Midwives, local organizations, and the health authorities in Quiché shared good practices with the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as the main challenges for the health of the communities within the framework of the actions promoted by CARE for the adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine for at-risk and marginalized communities in Guatemala and Honduras, which are financed by the foundation.
Magda Cholotío, a member of the National Movement of Granny Midwives Nim Alaxik, highlighted that 70% of births in Guatemala are attended by midwives and that, although there is some progress in the recognition of their work within the western health system, they continue to be discriminated against.
“The work of midwives is essential because they constitute the first line of healthcare providers for women and their children, and, in addition to accompany them and care for them during their childbirth, they also have an informative role and provide awareness in their own language from a differentiated approach as part of indigenous communities,” added Lillian López, coordinator of CARE Guatemala’s Identity and Rights program, created for indigenous and mixed-raced girls, teenagers and grown women.
Emilia Carrera, director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Health Initiative, also had the opportunity to talk with midwives from the Communities of Population in Resistance (CPR) in Nebaj, and with the Association of Indigenous Women for Holistic Development (AMIDI), who informed her of the main challenges faced when assisting women before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the project, and in coordination with our partner ASECSA, there will be actions implemented so that midwives and health promoters can strengthen their knowledge on COVID-19 and its vaccine, aiming to remove the barriers that do not allow communities to have access to it.
To CARE and ASECSA, it is crucial to promote the ancestral health system of indigenous communities to provide a comprehensive treatment.
Lastly, with the objective of joining efforts with community health organizations and associations, we held a meeting with local authorities of the Ministry of Public Health of Quiché, highlighting the opportunity to strengthen alliances between both systems.