endeavor for women in Puno, Peru, which has the highest rate of maternal deaths nationwide. Partnering with Johnson & Johnson, the regional health department (DIRESA), local health agencies and the residents of Barrio Llavini, INMED Andes recently launched the Puno Health Network to provide preventive healthcare to expectant mothers, children and seniors. Key components of this program are two new maternity waiting homes, also known as casas maternas, where expectant mothers and their families from remote areas may reside safely near healthcare facilities during the last stages of pregnancy. The recent grand opening of Casa Llavini was attended by Dr. Amílcar Vargas Caceres, Coordinator of DIRESA Maternal Health; D.C. Ivan Sanchez Parra, Director of the Puno Health Network; Zarela Bravo Castañeda, Regional Coordinator of INMED Andes; Dr. Griselda Ginchuña Quispe, Dean of the College of Obstetricians; barrio authorities and the general public.
With the support of Johnson & Johnson and regional health agencies, INMED Andes also has trained dozens of community health workers (CHWs) to care for women at the maternity waiting homes. For CHW Evarista Paco Jove, the recent opening of the casa materna is a dream come true. After a previous maternity waiting home where she worked a decade earlier closed due to lack of funding, she is elated to manage the new facility. “In this space, we respect the pregnant woman’s customs, which helps us improve their healthcare and save lives,” she says. “We are very grateful, and we will care for and promote the use of the casa materna.” For more on INMED’s maternity waiting homes, visit https://inmed.org/what-we-do/health-and-nutrition/maternity-waiting-homes/