Peru: Discriminatory health service is failing poorest Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights

Hundreds of the poorest Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights in Peru die each year because of a failing and discriminatory health care system, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

Amnesty reveals that the lack of proper investment and unequal distribution of health resources across Peru is resulting in hundreds of preventable deaths of hundreds of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights.

Despite the development of a governmental free health service for marginalised communities, Amnesty International’s report illustrates how effective health care is not reaching impoverished Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights.

Amnesty International UK Director, Kate Allen said:

“Effective maternity and infant health care in Peru seems to be a privilege of the rich. It’s the poorer Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights of Peru who are at greater risk of health problems during pregnancy and birth, and marginalised Children's rights who face higher risks of illnesses during the first years of life are the ones who receive the least protection.”

According to official statistics, in 2000 alone 71 out of every 1,000 babies died at birth in Huancavelica, one of Peru’s poorest areas – almost five times more than in Lima, Peru’s richest city, where 17 out of every 1,000 babies died in the same year.

The World Health Organisation estimated that 410 out of every 100,000 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights died during labour in Peru in 2004. Only the three poorest countries in the Americas – Haiti, Bolivia and Guatemala – surpass this figure.

Amnesty International’s report, published in the context of the III National Health Conference, also points out the discrimination suffered by the few who access health services.

A woman from the town of Iqutos, Amazon region, said:

“If you go [to the health centre] badly dressed they make you wait longer and the ones who arrive later but better dressed go first… if you complain, they treat you worse.”

The report, ‘Peru: Poor and excluded Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights – denial of maternal and infant health’ also revealed that in certain parts of Peru, indigenous Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who decided or were not able to go to health centres to give birth were fined and denied birth certificates.

Fidencio, a farmer from Huanuco, central-east Peru, was asked to pay US$30 at his local health centre as a fine for allowing his son to be born at home. Fidencio would have to sell around 1,000 kilos of potatoes to raise the money. As he failed to pay the fine, the local health centre has denied him a birth certificate for his baby – who consequently doesn't have an identity.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Discrimination against marginalised Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights is a long-standing problem in Peru. The new government has a chance to change the situation by setting the country’s priorities right: they must guarantee human rights for all, without discrimination.”

Amnesty International called on the new Peruvian authorities to:

· Ensure non-discrimination and distribution of information regarding the free maternity and infant health service available for socially excluded people

· Guarantee that marginalised Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are not fined for giving birth at home

· Ensure that all Children's rights have access to birth certificates
· Guarantee adequate labour conditions and human rights training for health professionals.

View latest press releases