Strengthening Antenatal Care for Indigenous Women in Guatemala
Guatemala’s national maternal mortality ratio of 88 deaths per 100,000 live births is the sixth highest maternal mortality ratio in the Americas. In the Quetzaltenango department, indigenous women bear an even higher burden of maternal mortality due to harsh economic circumstances, higher fertility rates, and less access to convenient and culturally respectful health services.
MSH is implementing a project to strengthen high quality, culturally appropriate ANC for indigenous women in the Quetzaltenango department. Launched in 2019, the project works in partnership with national and departmental health authorities, local partners, and traditional midwives (comadronas) to co-design and implement a group ANC model where pregnant women can come together to share experiences, receive information from a health provider, form social bonds, and track the progress of their pregnancies.
Currently in the piloting phase at 10 facilities in the Quetzaltenango region, the ANC pregnancy groups will be scaled up to 30 health facilities in the next 2 years. The project aims to improve indigenous women’s experiences with facility-based services through the group ANC model, improve their overall utilization of ANC services, and increase the rate of facility-based delivery by indigenous women. This project is funded by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.