This week, Saving Mothers Guatemala Program Coordinator Jes Oliveira launched the Comadrona School of POWHER (Providing Outreach for Women’s Health Education and Resources). This is Saving Mothers’ first 16-week course for traditional birth attendants in Santiago, Guatemala.
From day one, we had 24 women enroll as students in the program. Each one took a pre-course evaluation to gauge her baseline understanding of women’s health, prenatal care and family planning. As an introduction, Debora, a professional nurse and the government-sponsored Centro de Salud clinic, spoke to the students about the local network of health and emergency providers in Santiago that they can access to help in their work.
By introducing traditional and local birth attendants to the formal health care system in the region, Saving Mothers hopes to empower them to provide better care to their patients, and tap into official resources when they are needed.
On the second day of the program, Jes taught an introductory class on reproductive organs and sexuality, which included an open and candid conversation about intersex individuals and homosexuality. As part of our effort, we plan to expose POWHER students to a wide range of social and health issues so they are better equipped to handle any situation.
We’re looking forward to continuing the program next week. Stay tuned for updates on what the comadronas are learning, how they will be able to help women in their communities, and what you can do to support them as they learn.
Want to make good work possible through Saving Mothers? Consider supporting our campaign to bring high-quality surgical care to women in rural Dominican Republic through Indiegogo. Every little bit counts and goes directly toward helping women get the care they need.