Happy Mother’s Day from Curamericas Global!
Posted: May 12, 2017
Happy Mother’s Day from Curamericas Global! Since the vision of our organization is healthy mothers and children around the world, we consider this to be a very important day – both for the recognition of mothers and all that they do, as well as to raise awareness about issues that continue to affect many mothers around the world.
Because of your support over the last year, Curamericas has reached over 100,000 people living in high-need communities with lifesaving health education and services. Helps us reach more mothers in 2017 by making a donation today.
Due to the absence of skilled care the lives of many mothers around the world are lost to situations that could have been prevented. Over 99% percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, 90% of these deaths could have been prevented with access to basic medical services.1 While maternal mortality rates have decreased significantly over that past 30 years, some areas of the world are still disproportionally affected.
Poverty, distance, lack of information, inadequate services, and cultural practices all play a role in maternal health.1 Women in remote areas are especially at risk as they are less likely to receive adequate health care during pregnancy and birth. For instance in Guatemala, the maternal mortality rate for indigenous women (who mainly live in rural areas) is over two times the rate for non-indigenous women.3 This puts them at a greater risk of complications such as postpartum hemorrhage, the leading cause of death during pregnancy 1,2
Cultural barriers, such as the tradition of home births and the ever-present machismo, which prevents women from making decisions about their own health, create large barriers to seeking medical care during the pregnancy and birth. These cultural barriers are compounded by the accessibility of hospitals, which are located 4-6 hours away and require transportation costs often outside the reach of families living in the rural areas.
The success of the Casa Materna is built on trust and respect for the local culture. Case Maternas are both physically and financially accessible for the families living in the rural region. Services are provided by nurses and local women trained by the Casa Materna as skilled birth attendants. These women grew up in the Mayan culture and are native speakers of the local Mayan language. At the Casa Materna, women give birth using traditional positions and methods, and are allowed to celebrate that birth with the family using Mayan practices. Providing women this safe space to give birth in accordance with their culture has been extremely successful in decreasing the percent of births that take place in the home and in decreasing maternal mortality in the region. In Curamericas Global’s partner communities there have been 0 maternal deaths in the last four years – a huge success in a region where maternal death was common place just one decade ago.
Mothers are a crucial part of any family. Supporting our efforts will ensure that women will start motherhood healthy, giving a better life for both them and their families. Please visit our website to learn more about the communities where we work, or visit the donate page to make a contribution towards ending preventable maternal mortality in some of the world’s most vulernable communities.
Article by Nat Mansfield, Curamericas Global intern
2 Weeks, A. (2014). The prevention and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage: what we know, and where do we go next? An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 122(2), 202-210.
3 Avila, C., Rhea, B., Gutierrez, J., Hoadley, K., Manuel, C., Romero, N., et al. (2015). Guatemala health system assessment 2015. Bethesda, MD: USAID Health Finance & Governance Project, Abt Associates Inc.
5 Caracterización deparatmental huehuetenango 2013 (2014). Guatemala: Nacional de Estadística (INE).
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