Fighting maternal and neonatal mortality

Improved Midwife Education with Digital Competences for Mexico and Latin American Indigenous

Improved Midwife Education with Digital Competences for Mexico and Latin American Indigenous
The CASA model-for a professional technical level health career – fits the international search criteria for accesible alternatives as opposed to the promotion only of university level health carrers.

Dr. Arletty Pinel, Ex-Chief Reproductive Health Branch, Technical Support Division UNFPA

Location of Project Mexico
Name of Association CASA Professional Midwifery School, (CASA, A.C.)
Project Partners
(financial and operational)
Guerrero State Government, San Luis Potosi Government, Mexico Federal Health & Education Ministries, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Azteca Foundation, Good Will Foundation

Program description

Unacceptable standards of care for pregnant & birthing women, especially indigenous prevail in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama and other Central American countries as seen by maternal mortality ratios.

For example, in Chiapas, Mexico maternal mortality ratio ranges from 80 to 90 per 100,000 and in pockets of Guerrero the mortality maternal range is over 200 with only 1 gynecologist to 17,654 women in mountainous area. Indigenous women of low education levels all over Latin America die 3 times more often than non-indigenous women of causes related to pregnancy and birth.

In Panama maternal mortality ratio for indigenous women is 300 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and MMRs are similar amongst the indigenous in Guatemala and in Ecuador.

A very low percentage of indigenous women in Guatemala and Ecuador – 17 to 20% - have skilled care, (SBAs) during their pregnancies and births.

According to Mexico’s National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health, 30,000 women a year of all backgrounds experience secondary negative consequences often over a lifetime due to mismanagement of pregnancy and birth.

Some 30,000 Mexican children die annually before reaching their first birthday.

The nonprofit CASA NGO opened Mexico´s first government accredited, private nonprofit midwifery school in 1994 and helped the government of Guerrero open the second country´s first public midwifery school in 2012.

The partnership with the Sanofi Espoir Foundation will help to train more indigenous midwives. It will also help to scale up the two midwifery schools curriculum by including digital skills for increasing the number of clinically and digitally competent, quality indigenous midwives graduating from the current government accredited midwifery schools in Mexico.

An elite team of 12 midwife mentors will also be formed. By the end of the project 225 students from Mexico, Panama, Ecuador and Guatemala will be enrolled and there will be 139 graduates. These 139 midwives will be able to serve 69,500 women a year.

CASA will also going on working closely with the health authorities to make sure that these indigenous midwifes could be hired to work, in particular in maternity centers and hospital in rural areas.

CASA will also advocate and help the health authorities for opening a third public school by the end of 2014.