Ashoka Fellow


This profile was prepared when Miguel Larguia was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Miguel is bringing major changes to the way that Argentinians come into the world by creating new norms and practices for the nation's large and busy maternity "megawards." Public hospitals traditionally catering to Argentina's poorer populations are set up for volume, rather than service, in the delivery of babies. Inevitably, both efficiency and quality of care suffer.

Miguel has found a way to increase the health of newborns and offer a variety of specialty services to improve the results and experience of maternity hospitals.

Through years of experience in the medical field, Miguel backs his work with concrete reasons to further develop and increase quality of care. Families play a vital support role, knowledgeable moms communicate better with staff, and sensitive staff make better listeners and better care providers. In addition, public hospitals deliver a lot of premature and underweight babies who need particularly expert care.

For all these reasons, Miguel has created a prototype "family-centered" maternity ward that can be standardized throughout the country. By retraining doctors, creating ways to promote and improve the auxiliary roles of nurses, developing specialized services, and providing a range of on-site psychological and social services to families, Miguel is showing hospitals that they can do better–largely with resources they already have. The result is that the public hospital begins to respond to the mother's actual needs, treating her as "the lady of the house," rather than a patient to be institutionally processed.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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