Peruvian obstetrician awarded for saving handicapped mother and unborn child


The Peruvian Ministry for Women and Social Development has honored ten women for their dedication and work in diverse social and economic fields. One of the honorees was Ivonne Arriaga Castaneda, an obstetrician from the state of Huanuco who saved the life of a young handicapped mother and her unborn child.

Ivonne, who works at the Acomayo Health Center, learned two years ago of the dramatic case of Jovita Jara, a young woman who lives in the town of Vervenapampa. Dr. Arriaga heard that Jovita, a 20 year-old mildly retarded girl who has no legs, was suffering from anemia and was also pregnant.

Several times Ivonne walked the nine miles between Acomayo and Vervenapampa to visit Jovita and convince her parents that she urgently needed medical care during the rest of her pregnancy. In addition, she told the parents that Jovita needed have a c-section performed to have a safe delivery.

The Ministry for Women and Social Development’s website reported, “With tenacity and refusing to pay attention to the initial refusals by the family, Ivonne went back again and again to Vervenapampa.  She came back with new arguments and with one sole objective: to save Jovita. She finally triumphed and the father, with Jovita on his shoulders, walked the nine miles to the health clinic.  Jovita received her pre-natal care and on June 22, Noemi was born by c-section.”

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