Hundreds of pregnant women in Peru are dying, many from preventable causes. These women are predominantly poor, live in rural areas, and are Indigenous. In many cases, these deaths could be avoided if the government provided equal health services across the country.
Pregnant women in Peru die because they face a number of barriers, including distance, cost, language and cultural differences.
Many women in rural areas must endure a long and difficult walk to the nearest health centre or pay for transport that they cannot afford. Furthermore the health centres are often not equipped with the resources needed to deal with emergencies in childbirth.
Access to information about sexual and reproductive health is vital to women, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth. This information is rarely available to women in poor, rural and Indigenous communities.
In addition, Indigenous women, who often only speak their Indigenous language, frequently cannot understand the Spanish-speaking health professionals. Also, their traditional customs and habits may not be adequately understood by the doctors, nurses and midwives.
On the other hand, many health professionals face difficult working conditions – particularly in rural areas – far away from their homes, with inadequate training, insufficient resources, and in communities where they may not understand the language or customs.
In addition, women living in poverty are largely excluded from political decision-making processes. Their voices are rarely heard and their views rarely influence the state's laws and policies, which means that these violations of human rights pass largely unnoticed by society and those in authority.
Take action by sending the appeal below to the Minister of Health, Dr. Óscar Ugarte.