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“Our goal must be a world in which good health is a pillar of individual well-being, national progress, and international stability and peace. This cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organizations, the business community, and civil society.”

— Kofi A. Annan, ex-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Make A Difference » Priority Programs 

Bolivia is today at a historical crossroads. Bolivians from across the social spectrum are clamoring for change and for improvements in the health of the people. At once more urbanized and struggling to modernize, Bolivia is proud of its indigenous roots and multicultural complexity and is working to create an interaction between the traditional and the modern as it reacts to the challenges of the 21st Century

Poverty affects 50% of the population Bolivia is one of the poorest nations in the hemisphere and Bolivians face many public health challenges:


  • The mortality rate for children under 5 is approximately 70 in every 1,000 live births, and some 40% of those deaths occur in infants under 1 month of age.
  • Nationwide, under-five childhood death is attributed primarily to diarrhea, pneumonia and perinatal causes. The statistics are particularly grim for ethnic minorities living in the El Altiplano, Andean valleys and those settled in the Chaco, and Maniqui, Yata and Araona river areas.
  • Adolescents have little information and access to reproductive health services despite high rates of adolescent fertility.
  • While maternal mortality varies in different section of the country, the highest is found in the rural altiplano with 602 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • In three-quarters of the Bolivian territory malaria is actively transmitted, Chagas disease is endemic, yellow fever is partially controlled by vaccination, leishmaniasis is reported in the tropical and subtropical rural areas, and animal - human rabies transmission is high.
  • Chronic under nutrition remains a problem for children under three years and one of every three women of child bearing age is anemic.

bolivian mother

In the face of these heartbreaking facts, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) started the Friends of Bolivia initiative to reach out to social, business and fraternal groups of caring individuals and businesses to encourage a nation-wide campaign in support of targeted health projects in Bolivia.

To read about the selected projects for 2006, please click on Projects That Need Your Support at the top right of this page.

Your help is needed to improve the health of Bolivians! Please make your gift today to the Friends of Bolivia Fund . You can make a secure online gift or donate by mail, fax or phone.