Donations in Action
The indigenous women’s’ reproductive health project is composed of health and education services for remote villages in the municipality of San Cristobal Verapaz, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America. It serves a population of 6,700 people, who belong to Pokomchí and Queq’chi indigenous people groups.
With your donations, you will cover a nurse’s salary for a year. This nurse speaks Pokomchi, Quek’chi, and Spanish. The nurse will be at the health post Mon- Friday, attending to the health needs of the general population. The health post serves 12 communities. Health care for women in fertile ages and pregnant women is given priority.
- Daily health consults at the Health Post
- Prenatal care once/month
- Home visits to pregnant women with health complications and new mothers/newborns
- Twice annual teaching sessions for traditional midwives which will strengthen their knowledge and care of pregnant women
- Twice annual teaching sessions for pregnant women and their spouses – topics: responsible parenting, care of women’s reproductive health, family planning, and the creation of emergency birth plans
- Medical Care during home births
- Accompany women to the hospital for births as needed when complications arise
The health care that is offered is an opportunity to gain confidence amongst the women and promote attendance in the teaching sessions. This will strengthen the husband and wives’ knowledge and influence positive changes in women’s health, and help to stop the pattern of male chauvinism that exists amongst men.
This will maintain a rate of zero maternal deaths, increase the use of family planning methods, and improve the sharing of responsibilities between husbands and wives during pregnancies, and promote valuing the work of traditional midwives. The education will not just impact these participants, but future generations as well.
Of particular value is that the project serves remote communities, providing care to a vulnerable indigenous population. This services is provided by qualified health professionals, in the population’s mother tongue.
Challenge to Address:
Lack of maternal/ infant health care in isolated rural areas
Isolated rural communities have the highest rate of lack of access to appropriate health care services. This affects the entire population, but poor, uneducated, indigenous women of fertile age are the ones most affected by this. Furthermore, the minimal health care that is provided by the Guatemalan Ministry of Health is often not provided in these women’s language or cultural context, which increases the risk of maternal/infant deaths.
This project contributes to decreasing maternal death. According to official sources, Alta Verapaz has the 2nd highest maternal death rate in Guatemala. According to the 2000-2018 report on maternal mortality from the public health/ social services ministry, Alta Verapaz had 50 deaths in 2017. From January to March 2018, there were 8 maternal deaths. The rate for maternal mortality in Guatemala in 2017 was 106 deaths per 100,000 births.
Since starting the project of providing health care in small health posts in 2007, as described previously, ASOSAP has been able to decrease maternal deaths in the areas where we work. During 11 years, we only have had a total of 4 maternal deaths. In communities where we do not work, they have at least 1 maternal death a year, often more.
We are convinced that the integrated health care and education strengthens the knowledge of families and is the key to make changes in their lives, especially in regard to reproductive health. The excellent, culturally sensitive health care that is offered to isolated areas saves lives of women, who are the most vulnerable.
Continue providing Integrated Health Care in the health posts – serving 100% of the population with health consults, medication, and education for women and their spouses and midwives
Contribute to the use of informed decision making regarding the use of family planning methods, which will continue improving the reproductive health of women
Use of Donations
As a non-profit organization that has been transparent in our actions since 2004, if the funding goal is not met, the donations will be used in the same project, only with some differences.
If we have the following funds:
$ 25.00 – 1 month of nurse transportation (12)
$ 50.00 – 25% of teaching materials for education (4)
$ 75.00 – 25% of medical supplies for health post (4)
$ 100.00 – medication to treat 150 people (45)
$ 100.00 – 7 days of a nurse salary (52)
$ 350.00 – 50% of the cost of holding a teaching session for midwives, and pregnant women & their spouses (2)
ASOSAP is a legally established non-profit organization in Guatemala. It is made up of Pokomchí staff who have been the fruit of empowerment, through education and mentoring.
Since 2004, ASOSAP has been empowering women who live in remote rural areas that are inhabited by the indigenous Pokomchi population. Through creating partnerships with communities, confidence is gained from the community and health care and education can be offered to them. Through this, women can form their own opinions and make decisions in regard to their reproductive health. This education is done together with the women and their husbands, in order to influence change in the behavior of male chauvinism that is widespread in rural Guatemalan communities.
Since 2007, permanent health care has been offered in small health posts that are strategically located in sectors where various communities converge. Consults, medication, home birth care, education for women and men about their responsibilities in regard to women’s reproductive health, malnutrition prevention, and support/education for traditional midwives is provided free of charge. The health care that is offered in these neglected communities is excellent, complete care that is provided within patients’ cultural context as the care is provided by Pokomchí nurses. Importance is given to providing this health care with the support of the leadership group and/or traditional midwives in each community
For more information, visit our website: http://www.hopeofpokomchi.org
Jay & Lori Halderman
Jack & June Haugen
Jack & June Haugen
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