Healthy mothers have healthier babies, but many Bolivian women die in childbirth each year. ChildFund trains birth attendants and supports local health centers so that knowledgeable health practitioners can help avoid obstetric emergencies and provide life-saving assistance when they occur. Community health volunteers educate families on how to prevent the life-threatening illnesses that are the main causes of death of young children. Volunteers are also trained to recognize danger signs so that children can be referred to the formal health system in time for treatment. Malnutrition is also an issue, but ChildFund’s trainings and programs have reduced the incidence of developmental delays that result from poor nutrition.
ChildFund Bolivia’s early childhood development programs complement its malnutrition efforts by helping parents learn about their children’s early development, beginning with breastfeeding. Early Childhood Development centers, which are designed specifically for preschool-age children, teach parents about child development and rely on their participation to run the centers.