Three of the contributing factors to the high rate of special needs in Guatemala is a lack of maternity care, a shortage of properly equipped places to give birth, and an inaccessibility of trained personnel to deliver babies. Most children are born in homes and are delivered by midwives with little or no medical training. We hope to address these issues by opening birthing centers and training women in the communities as midwives.
In October of 2017, Stephanie Konrad will be joining our team. She is an RN and experienced midwife, and has extensive experience in a Guatemalan maternity clinic. Her role will be to provide maternity care and deliver babies while training others to fill that role.
And in late October we will break ground on our first birthing center in the Department of Escuintla. Built in one of the poorest regions of Guatemala on the edge of a garbage dump, this center will provide a safe and well-equipped place for women to give birth, as well as pregnancy testing, maternity care, nutritional support, education, and serve as a training center for midwives.
Once this center is running smoothly under Guatemalan leadership, we will move to another region and start again.
The cost per birthing center ranges from $15,000 to $20,000.