Working to Reduce Maternal and Infant Deaths and Improve the Quality of Life for Women and Children in Latin America
Traditional Midwives in Chiapas, Mexico receive training
on newborn care and recognizing life-threatening emergencies
Overview of Programs
By providing educational, technical, and financial support, Global Pediatric Alliance is working alongside communities to build the skills and empower traditional birth attendants and community health workers, often the only link to essential maternal and child health services in remote and marginalized areas where access to state health services is limited. We also provide small grant funding to sustainable community-driven health projects that can lead to improved health and community well-being.
Indigenous midwives in Chiapas, Mexico practice neonatal care as part of a GPA training series
The region of Los Altos de Chiapas, Mexico is home to indigenous Maya people who live in small, widely dispersed communities with limited access to healthcare services. Almost 90% of births take place at home without a skilled birth attendant, and the maternal death rate can reach up to four times the national average.
Since 2004, GPA has worked with hundreds of indigenous midwives in Chiapas to increase their skills and recognition as Traditional Birth Attendants and integrate their services into the local healthcare landscape, to improve outcomes for mothers and children. In 2014, we launched a three-year initiative to train, organize, equip, and empower upwards of 120 additional Tzeltal and Tzotzil-speaking midwives in Los Altos, because access to prenatal care, health care providers, and family planning play an important role in reducing maternal and infant mortality.
Health promoters in rural Guatemala are trained in lifesaving techniques such as first aid and monitoring blood pressure
Strengthening Health Promoters
In many rural areas of Mexico and Guatemala, communities lack access to even the most basic health care. Transportation is scarce and reaching a medical center can take hours. When a mother or child experiences a health crisis, chances of survival are lower without immediate help.
GPA has been working with organizational and grassroots partners in Chiapas, Mexico and Chimaltenango, Guatemala to train teams of local frontline health care workers on prenatal care, obstetric emergencies, first aid, and respiratory and diarrheal diseases, as well as in the coordination of an emergency transportation fund for communities. Training for nearly 130 health workers in Guatemala and Mexico is giving thousands of families access to basic health care, often for the first time, and the opportunity for a healthier life.
Residents in a rural area of Guatemala work on building latrines for their community.
Each year, GPA funds health-related projects designed by grassroots communities, through our Small Grants Program. In addition to financial assistance, we provide technical guidance and training in project management to empower groups to achieve long-term impact and sustainability.
Community projects range from infrastructure to educational workshops. Recent examples include chlorination of a municipal water system serving 4,800 families; installation of clean water tanks at two rural health clinics, and reproductive health and family planning education for indigenous girls and adolescents.
Global Pediatric Alliance
P.O. Box 640046
San Francisco, CA 94164
Photos courtesy of Marcella Spera, Monica
Jarosz, Nikhol Esteras, and Stacey Ramirez
Global Pediatric Alliance seeks to promote grassroots empowerment and improve child and maternal health by providing educational, technical, and financial support for community-based health projects in Latin America.
Copyright © 2014 Global Pediatric Alliance
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