Friends and Family,
Giving Birth is always a joyous occasion for the parents and also the doctor and those who assist. We do not have many births in the Clinica Maxeña but our doctor does assist when the birth is difficult or the midwife is concerned and brings the mother to our emergency room. Today a baby girl came into the world in the Clinica Maxeña. It was the mothers third baby. She appeared exhausted and unable to push the baby in to the world. Juana, the Mayan midwife, brought her, the husband and the mom to the clinic. With the help of our doctor, Ever, it was just a short time when we heard the cry of the new baby. Intravenous fluid was started and the mom and baby will stay a few hours before returning to their home this evening.
Very few women from the mountain villages choose to have their babies in a national hospital or in a government clinic, with a doctor attending; most babies are are born in their homes, under primitive conditions with a Mayan midwife attending the birth. Maternal and infant deaths are less frequent but do happen; some attention and education of the Mayan midwives has been provided but it is indeed minimal. Mayan midwives are not valued or recognized by the Ministry of Health, as they should be. Education has changed some thinking of the next generation and they are more likely to go to the hospital or private doctor for birth. Finances also play a role in these decisions. Women from the mountain villages continue to choose a Mayan midwife who will charge about fifteen dollars for a delivery and follow up care. If a woman is very poor her attention by the midwife will not depend on her ability to pay; for the Midwife her role is a calling, a vocation, and not a paid profession.
The needs are so great in this part of the world for adequate health care, especially for the POOR. Medical care is expensive for them and more and more medicine is becoming privatized. The Poor depend on church leaders to bring their needs to the ears of government officials. Guatemala is in the midst of presidential elections and congressional elections. These are violent times, much lacks in the democratic process. The CHURCH here is very vocal in speaking out for the POOR. WE ask for your prayers in this time that changes can be made in the area of HEALTH to provide more adequate care in government hospitals and clinics to provide more just care that respects the Mayan Culture.
Thank You for accompanying the Clinica Maxeña in providing care for the most POOR.
Send your donation on line to: www.diocesehelena.org and note it is for the Clinica Maxeña.
Blessings and have a good DAY.
attatched the parents with their new baby girl and
the mdiwife sitting with the mother in our emergency room following the birth.