Carlos Vargas García
Fellow Since 2000
This profile was prepared when Carlos Vargas García was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Through the specialized hospital which he directs, Carlos Vargas García has developed new protocols for prenatal care which transfer responsibility from doctors to other specially trained health care professionals. His team of prenatal and obstetric nurses provides high quality prenatal services to low-income women and families without the high price and limited access associated with physician care. Carlos has managed to lower the cost of prenatal and obstetric services and simultaneously improve the safety of childbirth for mothers and children who otherwise lack access to adequate health care. In addition to providing direct care to mothers and children, Carlos runs a community outreach program to educate women and their families about prenatal care, reproductive health, and child care. Carlos and his team design open workshops at the hospital and engage local volunteers to serve as maternal and child health promoters in their communities. This outreach enables Carlos's organization to serve 50,000 families in nearby neighborhoods. The result of his work has been an impressive decrease in both infant and maternal mortality among patients and a decline in the incidence of birth defects among infants among the population he serves.