The GLI-Peru Project commenced in 2013 with UNICEF as a partner, the aim of this initiative was to reduce healthcare inequalities which particularly affect indigenous communities. It focused its activity principally on two geographical areas: Condorcanqui (the Amazons) through the Santa María de Nieva Hospital, and Datem de Marañón with the San Lorenzo Healthcare Center.
Infant and maternal mortality in Peru has been significantly reduced in the last two decades thanks to an increase in prenatal control and childbirth assistance. The country has reached one of the Millennium Goals as it has reduced its infant mortality rate to 17 deaths per thousand births.
In spite of these achievements inequality continues to be present between urban and rural populations, particularly in the Amazon. Whilst 92% of births in the urban areas are attended by professionals, in rural settings only 45% of the women receive care. Such an imbalance is a direct consequence of the lack of healthcare workers able to identify the needs and culture of the indigenous Amazonian population.
The laboratories at the Santa María de Nieva (Condorcanqui) and the San Lorenzo Hospital (Datem de Maranón), which have a 75% indigenous population comprised of Awajum and Wampi, find themselves without the necessary resources for the accurate diagnosis of the principal diseases in the zone.
The objective of the GLI-Peru project is to improve this situation and contribute to ensure better access to the right to health for indigenous communities. The Probitas Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, has created the first integral healthcare model for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and STIs to be adapted to a national protocol within this context.
During the first phase a diagnosis of the situation, a needs assessment, was performed taking into account the cultural and demographic factors of the communities and analyzing the existing healthcare structures. The Foundation's team came to the conclusion that it was necessary to:
- Renovate the areas and reinforce the internet installation.
- Repair the existing water installations.
- Install an electricity supply with a sustainable and ecological system.
- Equip the laboratory for STIs.
- Collaborate with the Health Ministry in order to establish a decentralization plan for the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.
In the second phase the infrastructures and installations of the three laboratories in the zone were improved with the following interventions:
- The purchase of laboratory equipment, supplies, and reagents.
- The improvement of the laboratory infrastructures.
- The installation of computers, printers, and GLI-software in one of the centers.
The training and capacity-building of the local personnel, with the aim of improving specific diagnostic techniques for self-management of the laboratories, was promoted in the third phase of the project.
- Training in the development of early diagnosis, counseling, and integral interventions that promote appropriate strategies for individuals with HIV.
- Improvements in the skills and abilities of the technical personnel when obtaining samples, and processing and interpreting results.
- Training in biosafety standards.
- Capacity-building for personnel in the correct use of the equipment and the implementation of GLI-Software.
In the fourth phase of the project other transversal health programs have been developed.
- The promotion of community strategies for the support and follow-up of children, adolescents, pregnant women and the HIV/AIDS infected population, with the participation of community health agents.
- The training and participation of at least three adolescent networks through peer strategy for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and access to its diagnosis.