CLAP/SMR Maternal Health Advisor receives PAHO's Exceptional Leadership Award

16 Nov 2022
Bremen De Mucio

Montevideo, November 16, 2022. The regional advisor in Maternal Health of the Latin American Center for Perinatology - Women's and Reproductive Health (CLAP/WR), Bremen De Mucio, has been awarded the Exceptional Leadership Award granted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to recognize outstanding contributions in leading health strategies in the region.

De Mucio is a physician, specialist in obstetrics and gynecology and health services management, and holds a master's degree in family and community health and a doctorate in Perinatology from the University of the Republic - Uruguay (UdelaR). 

He has worked for more than 15 years as a teacher at the Faculty of Medicine of the UdelaR, in the departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Health Services Management in the Chair of Social and Preventive Medicine. He was director of the Maternal and Infant Program in Uruguay for 7 years, contributing during that period to a remarkable reduction of maternal and infant mortality. He has twice received the National Prize of Medicine from the National Academy of Medicine and has published more than 60 articles on topics related to his specialty. 

He has been a member of CLAP since 1989. In 2007, he became a regional advisor in Maternal Health. 

De Mucio has provided technical cooperation to practically all the countries in our region, working not only at the central level but also at the local level, always showing knowledge and respect for the different realities of our continent. His technical and personal capacity is recognized by PAHO representatives, CLAP colleagues and other PAHO departments, as well as by ministries of health and professionals in the region and other United Nations agencies. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, De Mucio focused technical cooperation on strengthening human resources training to improve care for pregnant women and maternal mortality surveillance. He worked at the regional level on guidelines for the care of pregnant women in COVID scenarios and on the creation and implementation of a new registry in the Perinatal Information System (SIP), seeking to ensure that pregnant women with COVID-19 are recognized and treated in a timely and appropriate manner by the health services. The increase in maternal mortality rates was identified early, leading to the establishment of a joint work with the emergency team and with each country for the proper surveillance of cases. 

During the same period, he was also responsible for the development of 3 of the most requested courses in the Public Health Virtual Campus: Respectful Maternal and Newborn Care; Training in Competency Assessment Strategies for Health Professionals focused on Maternal and Perinatal Care; and Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response.

His leadership skills led him to be appointed, in 2021, to coordinate the Regional Working Group on Maternal Mortality that brings together UNFPA, UNICEF, JHPIEGO, FIGO, FLASOG, ICM and FLO.

His career at PAHO is marked by milestones in technical cooperation, highlighting the support to the implementation in countries of the "Zero Maternal Deaths from Hemorrhage" initiative, as well as the "Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Deaths" initiative in 10 priority countries for 2 years. 

CLAP/WR Director Suzanne Serruya commented that "this is a wonderful and very fair recognition for the impeccable work that Bremen does, with a unique leadership that is well recognized by all".