Please consider donating to help us outfit the traditional birth attendants of Zacuapla, Guatemala with newborn rescusitation equipment!
Guatemala is ranked 78th of 225 world countries for infant mortality. The United States, for reference, is 170th.
Zacualpa, Guatemala, is a town of about 6,000 people, located in the foothills northwest of Guatemala City. It is a municipality within the department of Quiché, is geographically rural and mountainous, and demographically predominantly Mayan. K'iche' (Quiché) is a language and also the name of the largest Mayan ethnic group within this department. The Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú's family is originally from this municipality. The average annual income of a family in the highlands of Guatemala is about $600.
In September 2017, Lonna and Kala were sponsored by Project C.U.R.E. (projectcure.org) to provide training to Zacualpa's clinic staff and traditional birth attendants (comadronas) in the newborn resuscitation program, Helping Babies Breathe. This program emphasizes the importance of oxygenation of the newborn in the first minute after birth. Most of the births in this geographic area occur at home and are attended by comadronas; women whose is education is largely guided by oral tradition.
Our course was well received and in January 2018 we returned to hold classes to teach six local health educators how to hold their own instructional courses in the HBB curriculum. These new instructors were given the distinction of HBB Master Trainers. They were given the responsibility to continue teaching the class so that each of the approximately 150 comadronas in the Zacualpa region would receive training and her own set of equipment (a newborn resuscitator and suction device).
The grant that orginally sent us to Zacualpa, however, did not cover the cost of equipment for all comadronas. Each set of resuscitator and suction device costs approximately $25. There are about 100 comadronas that still need equipment to take with them when they attend births, in the event a newborn delivers and needs assistance breathing. We are raising funds to purchase and deliver these remaining devices in January 2019.
Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an evidence-based educational program to teach neonatal resuscitation techniques in resource-limited areas. It was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), US Agency for International Development (USAID), Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program, the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), and a number of other global health stakeholders. More information can be found here: www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/partner/helping-babies-breathe