The Reducing Gaps for Indigenous Peoples initiative aims to reduce maternal and child mortality in Guatemala’s predominantly Indigenous Department of Totonicapan. It will help improve the delivery of health services through increasing service coverage, especially in remote areas; training, monitoring and equipping indigenous midwives; and improving the collection and submission of data on vital events. It will also help increase the utilization of essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under the age of five. This includes increasing family access to personalized counselling on family planning, exclusive breastfeeding and full immunization.
The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: (1) improved delivery of essential health services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns, and children under five; (2) improved utilisation of essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under five; and (3) increased understanding and technical cooperation between Canada and Guatemala for improving maternal, newborn and child health
Results achieved by the end of the project include: (1) 14,091 births have been attended by skilled health personnel; (2) 24,446 women have received antenatal care at least four times during pregnancy representing an increase of 34% since the beginning of the project; (3) 32 traditional Indigenous midwives are trained as trainers in upgraded maternal and child health practices; (4) 904 additional traditional Indigenous midwives have been trained to deliver ancestral and updated maternal and child health practices; (5) 102,884 women were reached on favourable maternal, newborn and child health practices through 551 focus group discussions, an additional 33,099 women and 4,473 men were reached through home visits providing personalized counselling in nutrition and maternal care; and (6) 3,989 traditional community leaders have increased their knowledge of maternal, newborn, and child health. These results contributed to improved delivery and utilization of essential health services for mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children, resulting in a 20% decrease in maternal mortality ratio and 70% decrease in mortality ratio for children under five in in Totonicapán.