The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has built a hospital for moms and children in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay.
KOICA said a donation ceremony was held at the hospital on July 19 with the presence of Lee Mi-kyung, the chief director of KOICA, and Maria Theresa Baran Washilchuk, the deputy minister of Health and Welfare of Paraguay.
"We would like to thank Korea for its efforts to improve the health environment for mothers and children in Paraguay," said Washilchuk. "The hospital will contribute greatly to improving the quality of life for the people of Paraguay and will be a milestone in the development of bilateral cooperation.”
KOICA’s Lee said, “We expect that the new hospital will play a major role in achieving the goal of zero maternal mortality rate and neonatal mortality rate in Paraguay." She added, "KOICA will continue to strengthen development and cooperation based on the 3P principle -- people, peace, and prosperity.”
The official name of the hospital is Korean-Paraguayan San Pablo Hospital for Moms and Children. KOICA said the hospital has three floors and 139 beds, and will help more than 200,000 mothers give birth to their babies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the maternal mortality rate in Paraguay is 95 per 100,000, which is higher than the average of Central and South America by 66. The average infant mortality rate in Central and South America is 5 per 1000 population, but Paraguay has 24.
The Paraguayan government called the Korean government to help solve this problem, and KOICA has invested US$8.47 million since 2013 in building the largest hospital that specializes in maternity care .