Ines Digenio, MD
Guatemala: September 2007

The program was organized by Concern America and included:

  • Participation in a course with environmental health promoters on water and stove projects.
  • Participation on night calls for medical emergencies and births with the midwives.
  • Work with the promoters at different community clinics.
  • Participation in the midwives course
  • Participation in Women's Health Clinic (pap- smears and birth control)
The health care system for people in the communities I visited is very precarious. There is total scarcity of resources (equipment, medicines, health care workers) which makes providing quality health care to those communities a nearly impossible task. The health of those communities rests mainly in the hands of health promoters who are trained by organizations like Concern America, ACECSA and other international voluntary health workers.

The experience was an excellent opportunity to work with Guatemalan community-based promoters and midwives in rural areas. This experience helped me better understand the struggle for health rights at home and abroad.

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The Benjamin H. Josephson, MD Fund
Overlook Medical Center / Atlantic Health System
Summit, New Jersey