TO HEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME

Fredy Salazar Partnerships Development Specialist
Reading time 5 minutes
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At 8 on a Friday morning, Heidy Valeska Mazariegos, accompanied by her mother, Florencia Mazariegos Macario, comes for her monthly check-up at the clinic for renal care, located in the city of Quetzaltenango. Heidy and Mrs. Florencia are native from the municipality of Olintepeque, located 7 km from the department main city of Quetzaltenango, the second largest city in Guatemala, about 210 km from the capital city of the country. Heidy is a single daughter, she married at the age of 19, and soon became pregnant, but her pregnancy had severe complications and she suffered from pre-eclampsia at the sixth month of the pregnancy.

“On previous occasions, the Social Security tried to do a call for a tender for implants, but it was very difficult and it was unsuccessful. Previously, we had identified 83 children as eligible candidates. However, due to the long process, many of the parents withdrew and others gave up because of the economic matter, as one portion of the cost is paid by IGSS and the other portion of the cost is paid by the beneficiaries. No family pays for the implant, but they do pay the cost of transportation for therapies or calibrations” - Jessica Gonzáles, Secretary Member of the IGSS Cochlear Implant Committee.

“Sometimes we had limitations because of transport. But, this has not been inconvenient as we come to the therapies at the Clinic twice a week. My baby girl is happy because she does listen now, thanks to the implant. Before, she only communicated with "temper tantrums" and now she already understands, she says more words, the vowels. Now, when a dog barks, he says woof woof and starts to search where the dog is, we are very happy!”

Children selected by IGSS for the implant program, such as Keily, are eligible for patients with deep bilateral hearing loss who were not receiving hearing aids; with adequate implant-friendly anatomy and a cochlear nerve. “To date, all implanted children are already listening to sounds. But language takes longer and it is slower. For us, as IGSS physicians, it is very emotional to be part of this process, since for many years we have struggled to get this going forward and we had not had the chance to provide this service. Now, when I tell the parents that the child is deaf, we can offer them an alternative,” Dr. Carlos Figueroa declares, an otologist at the IGSS General Hospital for Diseases, Guatemala.

Through these actions, the United Nations system in Guatemala has generated impacts on the saving of public resources and on the quality of public procurements, enabling citizens to have better access to adequate health services, benefiting 3.2 million social security users in Guatemala.

So far, and with the support of this program, we have carried out:

33

Surgeries

1115

Therapies

65

Calibrations

Since 2016, Instituto Guatemalteco de Seguridad Social (IGSS) through UNOPS has achieved: Savings of 58% corresponding to 2 billion Quetzales Distribution of 450 million items (units and doses) of medicines improving stock levels by up to 90% facilitating the efficient management of 65 thousand annual deliveries of medicines and clinical supplies for 114 IGSS hospitals, at the national level.

  • Savings of 58% corresponding to 2 billion Quetzales.
  • Distribution of 450 million items (units and doses) of medicines improving stock levels by up to 90%.
  • Facilitating the efficient management of 65 thousand annual deliveries of medicines and clinical supplies to 122 IGSS hospitals, at the national level.

Through these actions, the United Nations system in Guatemala has generated impacts on the saving of public resources and on the quality of public procurements, enabling citizens to have better access to adequate health services, benefiting 3.2 million social security users in Guatemala.