Safe Motherhood is planning our Trip for February

Training MidwivesFrom Feb. 17 – March 4 we will be going back to the Lago Atitlan area, where there remains a strong need to train more traditional birth attendants. We will also work with the doctors and nurses of the Public Health Units in the area, to help build further cooperation between the professionals and the traditional birth attendants. We have seen very positive results with this approach in other towns where we have worked with both groups and we hope to provide similar avenues in these towns. Historically, there has been a great distrust between the professionals and traditional midwives and a subsequent reluctance for midwives to bring their mothers to the public clinics. This barrier has also put moms and babies at risk of not receiving the care they need.

This year Ruth Brighouse (MD) and Annette Borkent (RN) will be joined once again by Kristine Zylstra-Moore, a very eager and able volunteer who was with us last year and is fluent in Spanish and manages in Ixil, one of the Mayan dialects.Once we are in Guatemala, we will be joined by our supporting midwife Cenaida Juarez, as well as Gloria Cutuj, and Gloria Mejia all of whom were previous students in 2003 and have been part of our team ever since. Both Glorias are able to speak Cakchiquel (the Mayan dialect of this area) as can Cenaida to a certain degree, and are vital links in communicating with our students.

We are also planning to brainstorm with our Guatemalan teammates and examine how we may spread our project further afield in other remote areas of Guatemala. To get more information of what our project entails you can check out our website: www.safemotherhoodproject.org

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