UNICEF supports the country’s public health sector by providing information and assistance to pregnant women, mothers, newborns, children and adolescents in rural indigenous communities. Our aim is to improve their access to the necessary maternal, neonatal and child health services that are respectful of culture and gender while being child and adolescent-friendly.
UNICEF aims to provide indigenous pregnant women, adolescents and children improved access to proven HIV prevention and treatment. This includes strengthening the ability of the nation’s institutions to prevent gender-based violence and adolescent pregnancies by bringing in the collective support of the health and education sectors as well as families, teachers, community leaders, and adolescents. UNICEF also provides the necessary technical assistance to prevent the transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis from mother to child. For those children living with HIV, UNICEF helps support paediatric care according to the latest World Health Organization-recommended standards.
To ensure the health and safety of Bolivia’s most vulnerable individuals, UNICEF provides the technical expertise to provide access to safe drinking water; toilet facilities to prevent open defecation and improved sanitation; and instruction in good hygiene practices. Indigenous groups living in remote rural areas are the focus of these programmes, and they will receive these benefits in their homes as well as in schools. Each of the school restrooms provide separate toilet facilities for boys and girls. As part of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, girls will receive additional instruction in good menstrual hygiene practices. UNICEF also aims to ensure families have access to safe water as part of general or humanitarian emergency preparedness.
UNICEF is dedicated to preventing and treating malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies among pregnant women, lactating mothers and children. Preventing the stunting of growth in newborns due to these conditions is vital in the critical one thousand-day window of opportunity between conception and two years of age.
To ensure the most vulnerable and marginalized indigenous children receive access to age and culturally appropriate education, UNICEF provides support to Bolivia’s plurinational education system at all levels – early learning, pre-school, primary and secondary. Our aim is to expand intracultural, intercultural and multi-lingual education by providing technical support along with improvements to budgeting and planning. Another goal is to broaden community participation in education, which is essential to improving enrolment and guaranteeing children and adolescents’ success in school. We prioritize rural and indigenous-based educational organizations that have a focus on women and adolescent girls.
To protect children and adolescents from all forms of violence – sexual, emotional and physical – as well as from exploitation and abuse, UNICEF is strengthening the child and adolescent protection system at the national, departmental and municipal levels. UNICEF has already reinforced the Department of Social Protection Services (SEDEGES) network as well as built the capacity of other child protection advocates. For example, UNICEF is training prosecutors to use child-friendly interrogation techniques, such as the Gesell Domes model, and supporting the provision of appropriate psychosocial treatment for children, mainly girls, who have suffered sexual violence.
UNICEF supports the Bolivian Government as it develops sustainable and effective legislation and social policies to support children and adolescents. By supporting the government and main state institutions, such as the Legislative Assembly, we hope to ensure the appropriate budget allocation to provide for the country’s most vulnerable populations.