José Manuel Puente Agueda
Co-director of Solidarity Course Hospital 12 de Octubre “Forward together”, about Obstetrics and Neonatology, initiated in 2010 and celebrated annually at the Madrid 12 de Octubre Hospital.
- To provide ongoing training to physicians (150 participants in each edition);
- To obtain financial resources to fund cooperation projects that promote good maternal and child health in Africa
- To be a point of contact to doctors who want to go to Uganda and Camerun hospitals as voluntaries to train their health care professionals and to assist to their patients.
This course is endorsed by MSD in Spain since its first edition.
From the contributions of the participants of the five annual courses already celebrated, 50.000 euros have been obtained and offered to Spanish NGO Africa Directo, and each summer 2-3 doctors have gone to Uganda or Camerun to work as voluntaries. The sixth edition of the Course will be held at the end of October, and in December a new group of voluntaries ar going to go to Africa to collaborate with the project.
Why the topic of Safe Motherhood is important for him.
The importance of safe motherhood is important for him not only because his professional dedication, but also because of his sense of commitment. And with the course, which is his personal project, he meets his scientific commitment to training, and also his commitment to respond to those in need. The course responds to their needs at two levels: giving them care (at deliveries, consultations, surgeries on the field) and giving them training. And as he says, “the latter is the most important task, because the local training provides continuity to motherhood care when volunteers return to their countries of origin”.
Asked Dr. Puente about maternity care and rights in Europe, he said that, at least in Spain, the quality and access to maternal health care is really high, with a very well established and completely accessible public healthcare system. The main problem that he sees for European women is the delayed motherhood. Women delay the moment to be mother to their thirty-something or even forty-something, instead of being mother between 25 and 35 years old. This situation, due to economic problems, labor conditions, social pressure, career aspirations or other factors, can cause health problems for mothers and their babies, and also can cause infertility. And in this case, also another problem is to think that assisted reproduction techniques are always going to solve those fertility difficulties, no matter the age of the mother, which is not true (and not to mention that these techniques are very expensive).