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Ecuador

Training health workers and providing medical supplies in support of mothers, infants, children, indigenous communities, and migrants

The Context

Ecuador has high rates of poverty and income inequality. While most people have access to free healthcare, those who live in rural areas still struggle with access due to a shortage of medical supplies and health workers. 

Despite significant progress, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional conditions are currently the second-leading cause of premature death in the country, behind noncommunicable diseases. In addition, Ecuador is experiencing an increase in demand for public services due to the surge of migrants in transit entering and leaving the country. 

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42.5%

of women do not receive adequate antenatal care

Antenatal care is critical to detect warning signs and treat concerns like hypertension, nutrition, and HIV during pregnancy.

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1 in 20

residents are immigrants from other countries

Ecuador has a large population of Venezuelan and Colombian migrants.

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1 in 3

children suffer from malnutrition

40.7% of whom are indigenous, reflecting the significant health disparities.

Our Impact

Increasing Access to Health, WASH, & Protection Services for Migrants  

With support from Latter-day Saints Charities, Project HOPE is working to improve the health status of migrants and host communities in Ecuador by supporting health facilities and shelters with pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, equipment, and infrastructure rehabilitation. We are also providing surge staffing for medical and psychological care, distributing hygiene kits to migrant communities, and supporting referral pathways for protection services for survivors of gender-based violence. 

Improving the Health of Mothers, Infants, and Children 

Project HOPE’s program in Ecuador addresses maternal, infant, and child health challenges, including high mortality rates and malnutrition. Through a collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we have provided education, training, and community engagement, significantly improving healthcare access and outcomes. 

Our History in Ecuador

Project HOPE’s work in Ecuador dates back to the third voyage of the SS HOPE in 1963 when our medical volunteers treated widespread tuberculosis, parasitic diseases, and malnutrition. 

In 1989, we returned to Ecuador to work to reduce morbidity and mortality in mothers, infants, and children through community and health worker education in the provinces of Azuay and Manabi. 

In 2011, Project HOPE volunteers aboard the USNS Comfort traveled to Ecuador as part of the U.S. Navy’s Continuing Promise mission and provided healthcare to more than 5,200 Ecuadorians. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Project HOPE supported the Ministry of Health, front line health workers, and communities to better detect, contain, and respond to the threat of COVID-19. We procured and delivered personal protective equipment, trained health workers, and supported community health promotion. And, in 2021, Project HOPE implemented a mental health and resiliency training program in partnership with the UCACUE to provide Ecuador’s health workers with the knowledge, tools, and techniques to protect their mental well-being, reaching 1,505 health workers in 118 hospitals across 23 provinces. 

Project HOPE has also collaborated extensively with Ecuador’s Ministry of Health to ensure the protection of mothers, infants, and children, including establishing mothers’ clubs to address community health issues and providing comprehensive education and training to nurses and community health workers on crucial aspects of maternal care like child spacing, growth monitoring, diarrheal disease control, nutrition, breastfeeding, hygiene, immunization, and home gardening. This capacity-building effort has involved the creation of training modules and manuals that serve as essential references for training and program implementation. 

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