Health
Supporting health, from the womb to old age.
Unicef ranks Guatemala sixth among countries with the worst rates of child malnutrition.
Public health service in Guatemala is deficient. In rural areas, where the population is dispersed in hard-to-reach areas, this situation is even more complicated. Health services are so limited in these communities that their absence has had a serious impact on living conditions.
As a result, these populations suffer from the highest rates of child malnutrition in Guatemala it affects 80% of the children in these communities. In addition, these conditions represent a great danger for pregnant women in a country where the maternal mortality rate is already serious: 113.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. 68.4% of these mothers are indigenous women.
In response, we have developed a health focus to meet the most basic and urgent needs based on the following programs:

Programs

 
We are convinced that women play a decisive role in the wellbeing of their communities.
That is why we believe in their empowerment as a crucial factor when it comes to taking an active role in shaping their families and communities. This includes a basic knowledge of their bodies, especially in matters of sexual and reproductive health as well as family planning.
For that reason, the "Better Families" program is geared towards women of reproductive age and newborn to five-year-old children. Through the program, participating women are taught about food and nutritional security and healthcare for their children; they are also trained to identify the symptoms that indicate health risks associated with pregnancy or with maternal or newborn death.
We hold workshops to improve personal hygiene and household cleaning habits, promoting practices that create healthier environments and are adapted to their living conditions.
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Residents of Senahú communities lack effective health services when it comes to medical consultations, treatment of diseases, emergencies and surgeries.
In partnership with different organizations, we provide them with professional care through the following:
• Monthly primary health care missions:
Together with the Senahú Health Center, we perform prenatal control and conduct anthropometric measurements in children, reaching an average of 200 people per mission.

• Family planning missions:
These are held twice a year with the support of APROFAM, a Guatemalan association for family welfare. On average, 50 patients are treated per year.

• Annual dental missions:
Annual dental cleaning and primary care missions are held with the support of volunteer dental surgeons. On average, they benefit 200 people per year.

• Specialty missions:
Together with Utah Medical Outreach and Choice International, conferences are held every three years with doctors specialized in gynecology, pediatrics, dentistry, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and general medicine. Different kinds of procedures are performed during these missions, including cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, hernia repair surgery, and hysterectomies, among others. To this day, more than 3,000 people have benefited from these missions, and 165 surgeries of different types have been realized.
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Our Health House began operations in 2011 with the purpose of providing primary health care.
It provides primary care for common diseases such as gastrointestinal or respiratory conditions, and accident emergencies. It also offers birth care, a service the community values highly because of its role in reducing maternal and child deaths, which were common in the area.


We have an ambulance to make safe transfers to nearby hospitals in case of emergencies. Since 2011, more than 30,000 patients and 253 deliveries have been treated at the Health House.
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It’s not uncommon to find local families gathered around an open fire in their homes.
This is how 86% of indigenous families cook their food. Open fires in enclosed spaces result in a serious risk of fire and burns. Moreover, the smoke generated by these fires causes serious long-term respiratory and eye problems.
Additionally, they require burning large amounts of firewood (the most commonly used energy source in the country), which must be collected and carried by family members, an activity that often causes hernias, injuries and deforestation.
To this day, we’ve been able to eradicate this practice in more than 170 homes by installing efficient stoves with chimneys that help reduce the risks of burns and smoke-related health problems. Additionally, these stoves reduce firewood use by 70%, decreasing felling and the amount of material that must be carried back to the home.
This project has been carried out with the support of Helps International.
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The communities in Senahú lack any drinking water service, a condition that that leads to gastrointestinal diseases.
In an effort to address this issue, we provide homes with water filters. To date, these have been delivered to more than 170 families in 7 communities. We hope to continue supporting more families and schools within our sphere of influence.
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Explore our other focus areas

 
Education
Better schools and developing teachers
Economic Development
Programs that activate the local economy
Comunity Development
Support to improve community management
 
Education
Better schools and developing teachers
 
Economic Development
Programs that activate the local economy
 
Comunity Development
Support to improve community management