Today we are focusing on Women’s Health and the unique challenges women face in Guatemala.
Having worked for years with women in rural Guatemalan villages, Dr. Andrea, the village team gynecologist, shared some of the challenges women face. “Maternal mortality rates in these rural villages is very high. Sometimes up to 30%”. Then there is also infant health issues and mortality. Dr. Andrea once met a women who gave birth to 13 children. Not one of them survived. The government run clinics are not staffed with qualified medical professionals. Nor are the clinic teams staffed consistently or the tests results reliable. Pap test results can take up to four months and communication of results to women in rural areas are challenging. Trips back and forth to the clinics are numerous, taking time, money, and often permission from the husband, causing many women to stop following up on results and treatment. Early detection is key and easily treatable but unfortunately for many women the news comes too late. At our village clinics, Faith In Practice provides quick reliable results and also give treatments immediately on site that can stop later cervical cancer.
Besides leading our village team, Felicity also leads a educational outreach team for midway wife’s in rural areas. Linda McCarty, the Faith In Practice CEO, contacted Felicity because of her experience as a certified midwife nurse in Denver hospitals. Linda informed Felicity of the great need in Guatemala. Pregnancy kills more women than any other disease here, often complicated by poverty, malnutrition, and unclean birthing environments. Village midwives are mostly self-appointed and not professionally trained. Their techniques are “not optimal” increasing the risk of complication including hemorrhaging and post partum infections. Felicity began to development a midwife program using a proven World Health Org program. Her program continues to evolve with simulation model training props, assistant instructor training and anticipatory training to be ready for predicable birth complications. Needed tools and resources are also left behind for future use.
“No Women should die of a easily detectable cancer or die in childbirth for lack of a trained birth attendant”. Faith In Practice is dedicated to improving the health of women in Guatemala so they can in-turn provide the strong healthy maternal role needed for their families.