June 3, 2010
June 10 Story: A Suitcase for Birthing New Life
In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas the maternal death rate of 97 per 100,000 live births is almost double that of the national average, and is 14 times Canada’s 7 per 100,000. PWRDF partner, K’inal Antzetik attributes this alarmingly high rate to a series of factors including: poverty 77% of the population of Chiapas lives in poverty and extreme poverty; a lack of adequate health services; political and cultural marginalization; and discrimination of the state’s indigenous communities. Since 2005, K’inal has been working in several indigenous communities in the region of Jitotol, northern Chiapas, accompanying and training mid-wives and health promoters to improve both their capacity to provide care to pregnant women, and be a link and advocate for those women whose high risk pregnancies require care outside their communities.
One of the key elements for carrying out this work is a “suitcase” of tools necessary to attend the labour and childbirth of indigenous women in their own homes. The suitcases contain everything from sterilized scissors to cut the umbilical cord, to a towel to receive the baby in, to a flashlight for homes that are without electricity, to rubber boots for the mid-wives’ walk through the mud in the rainy season to reach the laboring woman’s home.
Your donation to PWRDF can help K’inal equip the mid-wives for their live giving, and at times, life saving work.