Safe Deliveries Close to Home in Guatemala

Our recent slideshow from Guatemala shows ways in which Global Links has improved access to healthcare in a community health center as well as a larger hospital – real results, such as enabling the health center to safely deliver the woman shown here, whose pregnancy was high risk. If the health center had not been able to improve capacity for maternal/infant care – with Global Links help – then Maria would have had to travel four hours, in a very fragile state, to deliver her baby. Instead, she was able to safely deliver close to home. It is difficult, in the United States, to imagine that situation, but we can see her photo, as well as other photos from Guatemala, and gain some understanding.

Program Officer José Henríquez visited the health center at San Juan Cotzal and met Maria shortly after her delivery. He also visited the health post at Xolocuay, situated in a resource-poor area serving 2000 people. The community worked with the Ixil Health Area, with which Global Links has been collaborating, to increase their own capacity to provide safe delivery options for local women. Global Links contributed some supplies and furnishings, and in the last year, 17 women safely delivered their babies at Xolocuay.

By contrast, the busy hospital at Cuilapa serves a population of 350,000 and has an overwhelming demand for health services. Crowding and insufficient supplies were partly responsible for a tragic bacterial outbreak, and the area has been plagued by floods and an earthquake. When Global Links most recent shipment arrived, the hospital needed beds and other furnishings for a new women’s ward, and was low on many supplies and pieces of equipment, such as sutures, ambus, and neonatal stethoscopes. You can see some of the materials that Global Links provided in use in Stories from the Field.

By working with a variety of partners – from large urban hospitals to small health posts – Global Links is improving access to care, and improving the lives of families and communities. Please watch the slideshow and learn more about our program in Guatemala.

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