San Ignacio del Sara, Bolivia – NPH Bolivia works to prevent, detect, and treat illnesses promptly in the children and youth who benefit from its various programs.
During the last decade, significant measures were taken to improve the health of Bolivian children and adolescents. One is the Zero Malnutrition Program. This program’s priority is to reduce child mortality, especially in rural areas. Another is the Unified Health System (SUS) model, which guarantees universal, equitable, timely, and free access to comprehensive health care.
According to the INE (Bolivia’s National Institute of Statistics), between 2010-2018, child mortality rates were reduced by 50% or more, in all its forms. For children under five, it decreased by around 55%. Those health programs contributed to this by helping to strengthen primary health services and reducing out-of-pocket expenses for vulnerable communities. However, there are no more up-to-date statistics.
NPH Bolivia has been running the “Campaña Control Niño Sano” (the Healthy Child Monitoring Campaign) three times a year since before 2010 to promote its beneficiaries’ comprehensive health and continue reducing the child mortality rate due to a lack of health care. Lasting for a month, the campaign begins by taking the children’s vital signs, weight, and height, before then providing a general check-up. It is common to find seasonal colds. In other cases, some children hide their symptoms so that it takes an exam to detect cases of anemia, parasite infections, gastrointestinal problems, and even vision problems. Thanks to this campaign, these are treated promptly with the corresponding follow-up.
In 2019, thanks to the Campaña Control Niño Sano, two cases of hernia were detected in time. Both required surgery, which was managed by the home’s collaborators at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the city closest to the home. Currently, both children, ages nine and eleven, are in good health, have no complications, and continue to attend these check-ups.
During each health campaign, all of NPH Bolivia’s beneficiaries are attended to and guided. This year, 43 children and adolescents have been attended, in collaboration with the San José Obrero Hospital in Portachuelo, while ten young people were seen in the Nicolas Hospital through the SUS insurance.
On April 26, the first monitoring of the Campaña Control Niño Sano of 2023 began. Due to the arrival of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, there were some cases of common cold, typical of the season. These children were attended to, with only one case that needed follow-up with a specialist. “I think the well-child campaign is critical. And yes, pathologies or illnesses are detected in the children, and they are definitely treated promptly,” says Veronica Rivera, NPH Bolivia’s area health manager.
NPH’s founder, Father William Wasson, used to say that “every child requires attention and deserves it”, something that applies to health. At NPH, we are committed to the well-being of children and youth! We create opportunities to change their lives and their communities. Join the cause today!