Jul 11, 2019
Nancy Comello - Ex Dir Supporting Safe Birth
Improving Neonatal and Maternal Birth Rates in Guatemala

Nancy is leading an effort to send vocational training teams to Guatemala in 2019. The teams will both train birth attendants and to equip them with supplies.  


Area of Focus : Saving mothers and children

Host Sponsor : Las Americas Rotary Club of Guatemala City, Guatemala

International Sponsor : Madison West Towne-Middleton Rotary Club, Wisconsin, USA 

• The neonatal mortality rate in Guatemala is 15 babies per 1000 live births.

• Seventy-five percent of those babies die within their first 24 hours of life.

• The maternal mortality rate is approximately 120 women per 100,000 live births.

• The maternal mortality rate is three times higher among indigenous Mayan women. 

Vocational training teams will train birth attendants and equip them with supplies. Master Trainers will be trained and equipped with mannequins and teaching materials. Trainers use two programs— Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Survive—that were developed specifically for use in low-resource countries and have been used successfully since 2010.

By creating a self-sustaining program using the “Train the Trainer” model, this project will build the capacity of indigenous birth attendants, thereby allowing them to provide evidence-based care to women and babies in their communities to improve birth outcomes. Birth attendants trained as Master Trainers will educate other birth attendants, expanding the project’s scope and sustainability.