We need your help for engaging communities to save the lives of their mothers and children
Posted: May 4, 2023

Training for traditional midwives in rural Guatemala

A letter from co-founder Dr. Henry Perry

28 April 2023

Dear Friends:

This year, 2023, marks the 40th anniversary of the work of Curamericas Global. Just this past month, I returned to Bolivia to celebrate the beginning of our work there in 1983 and the progress that has been made over this time. Lives have been saved as a result of our programs that involved visiting every household with life-saving information on how mothers can provide optimal care and support for their newborns and young children. We achieved high coverage of life-saving interventions in our program areas and reduced the mortality of children before the age 5 by half – from 20% to 10%. In the lowlands of Bolivia we helped to start a program in the town of Montero three decades ago is still going strong. Over the past decade, levels of mortality of under-5 children and mothers that are lower than in the United States! We are able to say this because the program there visits every home on a regular basis and records the deaths of mothers and children.

What’s more, one of the physicians in Bolivia who worked with our programs for 10 years, Dr. Franz Trujillo, later became a top-level official of the Ministry of Health in Bolivia and provided leadership for a home visitation program that has now become a permanent feature of the national health system there. We are all very proud that our programs have not only saved lives of mothers and children in our program areas, but they have had a positive influence on national government policies and their effectiveness in improving the health of the country.  

For more than two decades now, we have been working in one of the most isolated and needy areas of Guatemala, the Cuchumatenes mountains of the Department of Huehuetenango, helping Indigenous communities reduce the number of readily preventable deaths of children and their mothers, again through our home visitation program and through the creation of local birthing centers (since the nearest government facility was more than four hours away in a vehicle and unaffordable to the local people). This area of Guatemala had one of the highest rates of under-5 mortality rates in the country. Its level of chronic childhood malnutrition and its level of maternal mortality were among the highest in the Western hemisphere. Our programs reduced the prevalence of stunting there by 47% (from 75% of children stunted to 35%), the level of under-5 mortality by 22% (from 54 to 41 deaths per 1,000 live births), and the level of maternal mortality by 59% (from 632 to 257 deaths per 100,000 live births).

Now, in Kenya, our partners have been able to reduce the infant mortality rate between 2019 and 2022 by 74% (from 72 to 18 deaths per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality has declined by 87% during the same period (from 1,247 to 163 deaths per 100,000 live births).

The mission, track record, and organizational culture of Curamericas Global are the cumulative product of four decades of service . Today, the need is urgent in a world where tragically millions of people, mostly mothers and children, are still dying from readily preventable or treatable conditions. While we are proud of what the resources that you and others have helped to make possible, there is still so much more to do.

I hope you will join me in contributing to our annual fundraising campaign so that this important work can continue.

I firmly believe that giving to Curamericas Global is as good an investment as anyone can make to contribute to reducing the number of readily preventable deaths among children and their mothers.As a small and lean organization, our funds are directed to where they matter most. Our work is vital to the communities we serve, and the value of what we achieve for each dollar invested is remarkable.

In the spirit of Mother’s Day (on May 14) I hope that you will join my team, and together we can reach our goal of raising $15,000.

You can give easily online by going to run.curamericas.org/team/henrys-team/. Or, you can mail a check to Curamericas Global, 318 West Millbrook Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27609. (If you do, indicate on the check that it is for Henry’s Team, so our team can get credit!)  If you want, you can even start your own team!

With gratitude and in friendship,

Henry B. Perry, MD, PhD, MPH, Co-Founder

Meeting to learn about the importance of family planning with mothers in rural Kenya

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