Transforming Lives: How the North Cusco Health Network Boosted Maternal and Neonatal Care in Peru

DA News
Fiorella Ormeño Incio
Fiorella Ormeño Incio

In 2021, the maternal and child healthcare landscape in Cusco, Peru faced significant challenges. Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, routine prenatal, postpartum, and pediatric health consultations were far below needed levels. Discover how the North Cusco Health Network, Delivery Associates, Movement Health 2030, and Roche Farma Peru partnered to improve access to maternal-child healthcare.

Overcoming Barriers to Healthcare Access in Cusco, Peru

In June 2021, the number of routine consultations for prenatal, postpartum, and pediatric (under two years old) patients was only at 34% of the estimated need. There were several obstacles to care, including:

  • Pandemic Fears: Women weren’t seeking routine medical care for themselves or their young children due to fear of contracting COVID-19.
  • Staffing Shortages During Daytime Hours: Healthcare workers often favored night shifts, which paid more and granted them two days off. Daytime shifts—which only offered one day off—lacked sufficient staff, despite being the peak time for non-emergent patient consultations. This compromised patient care, with clinics overstaffed at night and understaffed during crucial daytime hours.
  • Decentralized Data Practices: Because healthcare workers kept handwritten records of their shifts in each clinic, the problem was difficult to see at the clinic management level—and impossible to see at the regional level.  

Enhancing Communications and Technology to Increase the Number of Healthcare Consultations

DA partnered with the North Cusco Health Network to increase the number of consultations between patients and providers. 

First, the Network launched a multichannel informational campaign to meet patients where they were—including in outdoor markets, on home visits, and on various social media channels. 

The project introduced the slogan "#RedCuscoNorteCuidaTuSalud,” which means, “Cusco's Northern Network, Take Care of Your Health.” They integrated the slogan into all in-person and social networking activities. During in-person events, health workers visited the homes of children and pregnant women, providing information about vaccinations and check-ups and encouraging them to visit their local clinic consistently. 

Team members in Cusco, Peru.

Impactful Outcomes 

In just five months, DA helped the North Cusco Health Network move from manual shift entries to a fully digitized system. A new database and mobile app gave leaders clear visibility into provider and patient demand.

The collaborative efforts led to remarkable improvements within just five months:

  • Increased Consultations: Over 1,487 additional consultations for pregnant and postpartum women and 4,760 for children, plus a 12% increase in family planning visits.
  • Enhanced Pediatric Care: A 14% increase in well-baby checkups and a 5% rise in pediatric vaccinations.
  • Nutritional and Prenatal Health Boosts: A 14% increase in nutritional supplementation for infants and a 5% increase in prenatal checkups.

The initiative also led to significant increases in care compared to other local networks. For example, in the North Cusco Health Network, there were 1,113 more newborn check-ups performed by a physician compared to the control network. The Network is now on track to improve ongoing care for 650,000 patients. 

Delivery Associates has worked with governments, philanthropies, and multilaterals across the globe to deliver meaningful results in public health. Share your organization’s biggest public health-related challenges here and learn how Delivery Associates can support you in reaching your ambitious goals.

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