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Latino Daily News

Friday November 5, 2010

Ecuador to Transform Its Healthcare System

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a loan of $100 million to support the transformation of the health sector in Ecuador. The program will focus on improving health care and social protection with special emphasis on the most vulnerable.

The project will help Ecuador provide more preventive care to a greater number of children under age 5 and will increase coverage to pregnant women for prenatal care. The initiative will also increase the number of births that take place in health institutions versus at home and increase the coverage of vaccines administration.

It is expected that the results of the program will contribute to the reduction of hospitalizations for acute respiratory diseases, reduce infant mortality and chronic malnutrition in children under five years.

In Ecuador, more than 11 percent of the population is indigenous or Afro-Ecuadorian, but health indicators of the indigenous population are lower than the rest of the population. The prevalence of chronic malnutrition among children under 5 years is 23 percent nationwide, but reached 31 percent in the rural sector and 47 percent in indigenous areas.