After ten years of its implementation, 2.264.935 of patients have benefited from Bolivia's social policies aimed at pregnant women and small children.
More than two million Bolivian mothers and their children have benefited in the last decade by the Juana Azurduy Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), according to Bolivia’s authorities.
The Juana Azurduy program was established in 2009 as an economic incentive for women to get medical attention during pregnancy and for the first two years of their child’s life, in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality and chronic malnutrition in children under two years of age.
After ten years of its implementation, president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and Public Health Minister, Gabriela Montaño, highlighted that the government has invested over US$189 million as it is “one of the major social policies of the process of change for the people,” the head of state added.
Hoy celebramos 10 años del Bono Juana Azurduy, una de las mayores políticas sociales del #ProcesoDeCambio para el pueblo. Gracias a la Nacionalización de nuestras empresas y RRNN tenemos estabilidad económica para garantizar la salud y bienestar de las madres y los recién nacidos pic.twitter.com/axVw26mIY1— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) May 27, 2019
To be eligible women should not have access to private health insurance, they should also be pregnant or have children below 12 months of age at the moment of their sign-up. As a condition to receive the monthly checks, women have to fulfill four prenatal check-ups, institutional delivery, and postpartum control.
With this benefit, 90 percent of pregnant mothers have received free medical care. It also favors children under two years of age who receive 12 comprehensive bi-monthly health checks.
According to a Demography and Health survey published in 2016, the Juana Azurduy program and other social policies implemented by the State helped decrease the infant mortality rate by 52 percent since 2008, and chronic malnutrition went down as well by almost 50 percent.
"There is no better investment of a Government than that which is destined to protect and save lives, and that is precisely what these programs are," Health Minister Montaño stated.
The benefits of this program were extended in 2015 with the implementation of the Universal Prenatal Subsidy for Life policy, which delivers nutritious food packages to expectant mothers, starting at the fifth month of pregnancy. The program has benefited a total of 343,400 women, according to data from the Public Health Ministry.
All these programs combine to President Evo Morales’ recently launched free Unified Health System (SUS) for Bolivians, which seeks to expand health coverage to the population who lacked any form of insurance. "In almost 20 days, 300,000 persons have been served free of charge, to begin it's a lot," Evo Morales said in the state program about the SUS back in March 2019.
The government of Bolivia will allocate some US$200 million in 2019 to guarantee the sustainability of the SUS by improving its equipment, supplies, and infrastructure and increase the number of qualified healthcare professionals. The money for the SUS, and for the Juana Azurduy Program, have come from the revenues produced by "the nationalization of now state-owned business and natural resources," Morales has emphasized.