Magaly Blas, a physician, is a professor of public health at Peru’s Cayetano Heredia University. As director of the university’s Mama River Program, she trains community health advocates to work in remote areas along the Amazon River, with an emphasis on newborn and maternal care. In the program’s first year, Mama River workers brought community education videos and safe birth delivery kits to 799 women of childbearing age in 13 riverine communities. In 2016, Blas received the Elsevier Foundation Award for “early career women scientists in the developing world.” On fellowship Blas wants to expand on the creation of a Mama River Program spin-off called “Ikara: Innovation and knowledge to improve health.” Her goal is to scale-up Mama River so it can be deployed more widely, including in the border area between Peru and Colombia, where a common interest in improving health could spark a better relationship between the countries. Among the organizations that Blas wants to visit in the U.S., to seek advice on how to scale up, are major philanthropic organizations and venture capital firms focused on innovative health care solutions.


Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University


Associate Professor

Areas of Interest

Education , Healthcare
  • magaly blas headshot

Program Year



Common Interest Program

Country of Origin


Destination Country

United States