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Jul 25, 2018

MoH Announces Successful Phase 2 of Salud Mesoamerica Health Initiative

The Ministry of Health and the Inter-American Development Bank shared some good news today. They say that access to quality health services for the most vulnerable women and children in Belize has improved in the last four years. Today, they presented the results of the Salud Mesoamerica Health Initiative Project from 2012 to 2017 which shows important advances in access to quality health care for twenty-percent of the country’s population. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Salud Mesoamerica Health Initiative aims to improve the access to quality health care for the most vulnerable twenty percent of mothers and babies across eight countries, including Belize. The second operation of the project valued at six hundred thousand US dollars, funded by the Government, and the Inter-American Development bank with funds from donor partners. This project was executed in the north and west of Belize and today Doctor Cassandra Rogers of the IDB shares some of the achievements of phase two of the project.

 

Cassandra Rogers

Dr. Cassandra Rogers, Country Rep, IDB

“For example, early post-partum care has increased by eighty-one percent; likewise, the use of oxytocin, a hormone that speeds up delivery and reduces the risk of heavy bleeding during child-birth increased from thirty-four percent to ninety-eight point seven percent and the number of infants receiving quality care after delivery went from nineteen point four percent in 2013 to eighty-eight point seven percent in 2017; really significant results.”

 

The end of this operation means the start of the third phase which seeks to further improve the access, use and quality of maternal, neo-natal and child health services. According to CEO Ramon Figueroa, it will target over fifty communities in Corozal, Orange Walk and Cayo districts. He explains how it will work.

 

Ramon Figueroa

Dr. Ramon Figueroa, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“What we are looking in this third phase is really going into more preventive type interventions educating younger women – we call that the pre-conception phase. It looks at building up their knowledge in terms of what are the risk factors in pregnancy and child rearing, and so those are basically the things we will be focusing on in this third phase. To do that, we are actually developing a different strategy for community involvement – it is called the community platform. That entails going into the different communities and we are targeting about fifty different villages – fifty-two different villages in the target area where we go in to discuss with the community what their prevalent needs are. It is more of a partnership with the community as opposed to the traditional way approach where we place most of the burden on the community health worker or we go into the community and tell them what are our needs and our priorities. This is more of a partnership so that they understand where we are coming from, help us to indentify some of the risk factors in the community and together we develop interventions at the community level. So, it is going to be a lot more intensive but I think over the long term it is sustainable strategy for  better community participation in health and wellness.”

 

Belize is only one of two of the eight Mesoamerican countries that met all the indicators – and so was rewarded one hundred and fifty thousand US dollars grant to invest in other local health initiatives. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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