Maternal mortality is disproportionately prevalent in low-income countries. Of the 295,000 women who died of complications from pregnancy or childbirth worldwide in 2017, 94 per cent lived in low-income and resource-limited settings. Guatemala’s Alta Verapaz region, where 78 per cent of the population lives in rural areas and 48 per cent live in extreme poverty, reported a maternal mortality rate of 273 in 2012. The EHAS Foundation (Hispanic American Health Link) is combating the issue of maternal mortality in rural Guatemala with the Healthy Pregnancy Project (HPP), a portable prenatal care kit that is designed specifically for use in remote areas. EHAS trains and equips local health personnel with a backpack that includes a computer, a portable ultrasound scanner – powered by a foldable solar panel – and, blood and urine analysis systems that use immediate test strips. Local health personnel organize days in their respective communities where women can come and be tested for possible pregnancy-related complications. Test results and ultrasound images are examined by local health personnel for any possible complications and health risks.
The Hard to Reach
Pregnant women in rural Guatemala lacking access to health care services.