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  • A Bolivian mother receives free medical attention.

    A Bolivian mother receives free medical attention. | Photo: Cambio.bo

The percentage of pregnant women attended to by health professionals during childbirth increased from 71 percent to almost 90 percent.

Bolivia has achieved a remarkable 52 percent reduction in infant mortality between 2008 to 2016, the ministry of health confirmed Monday.

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The agency elaborated that deaths among children under one have decreased from 50 to 24 per 1,000 live births in that period.

It also confirmed that the percentage of pregnant women attended to by a health professional during childbirth increased from 71.1 percent in 2008 to 89.9 percent in 2016.

The ministry emphasized that such achievements are due, in part, to Juana Azurduy Bonus, a nationwide economic incentive program promoting safe motherhood and child development until the newborn is two years old.

Juana Azurduy Bonus and the restructuring of priorities of Bolivia's national healthcare system are achievements of the Bolivian government headed by Evo Morales, the first Indigenous president of a state officially renamed Plurinational State of Bolivia.

The program, which also aims to eradicate extreme poverty for new families, is based on compliance with four prenatal controls, including delivery in a health center and postpartum checks. It also requires adherence to twelve health controls for the newborn over the first two years of life to receive benefits.

While a total of 1.7 million women, in a nation of almost 11 million people, agreed to participate in the newborn incentive program, the ministry of health introduced an adolescent pregnancy prevention campaign targeting over 840,000 secondary school students.

According to data provided by the National Health Information System, the percentage of maternity and pregnancies in girls aged 15 to 19 was 14 percent in 2016.


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