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Central American Traditional Midwives

 

  Supporting Traditional Midwives in Central America

  • In April of 2004, Asociacion Mamasol helped gather a group of 13 traditional midwives from 5 different Central American countries to meet for the first time and share stories, before their attendance at the International Confederation of Midwives conference in Trinidad and Tobago. We produced a short documentary of this historic gathering, called "Parteras Centro-Americanas."  Their testimonies highlight the uniqueness of their work, the love and dedication of traditional midwives who still attend the majority of births in many parts of the world, as well as the injustice of the precarious conditions in which they are obliged to work. The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes midwives´ primary role in reproductive health worldwide; however, midwives in Central America work on the margins of the health care systems in their countries. The midwives´ plea to be recognized for the value of their knowledge, to be incorporated and collaborate with health care services, to be adequately trained and equipped, and rightfully compensated, is timely and urgent.
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  • In very isolated regions of Costa Rica, such as the borderlands and indigenous territories, there are no public childbirth facilities available. Where there is no access to care, traditional midwives still practice, and Asociación Mamasol has been asked to facilitate ongoing training sessions for the midwives. After months of regular meetings, the midwives already feel more valued, knowledgeable and empowered. Our goal is to help reinstate traditional midwives in Costa Rica as an integral part of the health care team.

     

       

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  • The pdf article below is a Mamasol article that was published in the journal Midwifery Today, in September 2009.  The article highlights 2 extraordinary Traditional Midwives, one from Nicaragua and the other from El Salvador, who work tirelessly caring for the women and families of their villages.