Empowering Local Communities
The School of POWHER trains traditional birth attendants year-round in Guatemala.
The school fills an urgent need to expand comprehensive prenatal care services in rural Guatemala, where many women must walk long distances to the nearest hospital. With a curriculum focused on the identification of risk factors, referral protocol to prevent emergencies, and in-hospital birth attended by a doctor, women in Guatemala can now access consistent, high-quality care during the prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal periods.
The School is directed by Jessica Oliveira
The teaching is done by local comadronas who have graduated from the School.
Comadronas receive four months of didactic training.
They cover anatomy, prenatal care, referral protocol, hemorrhage management, and family planning. They then complete eight months of practical training in their communities under the direction of doctors, nurses, and midwives.
Upon graduation, students receive their own stethoscope, a fetal heartbeat monitor, a blood pressure cuff, and a pregnancy wheel. After graduation, students attend continuing education courses hosted by the Guatemalan Ministry of Health.