With Purpose – Projects in Guatemala
Guatemala’s National Institute of Perinatology
With a population of more than 15,000,000 people, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America It’s prized as the epicenter of the ancient Mayan civilization and an international treasure trove of unique, biologically significant ecosystems. Guatemala remains a developing nation after centuries of Spanish colonial occupation, post-independence dictatorships, civil wars, and foreign interventions. Today, based on World Health Organization (WHO) data, Guatemala faces a crisis in maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH):
- The highest fertility rate in the Americas region, as well as double the maternal, newborn, and under-five mortality rates in Latin America,
- High rates of illiteracy, chronic malnutrition, extreme poverty, and
- Third lowest life expectancy when born.
To address these issues International Needs Canada aims to create, as part of its vision for promoting Maternal and Newborn Child Health in Guatemala, a National Institute of Perinatology—a medical institute of excellence which will provide:
- Perinatal health care services for high-risk pregnant women & newborns, including an intensive care unit;
- Research facilities, which will benefit the institute and provide useful information to the Government and Ministry of Health; and
- Training of specialized doctors, technicians, nurses, and other health care staff to provide expert MNCH health care.
The project is currently envisioned as a multi-lateral partnership potentially engaging the Government of Canada, the Government of Guatemala and multi-national corporate social responsibility partners working in collaboration with donors and supporters of International Needs Canada.