Olmo Calvo

Photographer

Aymara´s births in Bolivia

Aymara´s births in Bolivia

Aymara´s birth in Bolivia Bolvia has one of the highest maternal and child mortality in Latin America. In 2013 registered 46 babies die for each 100 thousand life births. In La Paz province the 90% of the population are indigenus and most of them don’t trust biomedical medicine. One of the main causes of that is the high number of cesareans practiced: a 40% in all the deliverys. This surgical practice causes an abdomen wound which could take weeks to cure. In most cases, aymara women cannot afford stay long time without working their lands or caring for their animals. Therefore many women give birth on their houses without minimum conditions, risking their lives and their babies’ lifes. But since 2006, Evo Morales’ Government along with Doctors of the World NGO, have created in some hospitals, conditioned rooms according to indigenous traditions, where doctors and midwifes work together. This initiative meant that women who don’t trust the biomedical medicine go to hospitals to give birth. Midwifes are the people that served traditionally the births on a domiciliary way inside the aymara comunities. Their presence in hospitals along with to doctors, is part of the Vice-Ministry of Traditional Medicine’s policies to support traditional methods with contemporary. In Patacamaya, a little town 90km away from La Paz capital, there is an hospital with 3 rooms for intecultural births. The walls are painted with warm tones, wood floors and a little kitchen. Also there are two big beds, one for the women and the other for their relatives for the company during their stay. At the childbirth time, women choose the position as she wants: lying on bed, on bended kneed or seating. If during the chidbirth some complication appears, mothers could be moved immediately to a biomedical room or even to an operating room, thanks to be all in the same hospital. Initiatives like this have allowed infant mortality in Bolivia has fallen by 58% since 1990, according to UNICEF.

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