17 December 2015

Maternal/Child Services to Mayan Women

The staff at ODIM conduct a support-group session for pregnant women, in San Juan, Guatemala.
Organization for the Development of the Indigenous Maya (ODIM), San Juan, Guatemala, provides Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and nutrition education including social support for mothers in San Juan. These services are provided with the support of grants from the MCH program of the Global Health unit of Global Ministries. Rosario is one of the women who attended her prenatal consults at the ODIM clinic. Nearing the end of her pregnancy, Rosario developed an infection and went into early labor as a result. The staff at the center started her on treatment and accompanied her to the nearest national hospital for an emergency Caesarean section. This journey entails 90 to 120 minutes of arduous travel by mechanical rickshaw, boat, and truck. Thankfully, Rosario returned to San Juan with her premature son, Joni. The community health workers from ODIM visited her at home and provided support to Rosario in the care of her premature baby. Rosario was encouraged to participate in health classes, support groups, and cooking classes with Joni. She was provided vitamins and fortified foods to support her nutrition as she breastfed Joni, bringing him regularly to the clinic for a well-child visit. Six months down the road, “we are excited to see that Joni’s weight and length normalize,’’ says Holly Burkoski, Community Health and Education program manager. Indeed, now that Joni has reached a healthy size, we are confident that he will continue to thrive. 

This story illustrates the difference access to information and health care can make in communities, one child at a time. The program has reached more than 200 indigenous women and their children through the Mamá y yo, saludable (Healthy Mommy and Me) project in six months. Your gifts to the Global Health Advance #3021770make this possible. 

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